Haihoi rating: 1 / 5 stars (One star)
Star cast: Prateik, Amy Jackson, Manu Rishi.
What's Good: A few light scenes; the Hosanna song.
What's Bad: The routine story; the weak screenplay; lack of feeling of empathy for the two lead characters.
Verdict: Ekk Deewana Tha will go largely unnoticed by the audience.
Loo break: Several in the post-interval portion.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the Hosanna song.
Fox Star Studios, Photon Kathas Production and R.S. Infotainment Pvt. Ltd.'s Ekk Deewana Tha (UA) is a love story. Remake of the Tamil hit, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, it is about a Maharashtrian Brahmin boy, Sachin Kulkarni (Prateik), and a Malayali Christian girl, Jessie (Amy Jackson). Sachin is an engineering graduate who wants to become a film director. Jessie's family is very orthodox and watching movies or dating are considered taboo in the family. They both live in Bombay.
Sachin falls head over heels in love with Jessie the moment he sees her. He tries to woo her but Jessie, aware of her strict father and brother's stand on matters of love and romance, does not really respond. However, slowly but surely, Sachin succeeds in striking up friendship with Jessie. Soon, he expresses his love to her and even proposes marriage. This infuriates Jessie for which Sachin apologises to her even if that means going all the way to Kerala where Jessie has gone to meet her grandmother. Jessie forgives him and the two start meeting once again in Bombay. Of course, Sachin still loves her whereas Jessie treats him as a good friend.
Sachin gets the shock of his life when one day, Jessie tells him that she is going to Kerala with her family to get married to the boy her father had selected for her. Unable to control his feelings for her, Sachin reaches Kerala alongwith his cameraman-friend, Anay (Manu Rishi), who is also his confidant. To his utter surprise, Jessie refuses to get married to the boy and says as much to the priest in the church.
By now aware of the friendship between Jessie and Sachin, Jessie's brother, who has seen Sachin in the church, beats him up as he assumes that it is because of him that Jessie has called off the marriage. However, Jessie insists, Sachin is not the reason for her calling off the marriage and adds, she did not want to wed the boy selected by her father. However, within minutes, she confesses to Sachin that it is also because of him (Sachin) that she had cancelled her marriage. When Sachin asks her to marry him, she pleads with him to run away from there as otherwise, her brother would beat him up again.
Sachin leaves Kerala and gets an assistant director's job with filmmaker Ramesh Sippy. Even while he is shooting in an obscure place, Jessie telephones him one day from the airport and informs him that she was coming to meet him. But Sachin dissuades her, saying that the place was not good enough for her and that her presence there would make him feel awkward. Jessie is both, sad and angry. Sachin comes back to Bombay after a few days to meet Jessie but now, she tells him, it's all over and that he should forget her and stop meeting her. Sachin's pleas to her to reconsider her decision fall on deaf ears.
Time flies by. Sachin is given to understand that Jessie has gotten married. He busies himself in writing his own script based on his own love story. Meanwhile, a girl working in Ramesh Sippy's unit falls in love with Sachin. He casts her as the heroine of his film. The film is applauded when released.
What happens to Sachin and Jessie's love story? Do Sachin and Jessie meet? Is Jessie already married? Or did she not marry? What about Sachin's film heroine? Does he marry her? The last part of the film answers these questions.
It must be added here that the film has been made with two different endings.
Gautham Menon's story is the usual boy-meets-girl and hurdles-in-love story. The screenplay, also penned by Gautham Menon, is full of holes and doesn't involve the viewer. The love story is so half-baked that at no point of time does the audience feel empathy for the two lovers. Also, it is so slow and so long-drawn that the drama bores the viewer no end. But while these are basic problems with the screenplay, there are a number of flaws too. Jessie tells her father that Sachin is not the reason for the marriage being called off and, after barely a few minutes, she tells Sachin that he is also the reason for her calling off the marriage. This means, she lied to her father. This lie does not go too well with Jessie's characterisation. Sachin forces Jessie not to come to him in the obscure place he is shooting but this looks like a lame excuse to only elongate the drama. Any boy who loves his girlfriend the way Sachin loves Jessie would be overjoyed to receive his girlfriend and would never talk of a feeling of awkwardness the way Sachin does. Again, Jessie's sudden change of heart when Sachin comes from his shooting is unexplained. Has she fallen out of love because he did not allow her to travel to where he was shooting or was there some other reason? If it was because she was precluded from going to meet him, it is a silly reason to fall out of love ' as silly as Sachin asking her not to come to him. And if it is for some other reason, well, the audience needs to be told the reason. Actually, overall the love story looks so half-baked that one doesn't even feel sorry when the lovers face hurdles. And there are so many opportunities they lose that the audience actually gets irritated when they keep meeting and parting ways. Yet another major minus point is that Jessie has been shown to have the courage to call off her marriage right in the church but not the courage to tell her father and brother that she wants to marry Sachin. Somehow, this whole double-standards game doesn't ring true. What's more, if the romance doesn't gladden the heart, the emotions fail to touch the heart completely. Yes, a few scenes are fairly entertaining but they aren't enough.
Manu Rishi's dialogues are routine.
Prateik does well in some scenes but falls short of the demands of other scenes. He is suitably shy in the initial reels but he fails to deliver in the more dramatic ones. Amy Jackson looks fairly nice and makes an average debut. She is fair in some scenes and very ordinary in others. Manu Rishi is alright. More than his acting, it is the scenes which he has that are somewhat entertaining. Sachin Khedekar, Ramesh Sippy (as himself) and Samantha Ruth Prabhu lend ordinary support. Babu Anthony and Vikas Menon are okay.
Direction & Music:
Gautham Menon's direction is too ordinary to make an impact. His script is lacklustre and his narrative style fails to lift the drama to a level which can involve the viewer. A.R. Rahman's music is good but the hit or super-hit status is missing. The Hosanna song is already very popular and its picturisation (by Brinda) is quite eye-filling. The other songs are nice but that's not enough for a youthful love story. Other song picturisations are commonplace. Javed Akhtar's lyrics are appealing. Silva's action scenes are functional. Cinematography, by M.S. Prabhu, is good. Anthony's editing passes muster.
On the whole, Ekk Deewana Tha is a poor show devoid of entertainment value. It will fail at the ticket windows. Given its poor start, the film will go down in history as a non-starter.
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