Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a mildly likeable, sweet valentine gift in an "it’s the thought that counts" way.
There's a chance you'll like it better if you haven't seen the trailers, because the best gags are covered by them and thus take away from the movie-watching experience.
The biggest mistake I made was to have seen the trailers. You've seen the trailers, you've seen almost the first 30-40 minutes of the film because, the bits that don't make it to the promos are mere "fill in the blanks" to the punch lines. It's a good thing that those one-liners and the timing with which they are delivered, are perfect. And though almost the entire film is predictable, the climax deviates from the "regular" zone making the film two notches above what it might've been, as promised. The problem though is that the narrative throughout the film, seems drab and flat, and thus the film stays average. For all we know, it could be intentional because the film advocates being average.
In that sense, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is more about parenting styles, the generation gap a restrictive style could create and society's constant insistence on being unique. As you discover the opposites that Riana (Kareena Kapoor) and Rahul (Imraan Khan) are, which is pretty prompt and in-the face, the thought never leaves you that a thick finger is being pointed at how they've been raised. And eventually, almost the entire second half becomes about how the wrong-doing parents are dealt with. And that bit doesn't deviate one bit from the expected.
So, you spend a good portion of the first hour to get to the point where the trailers left us, get to the point and land up right in the middle of an annoying family squabble. Yet, most of the time you aren't complaining whole-heartedly because you are in good company. Kareena Kapoor and Imran Khan keep you entertained. Kareena Kapoor with her chirpy Riana Briganza is exactly Geet (Jab We Met) and she has always been a joy to watch. Especially, since she has mastered the art of stopping her 'happy' act where it might get 'trying to hard' and thus annoying. Such people in real life, do get overbearing, after all. Imraan Khan as the wannabe anal retentive, but easily slips into any form the other person wants him to take, does represent a section of our youth who are figuring out their identity.
This lost identity bit makes the chemistry between the two fizzle off since most of the time, it feels like Riana is coaching Rahul as an older sister would. And automatically that converts Rahul into a younger brother because the mold his character is capable of shaping into, instantly wants him to be like her, like a younger sibling aspires to be like the older one.
While Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu might deviate from the standard at some places, at various others it takes on every new-world cliché that we have been exposed to in the past decade or so. The extra-aspirational parents to the 'everything goes' parents - are all caricatures. Not to mention all of them are given either exaggerated situations or are over-acting. We also cannot deny that the 100%-guaranteed-chirpy-woman-of-the-film is also quickly falling into the cliché zone. Sure, we all know enough of this type of a person. But now, her sole aim is to bring about a change in the typical, serious man of the film. And that's getting repetitive across films.
Yet, I will look forward to director, Shakun Batra's next film. There were some strokes in character establishment that showed a glimpse of hope. Like the background music in the opening scene or the characters' self-description at the psychologists. Of course, there is naiveté in other directorial decisions like say the whole Day 1 - Day X super-imposes. One - bad lift-off from 500 days of Summer; Two - why take on something like this if you're not going to use it wittingly throughout, are going to club days and give it the lamest every conclusion!
In many ways, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a trying hard to be Wake Up! Sid. Thematically, except for one change, the ingredients are pretty much the same. Woman in distress helped by the man; the man is provided with personal growth by this otherwise confident (older too!) woman; one piles-on at the other's home; one is finicky about cleanliness, other is not; a cute birthday; parents need to be confronted; a passion for photography and so on. But it's nowhere close to what its predecessor achieved. The one change is sweet and such shifts need to be encouraged because they draw from real life, but I've seen real-life situations which panned out with a lot more heart-tugging.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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