It had been talked about long and plenty. Ever since Imran Khan had graced the screen in JTYJN, he had expressed his wish of starring alongside Kareena Kapoor in the future while Kareena remained nonetheless religiously faithful to the sure career-building value of the older Khan heroes whether it be Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir or her beau, Saif Ali Khan.
When she finally and fortunately agreed to sharing screen space with a male lead of her age once again (her last great performance with a co-star her age having won her many Jab We Met accolades), Imran Khan was thankfully the natural choice. And we the audience have absolutely no regrets.
Ek Main aur Ekk Tu presents Imran in one of his best commercial film performances to date. Rahul Kapoor (Imran’s character) is uptight and contrived. He is a handsome bird who has grown up in a golden cage but has forgotten how to fly. Kareena plays Riana Braganza, a bubbly and extroverted hairstylist who seems to be Rahul’s complete opposite. Although this is not the first time Kareena takes up this type of role, a fundamental difference lies in the way her character is matchingly paired with a highly convincing (and important) male lead and that their love story in the end is not what one would expect.
When circumstances lead Riana and Rahul to meet on a fun Christmas Eve night in Vegas, they wake up next morning to discover that they have gotten married. Both are appalled by the news and decide to get an annulment. They are given an appointment in court ten days after the marriage and, during that period, Rahul and Riana discover each other. They laugh, fight, patch up and unexpected feelings start to tie them together. Meanwhile, the hero's journey of individual self discovery equally starts to blossom in the sidelines...
As an audience, I did not want to watch yet another typical KJo romance served to me in a more youthful platter... and I am thoroughly glad Johar guessed the audience’s silent plea. Consequently, filmgoers beware! What seems to be a signature Dharma Productions romantic comedy, complete with exotic locales (Las Vegas!), “boy meets girl and they hate each other but end up in love” plot, etc. is bound to surprise more than one viewer. Newcomer Shakun Batra’s Ek Main aur Ekk Tu is indeed largely about Rahul/Imran as much as Ayan Mukherji’s Wake Up Sid! was about Sid/Ranbir and this is what takes the film and its actors to a totally different level and what makes this romcom so delightful and memorable. Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu has much more to offer behind its facade. Imran Khan's character intermittently reminded me a bit of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) in Hollywood's "The Graduate" (1967) being filmed in a more commercial Bollywood style comedy, of course. My sincere thumbs up to the actor.
Imran completely steals the show and the chemistry works smoothly with a prettier than springtime heroine giving him a perfect response. Vegas is filmed savvily, enhancing its fun-loving side. The soundtrack is catchy and has Shefali Alvares in it (yes, I had been waiting for her voice in a Bollywood soundtrack for a long time). Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah both give excellent performances as Rahul’s competitive and socialite parents. It would be a pity to say more, as this film is best discovered at the cinema. Brief, sweet, cute and yet stirring and thought provoking, Ek Main aur Ekk Tu is a film not to be missed. Happy Valentine's Day!
* The original title given to the film was 'Short Term Shaadi' but this was later decided against.
* Ratna Pathak Shah was originally offered the role of Kareena’s (Riana’s) mother in the film. She however preferred acting as Imran's mother, given that she had also played his mother in Imran’s first film: Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na.
* Avantika Malik, Imran Khan's wife, makes a special appearance in Ek Main aur Ekk Tu.
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Purchase the Ek Main aur Ekk Tu soundtrack
EK MAIN AUR EKK TU
Directed by: Shakun Batra
Produced by: Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar, Ronnie Screwvala
Screenplay: Ayesha Devitre, Shakun Batra
Ratna Pathak Shah
Music: Amit Trivedi
Cinematography: David Mac Donald
Editing: Asif Ali Shaikh
Distributed by: UTV Motion Pictures, Dharma Productions
Release date: 10 February 2012