Ekk Deewana Tha (Hindi)

Cast: Prateik, Amy Jackson, Manu Rishi

Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon

Director Gautham Menon takes us back to times when love at first sight was the norm and fathers and brothers saw women as the epitome of family honour. In times when industry seems to be in a rewind mode, one wouldn't have minded it, but the problem is Menon has set this remake of his own Tamil-hit in south Mumbai.

Plastic in texture and dated in appeal, Prateik plays Sachin, a Maharashtrian Brahmin whose focus on cinema as a career shifts the moment he sees his neighbour Jessie (Amy Jackson). A Malayali Christian, Jessie's father consider cinema a sin. He doesn't know Amitabh Bachchan and she hasn't heard of Mohanlal. A bit unbelievable considering the girl works for an IT firm and the father is shown using the laptop.

Anyway, boy proposes, girl refuses; boy persists and follows her to Kerala; girl relents only to take one step at a time, providing A.R. Rahman some tuneful opportunities and allowing Manu Rishi to slip in some witty lines to keep us in good humour.

Amy is easy on the eye and Prateik gets the chance to play hero. But is something simmering between the lead players? Not quite.

As expected, the girl's father and brother oppose the budding romance and plant an alternative. Jessie snaps to it only when the rings are to be exchanged in the church.

So is it over? No, it is just the intermission. There are plenty of reels to be exposed and patience to be tested. Father blames Sachin for Jessie's about-turn. Jesse suggests otherwise. Sachin joins Ramesh Sippy at a time when his son is making films. Even if you don't mind the lack of detailing, you can't avoid the potholes in the script. As we wait for Jessie to make up her mind, the film loses its coherence.

Prateik lights up some scenes but he is not the guy to last this 160-minute saga that needs an emotional charge every few minutes. He can only deliver in small packages.

Amy is good material to promote saris and Kerala's beaches, but she is too raw for a complex character like Jessie. Trisha, the leading lady of the original, was good.

Here, a changed skin tone and poor dubbing only make the fakery all the more apparent.

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Hindi Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011