The coming of age movie of a man-child has fascinated many a storyteller in the West. In fact, Hollywood has often churned out movies about guys who refuse to grow up. I, ME AUR MAIN, directed by first-time director Kapil Sharma, has John Abraham reprising the role of an adult who’s a narcissist, a self-obsessed guy who refuses to own up responsibilities and is also commitment-phobic.
In the past, movies such as KYA KEHNA! and SALAAM | NAMASTE traversed the hitherto unknown path. Also, the male protagonist in those films did not own up their responsibilities, albeit initially [coincidentally, Saif Ali Khan enacted the part in both the films!]. Although I, ME AUR MAIN is *not* remotely similar to those two films in terms of plotline, it does talk of relationships [live-in, child without wedlock et al], but at the same time, it also takes the easy route of drifting into the stereotypical zone, at times.
Kapil brings with him present-day, urban sensibilities, which is evident in a couple of episodes [more on that later], but the drama vacillates between spellbinding and mundane constantly. What emerges is a part watchable fare, despite an attention-grabbing premise. Had Kapil grabbed the opportunity of going unconventional out-and-out, I, ME AUR MAIN would’ve been in a different space altogether.
Ishaan [John Abraham] is a charismatic, good-looking music producer from Mumbai. He lives a sheltered existence, is the centre of his life, the apple of his mother’s [Zarina Wahab] eye, always protected by his elder sister Shivani [Mini Mathur] and stays at his girlfriend Anushka’s [Chitrangda Singh] swanky house. He takes them all for granted!
But there comes a day when his life falls apart like a house of cards. Fed up of being taken for granted, his girlfriend throws him out of her house. He moves into an ordinary dwelling, his mother leaves his father and moves in with him, his sister is upset with him and his boss [Raima Sen] asks him to resign. His ego is punctured and his confidence shaken.
At this point, his new neighbor, Gauri [Prachi Desai], walks into his life and from her he learns the importance of relationships. There comes a point when he has to make a choice…
I, ME AUR MAIN has several worthy of note sequences. Instances: John’s I-me-myself attitude comes across very well at the start itself, besides his relationship with Chitrangda, which goes from bad to worse with the passage of time. In addition, the segments featuring John and Mini Mathur echo a certain reality. You can’t help but laud the freshness Kapil brings on the table in those sequences. I’d like to make a special note of the finale, when John wants to be by her side, but Chitrangda’s words of wisdom sound so valid.
Nonetheless, there’re tracks that fizzle faster than expected. John’s relationship with Raima, his boss, gets repetitive after a point. Also, John’s quest to introduce a new singer [Sheena Shahabadi] — the entire journey from scratch to star — is humdrum. Even the sequences with Prachi are inconsistent. As and when Kapil decides to take the unconventional route with her character [Prachi fleetingly talking about her previous relationships… also the sequence when John decides to get close to her, after she has had a couple of drinks], those moments compliment the spirit of the enterprise. Conversely, there’re portions that seem far from satisfying or enjoyable.
The debutant director strikes the perfect note when he dares to defy the rules of the game. Also, what’s credible is that he spares us the melodrama that generally accompanies such subjects. But, like I pointed out earlier, the screenwriting should’ve been coherent. The storyteller restricts the flow of songs in the narrative, which, again, needs to be appreciated. As for the soundtrack, ‘Cappuccino’ and ‘Na Jaane’ add a lot of zing to the narrative.
It’s the first time that John plays a man-child and I must add, he ensures that the character doesn’t deviate into the negative alley. Shunning the ‘Action Abraham’ image that he has steadily built, the actor delivers a striking, likeable performance. Chitrangda lends undeniable credence to her part. Prachi adds so much zest in those tiny little moments, enacting the spunky girl part so well. Mini Mathur is natural to the core, getting the nuances of her role spot-on. Raima Sen is perfect, despite the fact that her role lacks meat. Zarina Wahab is dependable as the doting mum. Sameer Soni doesn’t get any scope. Errol Peter Marks is efficient.
On the whole, I, ME AUR MAIN is a decent watch. More for the urban youth!