This season is ripe with movies on youth, their dashing, reckless lives and the halo of negativity circling today's generation (as if all the members of Gen-Y are like that). Now, if you combine 'Paathshala', 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', 'Main Hoon Na', 'Mohabattein', 'Three Idiots' and 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander', what you get is a little bit of 'Always Kabhi Kabhi' (the rest of it is just chaotic) directed by Roshan Abbas.
'Always Kabhi Kabhi', a movie promising that it will make you re-visit your childhood, take you back to your school days and create a 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'-like magic, is a very futuristic movie (God is a witness, the movie is definitely not talking about our school days and childhood, so it won't take us to our past). The story is set in a high-school, where students take drugs, go to pubs, get hoards of money to splurge (each student is the typical rich- spoilt brat), where if there is a drama competition, Romeo and Juliet is the only play which is popular, where suddenly, for no reason, dancing and singing in the school is considered normal, where the girls' uniforms are necessarily a few inches above their knees and where importance of education is decided by the principal with the help of the simple logic- "difference between MIT and IIT is only of one letter"...
The movie starts off with the introduction of four high school kids (their introduction is done through a Facebook-like page of one of them)- Shortcut Sam urf Sameer (Ali Fazal), Einstein urf Tariq Naqvi (Satyajeet Dubey), Ash urf Aishwarya, urf Kashish (Giselle Monteiro) and Nandy Bull urf Nandu, urf Nandini (Zoe Morani). Sameer is the son of an honest man who believes in efforts, while Sam's views are completely opposite. He is carefree but not careless (still he becomes the victim of a rave party and is being extorted by two corrupt police officers). Einstein i.e. Tariq's father is over-ambitious and wants his son to get into MIT (this will obviously not happen) and so that is the mess in his life. Aishwarya's mother, a B grade actress of her times, wants to make her daughter a success in Bollywood. With the help of a producer/director (role of this person is still unclear), her mom even goes to the extent of changing her name to Kashish just for the lucky letter K (the movie also would've done well had it started with the letter 'k'...maybe "Kabhi Kabhi Always', would've worked). Our little pampered princess (or Juliet as per the play), doesn't like this and wants to be able to choose what she wants in her life. Finally Nandy the Bull, is 'Bahar se saqt, Andar se naram' thanks to her parents' ignorance (they always put more and more money in her account but all she wants is their love...really!) Now in all these problems, there is another big problem- LOVE.
So what is the movie exactly about- Umm...? Just a story of four kids, or is it on the education system? No, I think it is on the problem of suicide due to parental pressure... Na, it is about how you find the first love in your life, maybe like a campus love story... actually it is neither of the above but also some of the above (it is as confused as the title of the movie itself). Funny part is that the root cause of any and every problem shown in the movie is 'parents'. "We are what we are (druggists, pregnant, wild, half-dead, extorted by cops, failures), because you never listen to us" is what these kids end up saying to their parents and the parents too, with a heavy heart and dabbing their wet eyes, appreciate and accept this blame.
Nothing actually happens in the first half, just a few minutes before the interval, four problems are highlighted. After the interval, suddenly there are so many problems, that there is confusion as to which problem should be given how much importance. Even while the police are threatening to ruin his entire life, Sam only gets temporarily affected (i.e. only in their presence) by the cops' threats; at all the other times, he is singing, romancing, dancing and busy playing Romeo. Our sleeping beauty, Ash, suddenly wakes up from her accident and is seen singing (screaming her lungs out) on the stage in the end. The story of the rest of the two is equally abrupt. None of the stories in the movie are complete and everyone moves on so fast that it feels like the director has deliberately done so, to prove that the movie is about the oh-so-fast generation Y. It is actually too fast to catch up with.
One of the funniest parts of the movie is product placement. The worst thing about it is that there is not just product placement but actual advertising with the jingle and all (Fanta's jingle- Nazar fiki, chasma wonderful, is actually played completely and the kids are seen dancing to its tune).
If there is anything to appreciate, it is the sincerity with which the four lead newbies have acted, especially Zoe Morani, who is really good and Ali Fazal, who shows a lot of promise. Giselle has hardly any dialogues in the first half and when finally she does speak; her dubbing is like a bad dream. Satyajeet Dubey (the Indian Justin Bieber) is young and with a lot more effort has the potential to become successful. The music in the movie is good and will be liked by the youth (or probably those in love). The song Antenna is nice but the SRK version of it, which is in the end, is not required.
All in all, even though the newcomers' efforts and confidence is admirable, the movie really fails to evoke any feelings of nostalgia. The movie can be easily missed.