Two longtime lovers takes a break from love -- and unfortunately, from laughter.

Two longtime lovers takes a break from love — and unfortunately, from laughter — in the limp Hindi romantic comedy “Break ke baad.” Debut feature from director Danish Aslam revels in the perceived exotica of Australia’s Gold Coast (although it was actually filmed on Mauritius), but its young stars just punch the clock. Despite opening during the Diwali holiday, India’s most lucrative release season, this lackluster effort looks set to become the frame’s biggest disappointment.

Grounded and settled Abhay (Imran Khan) feels abandoned when his feisty childhood sweetheart, wannabe thesp Aaliya (Deepika Padukone), announces she’s leaving Delhi for a study year on the Gold Coast. Australian academia boosts Aaliya’s penchant for partying, spurring Abhay to pursue her, but their love has trouble regaining its balance, as does the film. Khan looks bored, while Padukone tries to deliver oomph in a part that makes her “Om shanti om” days seem a lifetime ago. Forgettable songs paper over the lazy transition montages; helming is serviceable, and Mauritian scenery delightful, but overlit lensing gives indoor sequences a bleached appearance. Other tech credits are OK.

Break ke baad

India

Production

A Reliance Big Pictures presentation of a Kunal Kohli production. (International sales: Reliance Big Pictures, Mumbai.) Produced by Kunal Kohli. Executive producer, Anaita Sukheswala. Directed by Danish Aslam. Written by Renuka Kunzhu, Aslam, based on an idea by Ankur Tewari.

Crew

Camera (color), Andre Menezes; editor, Anand Subaya; music, Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani; lyricists, Vishal Dadlani, Prasoon Joshi; production designer, Minal D. Rath; costume designers, Neha Bhatnagar, Ayesha Dasgupta, Harmeet Sethi, Soniya Tommy. Reviewed at Cinema 2, Cinema Paris, Sydney, Oct. 28, 2010. Running time: 113 MIN. (I: 55 MIN., II: 58 MIN.)

With

Deepika Padukone, Imran Khan, Sharmila Tagore, Lillete Dubey, Shahana Goswami, Navin Nischol, Yudhishtir Urs. (Hindi dialogue)

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