You could be forgiven for thinking that Tum Mile is a disaster film after watching the promos. Actually, it is… but not in genre. With a not-so-watertight script, Tum Mile is a natural calamity at the box office. What critics are tempted to call a damp squib.
So, how did Kunal Deshmukh find himself in troubled waters? Contrary to what it seems like, Tum Mile isn’t the story of a chubby man saving a midget in distress from drowning. It’s actually a watershed role for Soha Ali Khan and one that could have saved Emraan Hashmi’s career from sinking as the two play ex-lovers who find themselves on the same flight back to monsoon-ravaged-Mumbai on that fateful day the skies spilled over to earth.
Turns out that the two share a stormy history. He is an artist who first saw her during a drizzle and fell in love, instantly, like he just caught a cold. She’s some sort of a lonely activist who specialises in sporting plunging necklines drenched in bad make-up. Soon, he showers her with affection, gives her the serial-kissing treatment, and to cut a long story short, they move in, and slowly, their relationship fizzles out simply because he isn’t inspired enough to paint.
Tired of being given the wet blanket, she cries buckets… Seeing her teary-eyed disturbingly inspires him to put paint to canvas, but then again, he’s not able to find buyers who understand and appreciate art.
Filmmaker Kunal floods the frames with his mission statement of painting realistic art for the common man, and rains abuses on the pseudo-intellectual art-loving buyer who wants him to make changes to suit her taste. Yes, we get the drift.
The film keeps cutting back to the present when we see the ex-lovers caught in the torrential downpour — the metaphor for the deluge of emotions that comes gushing back after years of separation. Only that the transition between the past and the present is, well, not that fluid.
The disaster-film moments seem like an afterthought, a marketing gimmick employed by the makers, who probably developed cold-feet after realising that most of the film is in the inconsequential never-ending flashback that’s doomed to end with an inevitable break-up.
What works in Tum Mile are those little details of the unlikely romance between the dreamy artist and the pragmatic working girl, but all that’s effective there gets diluted every time they cut back to the present, and we find these characters wading cluelessly through the waters. While Mumbaiites may get nostalgic about the day when their city broke down and submerged, the rest of us may find some scenes even unbelievable.
This watered down disaster-movie then kills off the only other character well-etched out in the film quite unconvincingly and abruptly, hoping for realism, but this only ends up looking like a corny ruse from Final Destination 9.
To their credit, Emraan and Soha try very hard, and as much as they have immersed themselves completely and unconditionally in this unnecessarily water-logged film delivering their best performances till date, there’s very little they can do to prevent Tum Mile from becoming a complete washout.
Catch it on TV on a rainy day.
Director: Kunal Deshmukh
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Soha Ali Khan, Mumbai Rains
Storyline: Ex-lovers unite as Mumbai drowns
Bottomline: Not the kind of “disaster” film we thought it was