If one can't identify with the characters, that's half the battle lost
Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Namastey London’ (2007) managed to grab the attention of the audiences and was a story about a modern woman who is set up with a traditional man. The two are from different worlds but eventually find their way to each other. With the second instalment, ‘Namaste England’, which released on Friday, Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra take over the reins. Their pairing is definitely one that audiences love but will this second part, directed by Vipul Shah, achieve the same love from the viewers as the first film did?
Since the first moment Param (Kapoor) lays his eyes on Jaspreet (Chopra), he falls in love. He asks his friends to arrange a meeting and the two keep meeting thanks to their friends. However, when Jaspreet manages to get her dream job in Amritsar, her grandfather and brother don’t allow her to work. She asks Param to help her and he does. Param’s family officially go to ask Jaspreet’s hand in marriage for him but her grandfather puts down a condition that she would not work after the couple tie the knot. Will their marriage stand the test of time with Jaspreet’s dream being quashed?
It has to be said that this second instalment seems to have been done with all good intentions but, unfortunately, the story just doesn’t seem strong enough. Shah’s direction or the editing is let down by a story that needs to move fast but still capture the hearts of the audiences. The India and London scenes are interesting and you do get a sense of how different society is between the two. However, with a packed and somewhat weak basis, audiences don’t really get a feel of the circumstances or the characters as such. And if one can’t identify with the characters, that’s half the battle lost.
The performances by Kapoor and Chopra are as good as they could be. But having seen their amazing chemistry in 2012’s ‘Ishaqzaade’, this flat on-screen bond seems to let the film down. It is obvious they’re comfortable with one another but they don’t recreate the magic needed and this, once again, goes against the film overall. Aditya Seal makes a great addition to the cast after 2016’s ‘Tum Bin 2’ and is good in his small role. The same goes for Alankrita Sahai who plays the role of Alisha, a UK-born woman.
The soundtrack of the film is full of tracks which may well be remembered more than the film itself – namely the dance track Bhare Baazaar and also Atif Aslam’s Tere Liye.
To conclude, it is safe to say that such a second instalment for this franchise could have been much stronger and much more than it was. However, with dated concepts and rushed scenes, it is difficult to see why the audiences would remember the film after a first-watch.