Memsaab reviewed Love in Simla a while back. I am, on purpose, not reading it again, just to make sure I don’t end up subconsciously lifting phrases and ideas (though my excuse can always be that imitation is the sincerest of flattery!) I can’t hope to write as delightfully as memsaab does, but for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents.
Love in Simla is the quintessential Cinderella story: the fairy godmother helps turn the ugly duckling into a swan so she can steal Prince Charming from the clutches of the evil stepsister. Of course, this being Bollywood, the swan has a heart of gold and can’t bring herself to harm even the evil stepsister.
Every now and then (recently, with alarming frequency) I come across films that do an about-turn midway through. Either they start off being happy and degenerate into utter despondency; or they are intelligent to start with and then descend into idiocy. Marine Drive is a prime example of a film that manages to become irritatingly nonsensical almost exactly at the half-way mark.
I tend to associate Hrishikesh Mukherjee with films that focus on the everyday lives of people like you and me (I’m assuming here that you aren’t a multimillionaire, a film star or something equally glamorous; I’m not, at any rate). Anupama, Anuradha, Anand, Satyakam—all of them amazing films whose protagonists are very real. Asli-Naqli is perhaps a little different, because it begins in the world of the spoilt young heir of a very rich man.