Reviewing the Reviews: Ekk Deewana Tha

20 Feb,2012

Ekk Deewana Tha

 

Key Cast: Prateik Babbar, Amy Jackson, Manu Rishi

Directed by: Gautham Menon

Produced by: Gautham Menon, Reshma Ghatala, Venkat Somasundaram

Screenplay by: Javed Akhtar

 

Gautam Menon’s Tamil and Telugu hit is remade in Hindi and gives the critics something to crack their whips. The Prateik-Amy Jackson starrer got several 1 star ratings, some grudging 2 stars, a minus 1 and the usual Times of India 3, which doesn’t mean anything. The film spells D for Disaster.

 

Kunal Guna of Yahoo and the Minus 1 rating writes: “Pain and pleasure have the same facial expression. This is why you will share the same face with the lead cast of Ekk Deewana Tha through the entire runtime. Love stories that curdle, portray societal and familial tribulations. But here, there is a far graver issue beyond the usual jaat-paat, rich-poor etc: The lead duo can’t act to saveTibet. And as dismissive as it may sound, in the first paragraph of this review; it is, in fact, the iceberg that makes this painful love story crash as we endure the burn.”

 

Preeti Arora of rediff.com is unimpressed too. “While there are directors who dig relentlessly for a new theme around which a rom-com can be built, there are others such as Gautham Menon who believe old clichés are the best plot points for a love story. For starters, the girl is a year older to the boy. Then they come from different religions. The boy is a passionate movie buff, hopes to make a career in films. The girl’s family doesn’t even watch films. The girl’s brother is a toughie who needs an excuse to start a fight. But there is something called love at first sight. You get the drift.”

 

Mayank Shekhar of Hindustan Times, gives it 1 star too, and rightly wonders what the story really is about. “ The boy, an obsessive, relentless roadside Romeo, having chased the girl from the streets of Mumbai to Mallu-land, finally  holds her, jolts her up, pops the winning question: “Kamaal ki chemistry hai hamare beech mein (there’s huge chemistry between us). Can’t you see it?” No, she says. He obviously can. That’s a matter between them. Audiences couldn’t care less. We’re beyond midway through the movie: chuck chemistry, all you’re wondering is what the hell’s the story.”

 

Rajeev Masand stretches it to two stars and writes, “Charming in a goofy sort of way, Prateik Babbar makes the film’s first thirty minutes or so watchable even though very little happens here. His awkward body language and his nervous tics are refreshing, especially as his character, Sachin, skulks around spying on Jessie, and stalks her even. The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for the film’s pretty but vapid leading lady, whose lines appear to have been dubbed by someone much older than herself. Surprisingly, the actress is poorly made-up, and for much of the film sports an obviously fake tan. The couple’s chemistry is lukewarm, and save for a few inspired moments their banter is grating.”

 

Shubhra Gupta of Indian Express gives it a surprising 2 – maybe for the memory of Smita Patil. “The old North Indian Hindu boy versus the South Indian Christian girl pole vault makes the movie feel mothballed. Whatever happened to the equally hoary Bollywood tradition of rebellion and elopement? Twenty five years back, this was a believable divide, with snarling patriarchs and a disapproving ‘samaaj’ guarding the posts. The movies made much of it, getting their lovers to leap off cliffs when there was no other way out. But to do this now?”

 

The usually generous Taran Adarsh of bollywoodhungama.com goes with 2 stars as well. “What baffles the viewer is the character of Jessie. While the guy is crazily in love with her, the girl, in contrast, seems downright confused about her feelings for the guy. She appears indecisive about what she really yearns for and this aspect, to put it bluntly, sends out puzzling signals not only to the lover boy, but to the by-now-exasperated viewer as well. The screenplay totters and flounders the moment Jessie decides to part ways. The justification offered is least persuasive. Since the reason for separation is not forceful enough, it leaves the viewer feeling unsympathetic, detached and disconnected from the goings-on subsequently.”

 

And finally Avijit Ghosh of the 3 star stamp: “The love story of Sachin and Jessie never becomes your own though the lead pair is okay. Prateik’s voice is evocative; Amy Jackson, a former Miss Liverpool, reeks of an understated sensuality, though strangely, her skin-tone keeps varying with every scene. But together they fail to synergize their performances. Ramesh Sippy’s presence too doesn’t add any sholay to the proceedings. May be the movie needed more spunk in Manu Rishi’s dialogues, to elevate itself. Even AR Rahman’s music wouldn’t figure among his Top 20 films.  Ekk Deewana Tha has its moments but it doesn’t really put you in the mood for love.”

 

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