I have a pretty meh sort of relationship when it comes to romcoms, especially Bollywood ones. I am not sure if I would consider it to be my favourite genre. The occasional Dharma production or Imtiaz Ali flick seem to amuse me once a while, but that is all about it. Judging by the trailers of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, everything about it seemed to be average. The chemistry between the lead pair – Bebo and Imran, seemed to fall flat. They looked more like a bro-elder sis pair, than a romantic pair to me. And also, the curse of editing all the jokes into the trailer could’ve almost ruined the movie. The result of all that lead me to enter the cinema with expectations set to almost below sea level. And that could’ve somehow worked in the favour of this movie. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, is not a cinematic masterpiece. It is just an average, good, well told story which can be summed up as (what my poster here says) – How To Get Friendzoned in 14 days. But debutante director Shakun Batra’s smart juggling of story elements makes it work well in parts, and as a whole. Hit the jump, as I discuss some points about the movie. [SPOILER ALERT]
1. Desi, Pardesi, Pravasi – whatever your background is, we are all aware of the load of parental expectation. This has been discussed at length in Rajkumari Hirani’s 3 Idiots as well. But Imran’s character – Rahul Kapoor, is almost shown in the light of being a victim of such an upbringing, where the parents dictate almost every aspect of his lifestyle – from his hairstyle, to the bow tie he wears. And even his love life is measured in terms of a profitable business project. I feel sorry for Rahul Kapoor, and was thrilled to see him erupt with all his accumulated emotions, bursting out from every corner. And the silent smirk on the little boy on the opposite side of the table – spot on.
2. Bebo – Geet – Riana: The more I see Bebo in such roles (y’know, the effervescent character who can lighten up the room, just by showing up), the more I believe that there is no one else who could pull off this borderline annoying, eccentric and hyper-impulsive lady character. Yes, both Geet, and Riana are almost insane and irrational – and probably that is what makes them stand out in a boring, sane and routine world. Having said that, Riana has got nothing on Geet. That Sikhni from Bhatinda would rip off Riana’s arm in a moment. #JustSaying. Riana is more of an urban Mumbai girl, styling hair in Vegas, daring to live on the streets, and even visiting shrinks to discuss her failed relationships (doesn’t quite add up somehow).
3. The Bragenza family: One of the highest points of enjoyment in the entire movie, is that brief sequence when Rahul meets Riana’s family in Mumbai. Nikhil Kapoor’s portrayal of a wickedly playful father leaves a smile on your face every time he appears on the screen. Wish we could have more of that. And that scene with the old granny entering the room whilst Rahul is changing – almost made me spill my drink .
4. Aunty Jee: Song of the year. Period! Need to learn the Konkani lyrics.
5. Imran’s poor acting: I cannot overlook Imran’s inability to act. And I cannot help notice it in every single movie of his (except for JTYJN). I don’t know who is to blame. Whether it was his best take, or if the director was just lazy enough to not keep going – it just comes across as a bit casual on Imran’s part for being unable to control his real giggly self when he’s in a scene. Y’ know, the kind you see in a bloopers reel, when actors in a serious scene, just break into laughter, because of whatever reason. I always seem to notice Imran’s acting to be so close to be shelved as a blooper reel. It is just irritating. Trust me, it cannot be unseen once you notice it.
6. The Kapoors and others: Boman Irani’s portrayal of an uptight, business minded dad is believable at best; nothing outstanding compared to his work in Munnabhai, or as Virus in 3 Idiots. It is Ratna Pathak’s filmy version of Maya Sarabhai, which adds the required spice to the upper class scenes. She does it with so much ease and natural flair, that it is hard to distinguish the real from the reel. Ram Kapoor as the lustrous business partner is hardly funny with his innuendo jokes.
7. Average is Good: To conclude, the film almost sums up with this motto towards the end – average is good. Not everyone is born to excel. And almost points towards those who excel, lack in other social aspects. (Hmm! Don’t think I’ll agree with that argument) On a different metaphoric level, it also speaks about the movie itself. It is an average movie, with an average storyline, narrated with a set of average actors (some more than others), but with a better than average bundle of set pieces. Was the climax gutsy on the part of the director to not making filmy? Maybe, I couldn’t possibly comment on that. It really wouldn’t have mattered for me.. or maybe, it could have made it worse for me if it was to end in a stereotypical happy ending way. And possibly, that could steal the thunder from Ekk Deewana Tha – the remake of Vinnaithandi Varuvaya.
OKS Rating: 2.5 Tequila Shots Out of 5