Going into Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu I was expecting a mushy, feel good rom-com that makes you believe in a love not possible in the real world. However, coming out I found myself reflecting on things I had never considered before. More than a rom-com Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a story of self discovery. Don’t get me wrong, there are beautiful and romantic moments in the film but that is not what the point of the film is.
Imran and Kareena do a fine job. Kareena’s character resembles that of Geet from Jab We Met. A girl who knows how to live life and is unapologetic for her pizazz/bold nature. So, the terrain is not unfamiliar for the actress who has already proven her talent in many films. However great Kareena is, Imran is the scene stealer of the film. His portrayal of a twenty five year old man who is living a suffocated and repressed life is spot on. Especially those of Indian ethnicity will relate to his portrayal of an aaga kari/parent respecting son who lives his life the way he does to please his parents. I could not help but relate to him. His eyes (which are beautiful) say so much. The scene in which he confronts his parents is one of the best examples of catharsis or release of emotions I have seen (except Rockstar which had many such moments). No one could have done this role better. Imran makes the character come alive. You never question that he is a rich, proper, intelligent architect with obsessive compulsive disorder (he irons his socks and underwear and cannot tolerate untidiness). His understated performance makes the film come alive. Had this role gone into the hands of anyone else, the film could have well fallen flat.
The script gets it right, there are millions of kids out there that feel stifled by parental expectations. Like Rahul (Imran’s character) they let the purpose of their life become pleasing their parents. After all, their parents have done so much for them. In fact Rahul’s dad (played by Boman Irani) never let’s him forget that he was always given whatever he wanted.
The supporting cast is outstanding. Boman Irani can never perform badly and this is no exception. He is fabulous as Imran’s business minded father. Ratna Pathak Shah is very funny. Though she played Imran’s mother in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, her role in this film is very different but she makes you believe she truly is a materialistic and controlling mother. Kareena’s character’s parents add masala to the narrative especially the dad. Riana’s granny is the cutest of them all though! Watch out for her when you go to see the film. Ram Kapoor is hardly there but whatever little screen time he has he uses it effectively. He is such a fine actor and has great screen presence.
This film is RELATABLE. It is realistic. It is VERY likely you or me have felt the way Imran’s character Rahul does. There is a point in the film when Kareena’s character Riana tells him that being perfectly normal is a blessing. During that scene I felt as though I was standing in Imran’s shoes.
The music complements the film nicely and contributes to the narrative nicely. A unexpected cameo by choreographer Bosco (from Bosco-Caesar) and Avantika (Imran’s real life wife) in the song Auntie Ji brings a smile to your face. Aahatein is a beautiful song and brings tears to your eyes. The title track is fun and youthful.
Dharma Productions always produces good quality films. You never get the feeling of cost cutting when watching a Dharma film. It is made as the script demands. Giving new directors a chance is risky but Dharma proves it one risk worth taking as long as you believe in that new talent.
First time director Shakun Batra has made a light, unusual and a good film. It is not conventional as one expects it to be but this is a pleasant surprise. There is humour, romance and enlightenment in this film. It is short and you feel sad that it is over so soon. He also shows how innovative he is by adding titles to every scene (ex. back to school, chopsticks, etc.). These are the signs of a good film. I cannot wait to see more films from him.
I am going to give EMAET 3 1/2 stars. Give this film a chance, you won’t regret it. You may just realize something about yourself. I know I did.