He is a lost nerd who's forever forced to fall in line with his perfectionist DNA. She is an inherently bindaas commoner who is fine with making the same mistakes again and again. Jab We Met, anyone? Well, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu has its inspiration from Jab We Met but then as you flow along the narrative, you get sucked into a nice fun world that is refreshingly new age despite its incredulous premise of impromptu marriage one-drunk-Christmas-night.
What is delightful about the film is Riana's (Kareena) mad family. But alas you get too little time to feast on their incredible zest for life. Father Phil asks Rahul (Imran) if he has slept with his daughter, in a laugh-out-worthy manner. Granny catches Rahul changing clothes and raises alarm, "Tumhe sharam nahin aati, Amitabh dekh lega" (KBC is playing on TV in the room). Wish there was more of Briganza family in the film.
Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre's Screenplay-Dialogues rely on subtlety and an understated sense of humour. Imran is rejected by his prospective Japanese employers. They speak with an enthusiastic smile but their translator confirms the bad news nevertheless. Father Phil advicing Rahul to 'tickle the balls' of their dog so as to tame the beast, Mummy ji (Ratna Pathak Shah, superb) coaxing Rahul to get over with the silly haircut or brushing his table manners makes for fun moments. Daddy ji (Boman Irani, competent) wants Rahul's bow to be at just-the-right-angle and tells his wife to cut the emotional crap at the airport and hurry up as they don't have the luxury of a chartered flight. And yes thankfully we are spared the gay jokes which are a staple ingredient of most multiplex movies.
Even though the writing is fresh-n-crackling with youthful energy, one can't overlook the reference points in Jab We Met and Anjaana Anjaani. A man-in-doldrums and how he gets high-on-life, courtesy an exuberant vivacious girl with her own-set-of-issues in life and how she deals with them in a carefree manner. The narrative dips in the beginning of the second half when Riana shows Rahul her school and how he feels that she had been 'leading him on' when she doesn't kiss him back at the 'kissing point'. But the end compensates for the melodarama and leaves you with a feeling...'What must have happened thereafter'.
Imran Khan delivers a nuanced performance. When he gives it back to his parents on the dinner table or when he shows his vulnerability towards the end as he sits on the stairs with Kareena, one can notice the positive growth in Khan as an actor. Kareena on her part glides along effortlessly. She looks beautiful (although she is somewhat on the heavier side) but her sprightly performance is a testimony to her immense fan following within the film industry and outside.
Amit Trivedi's music adds a zing to the proceedings. Aahatein and Gubbare are wonderful songs but Aunty Ji grates on nerves. The background score is consistently good and many a times, plucks at your heartstrings at crucial junctures in the film. David Macdonald's camerawork is one of the highlights of the film.
Shakun Batra makes an assured debut. He has a good sense for dialogues and has handled his star cast well. Here's a young director to watch out for. Ek Main Aurr Ek Tu has its flaws but still oozes freshness. I came out smiling and refreshed after watching it. I am sure, you'd enjoy it too, provided you are willing to overlook the loopholes. Try it out.
Star Rating: ***