Caste: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ram Kapoor, Sonia Mehra ;
Director: Shakun Batra
Indian Express rating: ** and a ½ ( two and a half stars)
When a film calls itself Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, it wants you to have no doubts, not even for a second, that this is what you are in for : one boy, one girl, and a rom com. In this instance, uptight boy and giddy girl meet cute in Vegas. You know that in the first half they will be in situations where his uptightness and her giddiness will get full play. In the second, they will try reaching an accommodation, leaving the last few minutes for a suitable ending.
On that template, `EK Main aur Ekk Tu’ is a half and half : it gets where it needs to with flair, but not enough surprises. The film passes by pleasantly enough past all its expected roadsigns, providing a smile and an occasional chuckle ( and one of the most rousing songs-and-dances I’ve seen in a while) but making you wish for more newness, both in its characters and in the way it wends its way onward. That task is helmed by a few of the carefully chosen supporting cast : a predatory cougar who likes young boys, is a particularly sharp turn.
You want a similar freshness with the main leads who do exactly what they are supposed to. Rahul Kapoor ( Imran), architect by default, loses his job and instead of ‘fessing up to his parents—high maintenance mom (Ratna) and heavy handed dad ( Irani)— mooches around town, getting hitched on a drunken night to Rianna Braganza(Kareena), a girl who is his polar opposite. Imran plays the po-faced, straight-laced fellow completely according to the script, wanting to do everything, even getting the mad marriage annulled, by the book. Kareena has the bubbly, live-in-the-moment hair-stylist down pat, and a couple of scene-stealing lines. She’s set up to shake up the staid Rahul, so we are led straight into a noisy pub, vodka shots, and the drunken song. Slickly done but familiar territory, which throws up in contrast the understated detailing that goes into making the Kapoors and the Braganzas : now that’s differential. And the one little twist in the end does make you sit up and pay attention, but it’s almost like a throwaway. Making more of it would have made `Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ more of a movie. Why not be a little braver?
The central idea is from ‘What Happens In Vegas’, another one is from ‘500 Days Of Summer’. ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ is one of those growing number of well-shot, well-mounted films which you can hear in English as the characters speak in Hindi. Debutant director Shakun Batra knows that and manages the back and forth switches smoothly, but even he cannot stop Ri saying ‘yeh kya thaa?’ to Rahul. Why not just go with ‘what is this’? Sounds much more natural, given that both break into perfect English here and there.
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.Boman Irani Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Imran Khan Indian Express Karan Johar Kareena Kapoor Ratna Pathak Shah Reviews Shakun Batra Shubhra Gupta