Film: What's Love Got To Do With It?
Cast: Lily James, Shazad Latif, Shabana Azmi, Emma Thompson & Sajal Aly
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Rating: 3.5 Moons
Arranged marriages have been a part of our culture for as long as I can remember, But well, they are now referred to as 'assisted marriages' and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur's heartfelt attempt What's Love Got To Do With It? to showcase the new-age take on them is here to melt your heart. The British rom-com takes us through the journey of two childhood friends and their opposing views on relationships. Directed by Shekhar Kapur and written by Jemima Khan (ex-wife of former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan), the peppy romcom has an incredible star cast including Lily James, Shazad Latif, Shabana Azmi, Emma Thompson and Sajal Aly.
The 1 hour 48 minutes long film opens with award-winning documentary filmmaker Zoe (Lily James) trawling dating apps and swiping her way to romance. But her childhood friend Kazim (Shazad Latif), who is now a doctor, takes the traditional route and opts for an assisted marriage. Kazim agrees to marry Maymouna (Sajal Aly), a Pakistani Muslim girl chosen by his parents Aisha Khan (Shabana Azmi) and Zahid Khan (Jeff Mirza). That's when Zoe decides to document his journey, her camera reveals the stumbling blocks in each approach.
While Zoe finds it difficult to understand how someone can spend the rest of their life with a person they haven't even met once, her mother Cath (Emma Thompson) keeps pressurizing her to find a match for herself soon. What happens when Zoe gives in and starts dating a vet of her mother's choice and Kazim ends up marrying Maymouna forms the crux of this beautiful story.
The sparky and effortless chemistry between Lily and Shazad leaves few surprises in how it all pans out, but it’s an unexpectedly charming & sweet film. Shekhar Kapur's attempt to shed light on both assisted and love marriages is worth a watch. There is a freshness in the story that leaves you smiling.
The performances are up to the mark. Lily James represents a strong, independent & modern girl perfectly. Her emotions are well-translated. Shazad takes the cake with his acting skills and natural screen presence. Sajal Aly is the surprise package in the movie. Shabana Azmi and Emma Thompson steal the show not only with their brilliant performances but also with their on-screen bond.
Director Shekhar Kapur and screenwriter Jemima Khan attempt to make people understand the institution of arranged marriages while essentially making them believe in love makes an impact. Cinematographer Remi Adefarasin beautifully captures the film. Guy Bensley and Nick Moore's editing is well maintained. Nitin Sawhney's music adds charm to the story.
PeepingMoon gives What's Love Got To Do With It? 3.5 Moons!