Business rating: 3 / 5 stars (Three stars)
Star cast: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, Ratna Pathak Shah, Ram Kapoor.
What’s Good: The performances; the entertaining second half; the songs.
What’s Bad: The lack of universality of the script which will find less appreciation among the masses.
Verdict: Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is an entertaining and enjoyable fare for the city audience.
Loo break: None really.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the performances and the clever handling of a different story.
UTV Motion Pictures and Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.’s Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (UA) is an unusual tale of a boy and a girl, who meet by chance, get married when they are under the influence of alcohol and then set out to annul the marriage.
Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) is an architect working in a big company in Las Vegas. He has just lost his job but doesn’t have the guts to break this news to his irritatingly dominating parents (Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah) in India. Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor) is a hair stylist in Las Vegas, depressed because she lost her job. She doesn’t hide a thing from her understanding parents (Nikhil Kapoor and Zenobia Shroff) in India.
A chance meeting between Rahul and Riana develops into friendship over drinks. Both get sozzled and, in the middle of the night, as they are passing by the wedding chapel, they are requested by an old couple to act as witnesses for their registered marriage. (In Las Vegas, two persons can get married at any hour of the day or night.) In their drunken stupor, Rahul and Riana also end up marrying one another. They wake up the following morning, sober but shocked at the fact that they were husband and wife.
Both decide to annul their marriage and they approach the court which asks them to return after some days. Although they are as different as cheese from chalk, a bond soon develops between the extroverted Riana and the uptight Rahul. Why, Riana even coaxes Rahul to accompany her to India for a week so that he may feel less miserable about his loss of job and his marriage mistake. Rahul stays in Riana’s house in India as his own parents, living in the same city, know nothing about him being jobless and married. On the other hand, Riana’s parents are truly chilled out. However, Rahul accidentally bumps into his mother and, therefore, lies to his parents about being in India on a research project and about Riana being his colleague.
Within a couple of days, there erupts a terrible misunderstanding between Rahul and Riana: he feels, she led him on till he now actually is in love with her; but Riana says, she has all along liked him as a friend, never loved him as a husband. Rahul leaves Riana’s house and returns to his own home.
As if the tension between Rahul and Riana wasn’t bad enough for the former, he also has a showdown with his parents at an important business dinner at his home.
What happens thereafter? Does Rahul make up with Riana? Is Riana ready to patch up with Rahul? Do they return to Las Vegas? Does their marriage end or do they continue as man and wife?
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Review: Script Analysis
Ayesha Devitre and Shakun Batra’s story is quite new for the Indian audience because here, a girl and a boy get married and then come close to each other during the period needed to end the marriage. Their screenplay is designed to appeal mainly to the youngsters in the cities. In other words, the drama, like the thought, is very urbane and while it will be enjoyed by the multiplex and city audiences, it won’t quite be lapped up or, in some cases, even understood too well by the audience in the smaller centres and of the single-screens.
The first half starts off very well and the target audience enjoys the introduction of the various principal characters and the squabbles between Rahul and Riana. But the pre-interval portion also has its weak moments as it becomes slow after a point of time. The second half is much better and several scenes stand out for their brilliant conception, enactment and, of course, execution. Perhaps, the best part of the screenplay is that it is fresh and, therefore, not predictable, a quality very evident in the climax too. Among the truly well-written scenes are the one in which Rahul and Riana have a misunderstanding in India, the showdown of Rahul with his parents, the one in which Rahul’s dad knots the tie for his son and the initial scenes of Rahul with his parents in Las Vegas. Dialogues, penned by the duo, are entertaining and, again, will be enjoyed more by the city folk.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Review: Performances
Imran Khan does an excellent job as the uptight son of dominating parents. He is superb in scenes showing him feeling awkward in the presence of his overbearing parents. His showdown scene at the dinner table is undoubtedly his best in the film. Kareena Kapoor is extraordinary. She underplays her bubbly character with such elan that one can’t but admire her. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Kareena has lived the role of Riana Braganza. She looks terrific. The two make for a lovely pair. The scene of misunderstanding between Rahul and Riana and the aftermath have been beautifully done by both, Imran and Kareena. Boman Irani is absolutely fabulous. His body language and facial expressions deserve distinction marks. Ratna Pathak Shah is just too lovely. Her acting makes her character so believable. Ram Kapoor lends admirable support. As his wife, Dena Lewis is first-rate. Nikhil Kapoor is endearing as Riana’s easy-going father. Zenobia Shroff is good as her mother. Manasi Scott and Mukul Chaddha provide the necessary support as Riana’s sister and brother-in-law. Rajesh Khattar, Preeti (as his wife) and Zeus (as his son) lend admirable support. Sonia Mehra is alright. Others do as required.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Review: Direction
Shakun Batra’s direction is mature. This doesn’t look like the debut attempt of a director although it is. No doubt, Batra has made a film mainly for the city audiences but it is clear that he knowrs his job very well. His handling of the scenes mentioned in the portion above on well-scripted scenes is truly like that of a seasoned director. Amit Trivedi’s music is a plus point. Aunty Ji, Ek main hoon aur ek tu hai, Aahatein and Kar chalna shuru tu are all well-written (Amitabh Bhattacharya) and well-composed songs. The Gubbare song is also good. The Rehne de song (few lines in the film) is composed by Clinton. Picturisation of the Aunty Ji song (by Bosco Martis) is fabulous. His own dance in that song is just too superb. Kareena, Imran and the others have also danced very well. The picturisation of Ek main hoon aur ek tu hai and Gubbare songs is also good (choreography by Rajeev Surti). David MacDonald’s camerawork is excellent. Aasif Ali Shaikh’s editing is sharp. Production values are righ. Technically, a superior product.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is an entertaining and enjoyable fare for the city audience. Its business in multiplexes will be decent. Given its total investment of around Rs. 35-36 crore and given that it can easily recover around 60-65% of that from satellite, audio and home video, recovery of the balance 35-40% from India and Overaseas theatrical business is something which will be accomplished in the first week itself. It will, therefore, prove to be a comfortable earner.