Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

November 26, 2010

Break down

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:40 pm

November 26, 2010

Cast: Imran Khan, Deepika Padukone, Sharmila Tagore, , Lillette Dubey, Yudhishtar Urs, Shahana Goswami

Director: Danish Aslam

As romantic comedies go Break Ke Baad, starring Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone, is arguably more engaging than recent films of this genre – Aisha, Anjaana Anjaani and Jhootha Hi Sahi. Yet this film suffers from one key problem that plagued all those movies – clumsy writing.

Imran and Deepika play Abhay and Aaliya, movie-besotted childhood friends who’ve been seeing each other for some ten-odd years. He’s thoughtful and romantic, she’s rebellious and attention-seeking. Their relationship hits a snag when she takes off to Australia to enroll at university, and he follows after her obsessively until she breaks up with him.

The film’s first half coasts along breezily, drawing its strength from the sheer charm of its leads. So even though the dialogue occasionally has a labored feel to it, and struggles to strum up a coolness that the script doesn’t inherently possess, you’re willing to overlook these lapses because you’re distracted by the stars’ pleasant chemistry.

The real problems surface when co-writer/director Danish Aslam resorts to using tired clichés as key conflicts between the film’s characters. In a regressive subplot, Aaliya wants to be an actress, but her fading-star mum (played by Sharmila Tagore) doesn’t want her daughter to repeat her mistakes. Mummy, you see, blames her acting career for her husband’s infidelity, and for the failure of her marriage!

Deepika Padukone plays Aaliya with a confidence you haven’t seen in her performances before, and creates a solid, believable character that’s somewhat misguided but endearing nonetheless. Break Ke Baad is essentially Aaliya’s story, with Abhay playing a supporting part in it, and the film works best when she’s at the forefront.

Post-intermission, however, the film loses momentum as the focus shifts abruptly to Abhay’s journey. He stays on in Australia after Aaliya has dumped him, gets a job, starts a business, and continues to pine for her. His is a considerably less interesting character that lacks much spark, and his only distinguishable feature is the fact that he’s a lovesick puppy. To be fair, Abhay only works in context to Aaliya, and yet it is to Imran Khan’s credit that he invests Abhay with an earnestness that makes such a dull character lovable.

The film itself goes off the rails about ten minutes into the second half, when it is clear that the script has run out of ideas. Much time and footage is wasted on secondary characters like Aaliya’s landlords, the brother-sister duo who run a beach shack, and who end up playing cupid to the estranged leads. By the time Abhay and Aaliya realize the error of their ways and get back together in the end, you’re completely exhausted.

Break Ke Baad doesn’t finish with the same promise you glimpsed early on in the film, but it has several moments that are enjoyable. There’s a crackling scene on a building terrace in the film’s first half, that opens on a comical note – with Aaliya giving them new names: Shahrukh for her, Sunita for him – but turns poignant when Abhay asks why he must always be the sensible, practical one. Many laughs are provided by Lillette Dubey, who plays Abhay’s quick-witted aunt, who repeatedly refers to Aaliya as a chudail, and compares today’s young lovers to Devdas!

Director Danish Aslam makes a respectable debut with a reasonably engaging film that is watchable largely for the performance of its leading lady. I’m going with two-and-a-half out of five for Break Ke Baad. You won’t be entirely bored!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. it’s nice and something informatic reveiw…i liked it….

    Comment by chandu — November 26, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

  2. The film flopped because of Imran. But why should he care he already has Avantika, the super rich heiress. And recently he has moved in her house!

    Comment by Kunal — November 26, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  3. I prefer to skip Imran and deepika’s movies.., both are boring and can’t carry the movie

    Comment by Manjunath — November 26, 2010 @ 11:55 pm

  4. OMG, really? I couldn’t stand the move- the one good thing about the movie its that its short, in just over two hours, but even those two hours seem unbearably long, especially as you get into the second half! Everything in the movie is just trying too hard – to break cliches, to sound cool, to sound realistic, to be romanitc without the mush, and needless to say, it falls flat on all these counts. Deepika Padukone is good though, and Lilette Dubey is an absoute treat! IHLS, Aisha, Anjaana Anjaani, and now Break ke Baad which looks and feels like a mish-mash of all the BAD love stories we’ve seen in the past two years…!

    Comment by Jyothi — November 27, 2010 @ 12:18 am

  5. wow! masand just loves wannabe cringy stuff!

    Comment by Hemant — November 27, 2010 @ 12:29 am

  6. Movie felt like a tribute to the nonsense ” I hate luv stories” gave us.

    Comment by Rahul — November 27, 2010 @ 12:41 am

  7. Not at all happy with the review. returned from de movie expectin you to trash it. this one doesnt deserve anythin more than a 1-star rating. You’re gonna lose your credibility if you aren’t gonna be an honest :(b

    Comment by Ravi — November 27, 2010 @ 1:22 am

  8. Break Ke Baad is dull movie and Imran Khan as usual is very boring….

    Comment by Ayaz — November 27, 2010 @ 1:57 am

  9. wow..! bollywood producers, distributors are one of the most dumb people on the face of this earth. They say its one of the riskiest business, with just around 10 percent hit rate, and still invest in these kind of films.

    Rom-coms, and leave your brains home kind of movies are really really done with now… Why does everyone want to emulate a DDLJ, they are just doin the same thing over and over and over again with new faces.. Boss the audience is not idiot…

    and as mr naseeruddin shah pointed out , that almost 60 percent of budget is spent on publicity now a days.. which often can make 3 more filmss…. I say make a well written film, which will automatically publicize your next one… Please producers, scout and bring good writers to the foray, and start paying them their worth…

    I get orgasms watching good films,mostly hollywood, but no bollywood movie of recent times has even pushed me towards it..! dats a shame!!

