“Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (EMAET) has flop written all over it” These were my exact words when I saw the trailers of the film & strongly believed that after Break Ke Baad & I Hate Love Stories this shall be another failed attempt by Bollywood to try its hand at rom-coms. And what added to my worries was that it was produced under a banner which is known for its candy floss love stories. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised and after watching it I can confidently say that it is indeed one of the finest films to be made in Bollywood pertaining to the genre.
Rahul (Imran Khan) is leading a boring, mechanical life & is burdened by his parent’s expectations. He meets Riana (Kareena Kapoor) who is exactly the opposite; fun, lively & living life on her own terms. They meet accidentally, get drunk and end up getting married. The two have to wait 14 days before the annulment comes through and the film charts their relationship over those two weeks. The plot is predictable yet delightful and the crisp screenplay & Shakun Batra’s smart direction makes it stand apart. Apart from solid direction what works hugely for the film is its supporting cast. Boman Irani as a demanding father & Ratna Pathak Shah as the sophisticated socialite mother are just perfect as Imran’s parents. And Nikhil Kapoor as Kareena’s father is also extremely likable. All the characters are very much real with whom you can relate quite easily. In fact, you will remember meeting someone like them at some point of your life. Imran and Kareena are brilliant in the film and the chemistry between them is superb. Kareena looks drop dead gorgeous and though her character seems inspired from her character ‘Geet’ in Jab We Met, Kareena plays the part honestly and gets into the skin of her character. Riana is more sensitive, mature and above all closer to the real world. Imran is surely not the finest actor we have today but you cannot imagine any one else as Rahul. He proves that given a good script & role; he can do justice to his character like he did in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.
EMAET has its share of some wonderful and well crafted moments which make you smile and at the same time bring a tear to your eyes. The scene where Kareena gifts Imran a camera or when she takes her for a visit to her school or when Imran lashes out at his parents at the dining table. It also has some lighter moments, like the bathroom scene between Imran & his horny date, his interview scene with the Japanese or the scene where Kareena rates her ‘bum’. The subtle treatment without any over the top drama makes the film less syrupy which is quite unlikely for the films in this genre. Also, it is one of the few films which has a second half which is BETTER than the first and also has an end which displays the maturity of relationships (and of Hindi films). Rarely you find a rom-com which has no place for kisses or sex!
In look and style, the film is very much like any Hollywood rom-com. The music of film is melodious and the songs seamlessly flow with the film without disrupting the pace. Amitabh Bhattacharya & Amit Trivedi are slowly emerging as the Javed-Rahman combo. David MacDonald’s cinematography captures Vegas beautifully without going for the usual skyline & casino shots . Asif Ali Shaikh’s crisp editing keeps the film below 2 hours and never makes it a tiring affair. After Wake Up Sid, this is one film that made me leave the theater with a smile. So, go for this pleasant & breezy ride and you won’t be disappointed.
EMAET can be summed up in one of the lines from the film only – “Tum perfect average ho, na kuch zyada na kuch kam karte ho.” It is a perfectly average rom-com.