'Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu'; Imran-Kareena, Awesome 'Tu'some!
By MovieTalkies.com, 10 February 2012
At first glance, one can be forgiven for thinking that Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a simple rehash of the Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz starrer Hollywood comedy, What Happens In Vegas. After all, both films are rom-coms set in Las Vegas, both following two strangers who get married in a drunken stupor one night only to wake up to the consequences the next morning. That is where the similarity ends though, as this new release from Karan Johar's Dharma Productions banner eschews the regular, run-of-the-mill fare to offer a refreshing new twist on Bollywood's classic 'opposites attract' formula.
With Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor toplining in an unlikely pairing, debutant director Shakun Batra helms Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Batra also takes the story credit on the film, sharing it with hairstylist turned scriptwriter Ayesha Devitre.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu follows the lives of Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) and Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor), both unemployed and Vegas residents. Their lives are poles apart, though. While Rahul is a geeky, gawky twenty-five year old architect, twenty-seven year old Riana is an out of work hairstylist. Though they are thousands of miles away, Rahul is still under the thumb of his controlfreak parents, an aggressively competitive father (Boman Irani) and a superficial, socialite mother (Ratna Pathak Shah), both of whom want him to be a carbon copy of themselves in life. Riana, on the other hand, is a free-spirit who doesn't think twice before acting on her impulses. Their different worlds collide when they happen to run into each other at a psychologist's office, and before you know it, they're out for a night on the town. However, things take a twist as they down a few drinks too many, and before they know it, end up getting married to each other. Where this unexpected turn of events leads them down the road of love, forms the rest of the film.
The first thing that strikes you in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is the believability factor of the film. Whereas Bollywood has made a habit out of grandiose, near-fairy tale romances, this simple, straight-forward rom-com wafts across like a breath of fresh air. The film revels in its light, frothy humour, with Imran playing the perfect foil to Kareena's vivacious ways, the chemistry between the two oddly satisfying. Shakun and Ayesha turn out a screenplay and dialogues to match, the latter drawing frequently chuckles, if not more than a few guffaws. The scene where Rahul finally vents his anger at his parent's dinner table is a high point of the film.
Imran is pitch-perfect as Rahul, getting right into the skin of the meek, mama's-good-boy character. Though reminiscent of his Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na debut, he comes into his own here as the awkward, geeky Rahul who slowly, but surely, comes of age by the end.
The comparisons between Kareena's Riana and her own Geet, from Jab We Met, are inevitable, the two characters sharing a similar streak of craziness. However, that comparison aside, it's obvious that there couldn't have been a more perfect Riana for Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, with Kareena playing it from the heart.
Though they have fairly short roles, Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah leave a mark in their roles as Rahul's parents, though the latter's socialite act is a bit similar to her outing on TV's Sarabhai Vs. Sarabhai. Sonia Mehra is funny in her short, two-scene role as one of Rahul's potential matches. Ram Kapoor is fair. The actors playing Kareena's parents do a fabulously funny job, and the scenes with her grandmother are ones to watch out for.
Amit Trivedi pulls out some great tunes for the film, with the catchy title track and auntyji finding fans all over. Trivedi's music permeates the film beautifully, the quiet gubbare gubbare and kar chalna shuru tu especially so. On the technical side, DOP David MacDonald deserves praise for the way he captures all the hues and shades of Las Vegas and later, Mumbai, beautifully.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu works so well because it offers something refreshingly new and different without making it quite so obvious, and director Shakun Batra deserves praise for that. The pairing between Imran and Kareena elevates the film to a new level, the two complementing each other perfectly. With the fresh humour, the breezy romance, the chemistry between the stars, the lit-up beauty of Vegas, and ultimately, a new twist on an old formula, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu clearly has a lot going for it…