The students of Subhash Ghai™s Whistling Woods International come together as actors and technicians in the mother of all debut films (some 11 people in all) to scrape together a story about an only-just engaged couple and their families who™re traveling by train from Amritsar to Mumbai for their arranged marriage.Neither really wants the wedding and tries their best to break it off by manipulating their parents and in the process fall in love. Naturally. Given the set up, there are hardly any expectations for Love Express to surprise you in a positive way and the film doesn™t disappoint.The first half has some amusing moments, albeit occasionally unintentional, and passes by breezily. However, the second half is cyclic and labored and simply does not end. You™re left there squirming as tears are shed, threats are made, some terrible sub-plots attempt to force their way into the story, and actors ham their way to a fully predictable climax.
The fact that the entire movie, save for very brief flashes, is filmed on a train set adds to the monotony. There is one good shot in the film that deserves mention: it™s evening, and camera closes in on the bride-to-be who is seen reflecting in the mirror, the regalia on.The film is riddled with inconsistencies in the technical departments, and dialogue is particularly bad. No one seems to have bothered with a second draft. At one point Om Puri (who sits in the same berth for the duration of the film) says while flirting with a woman his age Shareer hai tung, lekin dil hai young.ťPerformances get better as the film progresses. Mannat Ravi is consistent and personable and by the end of the movie, Sahil Mehta begins uncannily resembling Ranbir Kapoor.Love Express is proof that film schools can teach you the craft but not necessarily the art of filmmaking. This film is strictly a student exercise on a budget to match and only merits a viewing if you™re related to any of the dozen newcomers.
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