By sharing the screen with the queen of power ballads, Chopra Jonas undertook a monumental task
When Priyanka Chopra Jonas launched herself in the big Hollywood world, she single-handedly changed the perception of what a Bollywood star in an American movie could look like.
She proved that Indian actors are worth more than blink-and-you-miss-it appearances. She showed that a brown actor can be a part of mainstream entertainment without an emphasis or reference to where they come from. She showed that a brown girl can be a crime boss. And after many of these firsts, when Chopra Jonas stars in a schmaltzy, feel-good rom-com “Love Again,” it comes as no surprise that she would have a meaty role.
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While bagging the leading lady role is no longer a first for the Indian star, “Love Again,” which was released in the United States on May 5, is definitely a brave move for the actor. The movie also marks the first feature film role for French-Canadian singer Celine Dion. By putting herself alongside the queen of ballads, who commands a unique fan following of her own, Chopra Jonas has truly taken on a monumental task.
No prizes for guessing that Dion not only lights up the screens but also commands a magnetic presence, somewhat overshadowing Chopra Jonas’ role in contrast.
“Love Again” is the screen adaptation of the German novel “Text for You” by Sofie Cramer. Jonas is paired with Sam Heughan of “Outlander” fame. As the movie is a romance, one expects the main charm of the movie to come from the lead pair. However, here’s where one realizes that Dion manages to steal some of the most gripping moments in the movie and is also responsible for the majority of the comic relief. It also helps that the attention remains steered toward Dion due to the somewhat sketchy portrayal of the lead characters. Chopra Jonas, playing Mira Ray, a brooding young woman overcome by the grief of her fiancé’s death, delivers a convincing performance but pales in comparison to the charisma exuded by Celine.
While the movie has its promising moments, such as bringing together Chopra with her husband Nick Jonas, albeit in a cameo, the chemistry falls somewhat flat. To cope with her grief and move on, Mira starts sending heartfelt, romantic messages on her fiancé’s old phone. Little does she realize that the phone is now assigned to Rob Burns, a music critic who is also recovering from a broken engagement.
The movie continues with Burns developing an affinity for Chopra’s emotionally honest messages, and the two actors manage to create a decent chemistry. However, for a movie that relies on romantic comedy, a decent chemistry is akin to a mere hint of drizzle on a parched desert, falling short of expectations.
While the viewer is immersed in emotions as Mira Ray reads her old texts to her deceased lover, the true highlight of the movie remains Celine Dion.