Imtiaz Ali’s new version of Love Aaj Kal, the 2009 Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan starrer is making a comeback in 2020. Saif’s daughter Sara Ali Khan plays a character similar to that of Veer in the 2009 who looks borderline commitmentphobic and, prioritises her career over the idea of spending her life with one person for a lifetime. Kartik Aaryan, the Veer of 2020 shoulders the “aaj and kal” concept of Imtiaz, with a parallel story in the past.
The world wide web has mixed reactions to the trailer, Sara’s father Saif Ali Khan, also had a blunt reaction to the trailer of Love Aaj Kal 2.
From Rockstar to Love Aaj Kal, Tamasha and Jab Harry Met Sejal, graffiti is a prime trope in Imtiaz’s style of storytelling. Love Aaj Kal 2 didn’t keep the director from placing hidden meanings in a rather clever graffiti.
We decode that one frame from the trailer below:
These particular frames in the trailer of Love Aaj Kal 2, have a couple of quotes. The first two appear almost after half the trailer is over, the last one, is the ending slate of the video in the same colour scheme of the graffiti.
“Don’t touch my soul with dirty hands”
“For those who come from nothing”
“It’s all about the oil, stupid”
‘Don’t touch my soul with dirty hands’ is a poem by Zebaish Shaikh. You can read the full poem here.
‘For those who come from nothing’ is a classic canvas painting that is up for grabs here on society6.com.
It’s an easy guess that the first two are pointing towards Sara’s character arc in the movie, given that she wants to commit to her career rather than a person.
If you move over the quotes and observe the frame from right to left. There’s a grim looking girl sitting in a lousy posture and staring at the ground with a bird next to it.
Drip of love and macaroons
Right next to it is a girl sitting on two macaroons, attached to a drip whose saline bag somewhat looks full of heart-like molecules. The macaroon could symbolise the fact that she’s in a sweet spot, there are hearts in the air, but she needs to be injected with another dose of love to overcome her commitment phobia.
The 90s song!
The yellow typography in devanagari says “Woh Pehli Baar Jab Hum Mile”. Imtiaz using a 90s reference could be his new trope, since he’s also used two Maine Pyaar Kiya references in the trailer.
The caricature next to that is of a woman vomiting hearts and the word SICK is written right next to her head. The quote, ‘Don’t touch my soul’ is right above her body and there’s a heart, with a diamond inside it.
The Tamasha reference?
That heart will instantly remind ardent Imtiaz Ali fans of the line ‘Heer liye dil mein, aur heer khoje veerane mein’ from Tamasha. This heart has a diamond (heera), symbolically ‘heer’ inside it. There’s love inside her heart, but she’s looking for it elsewhere.
The birds and the cages
The last left most corner of the frame shows a girl whose face is covered with a book and a bird sitting on the top of it.
Now, if you watch the trailer carefully from the beginning, there are bird cages in some of them, like the one below. What this graffiti could imply is — the journey of this girl from being grim, commitment phobic, falling in love, and then pondering over what she’s got herself into. Classic Imtiaz Ali story. The trailer also shows a similar looking heart in some more frames like this:
The crux of the stories he tells are camouflaged in his graffitis. He’s been telling stories of caged hearts, caged birds, commitment phobes for years. Whether you read the graffiti from right to left or left to right, it’s an infinite loop, just like the director’s movies.