    Comment by Durgesh Sirwani — November 27, 2010 @ 3:32 am

  10. I don’t know why movie like this are made….nothing new..,,boring like hell and total waste of time.My small brother can make better than this…
    I felt sorry for Masand ..how is he giving positive review..Did you have lunch with Amir Khan yesterday?

    Comment by sushil — November 27, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  11. in my opininon story of the film was good but the presentation was too boring nd i will give 1 star out of 5 bad really bad…plz donT” go n invest ur valuable money 4 this movie….

    Comment by shashank — November 27, 2010 @ 8:17 am

  12. I am baffled by all the reviews I see these days.

    Break ke Baad was insufferable. Increasingly I get the sense reviewers feel obliged to provide a favorable review when a movie is backed by a prominent studio – Reliance BIG in this case. Sadder is that there seems to be no exciting writer or director on the horizon in Hindi cinema. Every week we see a rehash of the same bs.

    Maybe an unfair aside, but I cant help see the contrast – Danny Boyle opts for a limited release for his latest, knowing his content will find its audience, going for a story that is original and truly distinct. Who has that kind of guts in India?

    Comment by Gaurav — November 27, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  13. I can’t understand u man really who made u critic u rate gujarish masterpice same as BKB man BKB WAS so boaring and u gave it above two star u badly critisied gujarish man go and see a doc and pl pl pl pl pl pl pl pl pl pl leave this india has good critic like TARAN ADARSH ANU…CHOPRA NIKANT

    Comment by Mahi — November 27, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  14. Dear Rajeev

    I have noticed your propensity to be soft on movies immediately after you interview the stars of the movie. I suggest that you not be influenced when you rate their movie performances later on. We expect much better from you.
    Break Ke Baad is a total disaster. Aisha, I hate love storys and even Jhootha hi sahi are better movies.

    Comment by Umesh — November 27, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  15. Rajeev is the only good critic India has. If ppl are asking him to leave , then they have probably left their own brains someplace else. In fact, Taran Adarsh is just a trade analyst, not a movie critic. Rajeev is the best in the business. Kudos to you, Rajeev !

    Comment by Om — November 27, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  16. i only uttered three words after watching break k baad “GIMME A BREAK”

    Comment by ravi mathur — November 27, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

  17. Imran Khan is a very bad actor … this guy should stop wasting our time and money!
    Please quit

    Comment by Rhea — November 27, 2010 @ 10:49 pm

  18. I actually felt that the chemistry wasn’t there at all..it almost seemed that they were trying too hard to convince the audience that they had been friends and in a relationship for donkey’s years!

    Comment by Smriti — November 28, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  19. dudes great fan of yours still i think you messed up the review of guzarish and break ke bad. break ke sucked big time and guzarish deserved a 4 🙁

    Comment by jayadeep — November 28, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  20. Mr.Masand you r rite wn u say “u won’t b entirely bored”!!…..RIGHT!! I was COMPLETELY bored!!!! .were is the human emotion in this cardboard caricature of a love story??doesn’t draw-in/connect the viewer one bit into this tale of two hearts !!…huh!!lOne and ONLY redeeming factor-lyrics by Prasoon Joshi pleasantly strung into some easy on d ear numbers!!…..movie is like a can of soda gone stale-NO FIZZzzzzzzz at all !!!

    Comment by Amy — November 28, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

  21. I completely agree with Rajeev… the 2nd half was bit slow & seemed the film ran out of tales & ideas… but there were some moments shared between the lead pair which I could connect…

    Comment by Nandini — November 29, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

  22. dear rajiv, i hope u dont feel even for a moment that ur reviews dont make a difference. i suggest that u watch each movie twice and not just once,so u know exactly whats gone wrong. many film makers feel that solely on the basis of a fresh pairing they can get a hit. it is these uncreative and opportunist makers that should face ur wrath and must be dismissed downright. and we expect you to do just that. just like in BKB, there always are a few good scenes n moments in every damn film. this doesnt mean u be lenient with it. its the least they can provide and they better! follow ur gut instincts and berate this recent lot of bubblegum movies. all they do is degrade the audience and cinema as a whole! n nothin else. wew need makers who are honest to their work n not jus some yuppie guys eager to buy their next bmw or bang their latest muse!!!
    please rescue this industry. let them fear you. god bless!

    Comment by shravan — December 1, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  23. Rajeev I am a big fan of yours but by reading this review and the 2 1/2 stars you gave to the movie made me feel you are going the way other reviewers do…….This movie deserves 1 star that to because of Lillette Dubey.So please please be honest.

    Comment by Aman — December 2, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

  24. Totaly bakwaaas!

    Comment by Chandan — December 2, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  25. hey hi rajeev i am following your judgement for almost 2-3yrs now and i must say this is a bad judgement on your part and is probably the worst film of this year.The film should be atleast what the title suggest like what happens after break ups no tantrurms,nothing.It’s a complete dud movie and i wont suggest any one to watch it on television or DVD.

    Comment by jagdish — December 4, 2010 @ 2:14 am

  26. Hi Rajeev, I have always looked up to you as a very good fim critic. But this time you failed me. Break ke baad was badly made movie. One could see only the struggle to convience the audience that they have made good movie. I think we should stop watching movies with brain instedd watch them with heart. Rajeev sorry to say but you have wasted your one and half star on a stupid movie.

    Comment by uday — December 7, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  27. Totally hopeless movie. I wont even give it 1 star. Besides the fact that Imran and Deepika are both bad actors, I didnt find the characters and plot good either. I dont understand what is it that Mr. Masand liked about Deepika’s role and acting. I found the cigarette smoking, alchohol drinking, emotionless character totally disappointing.

    Comment by Revati — December 22, 2010 @ 1:09 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress