Movie Review: EK MAIN AUR EKK TU by FENIL SETA
Modernization has arrived with complications in our lives. New problems are experienced by the youth but sadly, our films were not throwing light on them effectively. However, thanks to new breed of filmmakers, the contemporary issues are getting prominence and a classic example of it is Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Helmed nicely by debutant director Shakun Batra, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a cute fare that beautifully tackles the changing nuances in today’s relationships! Easily one of the finest films in recent times!
The story of the movie: Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) is the son of wealthy snobbish parents (Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah) who has controlled Rahul’s life in every aspect. Rahul has thus grew up living in a mechanical manner. He recently loses his job of an architect in Las Vegas. Not knowing what to do, one day he bumps into a hairstylist, Riana (Kareena Kapoor). She is bubbly, fun, spontaneous and bindass – in other words, everything that Rahul isn’t! Both meet, become friends and one night they get fully sloshed and get married! Upon realizing their folly, they decide to take charge and annul the marriage as soon as possible. To find out what happens next, watch the film!
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu actually rests on a brief plot but writers Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre have dashed the script with enough interesting sequences to keep the interest going. As predicted, one of the highlights of the film is Imran Khan’s characterization which was very well sketched and Imran Khan has performed with élan! More on that later! The film begins on an average note though. Also, Rahul deciding to get ‘loose’ and down drinks was little sudden and one wishes the writers would have added some more dialogues and moments at this point so that Rahul’s act seemed pretty justified. But these are minor glitches than can easily be overlooked when one analyzes the film in totality. And with the commence of the title track, there won’t be any reason to complain till the last frame! For any romcom to succeed, the chemistry between the lead pair has to be sizzling and Imran-Kareena fit the bill perfectly! The funny conversations between the two are a treat to watch!
The film is embellished with some cutesy moments that instantly bring a smile on your face – be it Kareena styling Imran’s hair, Kareena-Imran enjoying to their fullest in the song Gubbare, Kareena’s gift to Imran and the best scene of the film – Imran-Kareena’s midnight conversation! The film gets better when the characters come to Mumbai and the viewers are introduced to Kareena’s mad family! The conflict that arises in the film is pretty ordinary but is helmed well and is something that the youth can relate to. And the best is reserved for the last 15 minutes, especially Imran Khan’s outburst! Truly clapworthy moment! And finally, the big surprise of the film was the finale! The film ends innovatively, something that viewers won’t see coming. It is totally unconventional but would be loved by the audiences nevertheless!
This is easily one of Imran Khan’s finest works! Check out the manner in which he gets tongue tied in front of his parents or in the beginning scenes with Ram Kapoor and later on, loosens up…the entire transition seems so convincing and so real! And obviously his outburst in the climax was just outstanding and goes to prove that he’s one of the finest actors that we have today! Kareena Kapoor too puts her best foot forward but not even for a moment, her performance reminds one of her Jab We Met’s Geet avatar as was presumed before release. A performance surely to be loved by one and all!
Ratna Pathak Shah leaves a mark. Boman Irani does great but one expected more from him. Ram Kapoor was hilarious! So was Nikhil Kapoor (Kareena’s dad). Zenobia Shroff (Kareena’s mom) looks lovely and performs well. The rest – Sonia Mehra (Anusha), Dena Lewis (Ram Kapoor’s wife), Rajesh Khattar, Manasi Scott (Kareena’s sis) and Mukul Chaddha (Kareena’s bro-in-law) – do a very good job. Imran Khan’s wife Avantika Malik too is seen in the film in the song Auntyji!
Amit Trivedi’s music is pleasing to the ears. The best songs of the lot are the title track, Gubbare, Auntyji and Aahatein. That all the songs are beautifully shot make it even more appealing, especially Gubbare! Trivedi’s background score was simply splendid, better than the songs at places. David Mac Donald’s cinematography captures the scenic locales of Los Angeles well. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing however could have been better. Many scenes were ruthlessly chopped to make them short and crisp. But what was the hurry? The film’s duration was anyways less than 2 hours (110 minutes) and additional 2-3 minutes would have done no harm.
Now to the winners – writers Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre! The latter is actually a hairstylist but seems to have great insight when it comes to screenwriting which is pretty evident in the film’s script! Both come up with some excellent dialogues and one-liners as well. And Shakun Batra’s direction was too good, especially considering that this was his first directorial attempt. Contrary to beliefs, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is drastically different from What Happens in Vegas. But Shakun definitely was inspired by Western films (Woody Allen movies esp.) and the influence can definitely be seen in many sequences. But everything is neatly done and hence no complaints. In fact, audiences would welcome this new kind of filmmaking in our cinema. Shakun also scores brownie points for keeping the film realistic and not going over the top or overdramatic, even though many scenes demanded the same. And there are little nuances here and there that really are worth appreciation like Imran’s parents staying in Pedder Road, Mumbai’s snobby neighbourhood. Also Kareena being open and frank about her marriage with her parents and don’t miss Kareena’s tête-à-tête with her mom in the bathroom with her mom smoking (presumably to hide her addiction from her family)…stuff like these make the film real and modern! Hats off to Shakun and hope he continues his magic in forthcoming films as well!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Rahul’s childhood
2. Rahul attend opera and party with parents
3. Rahul-Rihana at the psychologist
4. The title track, Gubbare, Auntyji and Aahatein
5. Imran’s date with Anusha
6. Rihana styling Rahul’s hair
7. The intermission points (splendid)
8. Riana’s gift for Rahil
9. Rahul-Riana’s midnight conversation
10. Rahul at Rihana’s place
11. Riana takes Rahul to her school
12. The last 20 minutes
On the whole, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a coming of age story that will surely be well received by the viewers. The film deals with topical issues and is treated convincingly, something that goes strongly in its favour. Performances are exemplary and this 110 minute long film is embellished with lovely dialogues, cute sequences and bravura performance by the lead actors. Here’s hoping that the film is a success at the box office!
My rating-**** out of 5!