She is fun, feisty and ….well, full-on. He needs to loosen up. Urgently!! Son of two stuffed-up high-society mannequins Rahul Kapoor is a repressed child going into depressive manhood. Since this is a rom-com, and one sparkling with vigour with warmth and what-have-youth, you know Rahul will meet Ms Fun-Feisty-Full-On before Reel 1 is done.
"Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu"(EMAET) comprises a series of elegantly-written, confident but never in-your-face scenes about what happens when two opposites meet in a city as all-embracing as Las Vegas. Of course, sparks fly.
But neither Kareena Kapoor nor Imran Khan is in a hurry to set off a combustive fire. There is a whole lot of tranquility in the way the relationship between the firebrand and the nerd is built. The rough edges are largely sacrificed on the editing table. The progression of the relationship is seamless and smooth.
Unlike, say, Siddharth Anand's "Anjaana Anjaani" where the on-screen rapport between the protagonists suffered because one of the actors was constantly trying to steal scenes from the other, here neither Kareena nor Imran is in a hurry to hijack a single moment from one another. This is one of the most immaculately cast romantic comedies in recent times.
Sure, Kareena has an edge. Her character is less passive than Imran's and she has some of the film's best lines. The actress, back in form after two marginalized mammoth odes to machismo ("Bodyguard", "Ra.One") turns in a perfectly-modulated performance. Her character is not so much a portrait of warmth and radiance as it is an illustration of perfect asymmetry. Here's a woman who enjoys the chaos that she creates in her universe. She lives by her own rules. And before the film is done she teaches Imran Khan's character how to tell your parents to buzz off before it's too late. Rules be stuffed down the toilet.
Imran is good at playing the attentive, obedient, faithful boyfriend. He did the invisible-halo act effectively in "Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na", "Break Ke Baad" and "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan". He does it even better here, probably because of the company he keeps in this film.
There are episodes in this boy-meets-girl, girl-tweaks-boy's-life saga that leave you smiling for a very long time. Indeed EMAET is a high-concept ever-grin mellow-drama. You just can't stop grinning at the sparkling warmth and the cute quips shared by the lead pair.
Curiously, debutant director Shakun Batra opts for an open ending. Finally we only know that some day Rahul might win the feisty Rihana over. But here's the glimmer of hope. Even if he doesn't win her over he gets to keep her company for as long as they share a common ground.
Here is a film that doesn't score high on ground-breaking ideas on romantic relationships. Instead it weaves itself into commonplace ideas on love romance and commitment and comes up with vignettes of terrific sincerity. A lot of the film's gently persuasive energy comes from the discernible respect that the lead pair has for each other's space as actors. No one-upmanship here, thank you. Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah too are delightful as Imran's la-di-dah parents. They reminded me of Pran and Sonia Sahni in Raj Kapoor's "Bobby". In comparison Kareena's Catholic family comes across as too casual to be real.
Within two weeks Dharma Productions has given us two diametrically opposite genres of cinema from two debutant directors. If Karan Malhotra's "Agneepath" took us back to the grand formulistic revenge drama of the 1970s EMAET takes us into the future of Bollywood where actors don't have to sing. They don't have to act. They just have to be as normal as people in love tend to be.
This is a perceptibly urbane love story, told in a style shorn of gimmicks. There is no attempt to capture our attention. The narrative gets us watching without getting sweaty with anxiety.
A very chilled-out romcom indeed.
Subhash K. Jha via IANS
External Hindi Movie Review with Ratings of Ek Main Aur Ek Tu (2012) from all the popular movie critics and websites. Starring: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor Director: Shakun Batra
Taran Adarsh, BollywoodHungama.com: 4/5 EK MAIN AUR EKK TU is a slick, breezy and pleasant fare that should click with its target audience -- the youth -- and also has the potential to woo the older spectators as well ... Complete movie review
Komal Nahta, ETC & Koimoi.com: 3/5 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is an entertaining and enjoyable fare for the city audience ... Complete movie review
Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times: 3/5 This picture though, smartly written and filmed (Shakun Batra, fine debut), is mellow yet dramatic, softer, subtler, more ‘plush interiors’ American rom-com ... Complete movie review
Naresh Deoshi, ApunkaChoice.com: 3/5 'Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu' is a Valentine treat! ... Complete review
Kaveree Bamzai, India Today: 3.5/5 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a gentle little film, where even the regulation song with Americans dancing to Bollywood music in the middle of Vegas don't look so bad ... Full Review
Shubha Shetty-Saha, Mid-Day.com: 3.5/5 Sensitive and delightful film ... Full Review
Shubhra Gupta, Indian Express: 2.5/5 Still, this is nice enough for a one-off cosy date movie, where you can want a personable, rich Rahul and a pretty, warm-hearted Ri to fall in love, to banter, to riff. That’s me and that’s you ... Full Review
Avijit Ghosh, Times of India: 4/5 EMAET is the sweetest heartbreak that Bollywood has conjured in a long, long time. It works both as a college buddy movie and a date movie; for the young and the not-so-young ... Complete review
Sonia Chopra, Sify.com: 3/5 The cozy coupling is a winner! ... Complete review
Sukanya Verma, Rediff.com: 3/5 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is neither on the epic side like Dharma Productions' great, grand ancestors nor weighed down by an overload of pop culture references of those that define the genre ... Complete review
Martin D'Souza, GlamSham.com: 3/5 EMAET had the potential of being an even better film. The three stars are for the excellent treatment and Imran's performance ... Full Review
Spicezee Bureau, Zee News: 3/5 Kareena and Imran won’t disappoint in ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ ... Full Review
Gautam Shah, NowRunning.com: 2.5/5 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a fun one-time watch this Valentines season ... Full Review
Aniruddha Guha, DNA India: 4/5 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a delightful film that keeps getting better along the way, and ends fabulously ... Full Movie Review
K K Rai, StarDust: 3/5 Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan have given excellent performances in the film ... Full Movie Review
Kunal Guha, Yahoo! Movies: 2/5 The lead pair in this film may have negligible chemistry but you would suffer even worse if you use this review to convince your girlfriend for an alternate V-Day plan ... Full Movie Review
BuzzinTown.com: 3/5 The second half surprises you with the unpredictable twists, smart writing and endearing acting ... Full Movie Review
Sanjukta Sharma, LiveMint.com Kareena Kapoor is the life of this breezy romcom, with a typically Hollywood template and some charming moments ... Full Movie Review
Piyali Dasgupta, NDTV: 4/5 I'll play on the film's USP for this review and keep it short and crisp. No extra lines. But, just like you need to read this, you need to go and watch the film ... Complete movie review
Mihir Fadnavis, Mumbaiboss: 3/5 It isn’t the least bit original, but it doesn’t annihilate your patience levels the way I Hate Luv Stories and Break Ke Baad did ... Full Movie Review