The actors are effortlessly attractive and relentlessly charming in their first outing together, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu
Garry Marshall, director of the blockbuster Pretty Woman, once said that in romantic comedy, ‘you don’t cast actors, you cast chemistry’. Shakun Batra, co-writer and director of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, gets that. He pairs Kareena Kapoor with Imran Khan (the media has consistently spotlighted the fact that she is older – ironic considering that the Khan trinity is now working with girls 20 years younger but an older heroine puts everyone in a tizzy). The two are effortlessly attractive and relentlessly charming. He is sweet. She is saucy. Together they share an easy camaraderie that doesn’t sag even when the film does.Batra also takes a routine story – strangers get drunk and marry in Las Vegas – that has been done in films like What Happens in Vegas and television shows like Friends and imbues it with just enough off-kilter moments and characters to make it interesting. So Rahul Kapoor, played by Imran, is saddled with hideously upmarket and upwardly mobile parents while Riana Braganza, played by Kareena, has a father who casually asks if they’ve had sex. It’s fun stuff and Batra, along with writer Ayesha Devitre, keeps the dialogue fresh.
What doesn’t work as well is the pacing and songs (music by Amit Trivedi), which are breezy, especially Aunty ji, but too frequent. The film does seem hung-over with the ghosts of rom-coms past. The Las Vegas skyline, nicely styled clothes and Rahul’s gorgeous apartment all echo producer Karan Johar’s oeuvre of NRI fantasies. But thankfully, just as proceedings start to feel stale, Batra shifts them to India and introduces us to a host of new characters and one nicely done climactic dinner party in which the thunder is stolen by chopsticks.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu isn’t crackling entertainment but it succeeds as an amiable, pleasant diversion. I recommend that you catch it.
The author tweets at @anupamachopra