|The ApunKaChoice movie review of Ekk Deewana Tha. Old bottle, old wine, anyone! In an age where storytellers wrack their brains for innovative ways to tell a love story, director Gautham Menon chooses to plod down the beaten track and tell a story that’s been told countless times before.
Love at first sight, parental opposition, age difference and wavering sentiments are just some of the ingredients of the romantic genre that Gautham Menon lays out in this remake of his own films Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maaya Chesave (Telugu). And though the two south films were blockbusters, the Hindi version Ekk Deewana Tha starring Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson may not meet the same fate. And the reasons are aplenty. But first, a run through the film’s story.
Prateik Babbar plays Sachin, a typical middle-class Mumbaiite with a degree in engineering but a fascination for films. He falls head over heels in love with Jessie (Amy Jackson) at first sight of her. Then what? the usual boy stuff. Following her, waiting for her, approaching her and popping the proposal grudgingly. But there’s a catch. Jessie is from an orthodox Malayali Christian family. She’s an year older to Sachin. She has a father who doesn’t approve of Sachin. Worst, she has a bullying brother looking for an excuse to pick fights.
So as Sachin seeks romance, Jessie is happy sticking to just friendship. And even though Sachin’s dogged persuasion makes Jessie change her mind about an arranged marriage, she, thereafter, finds herself in a strange (strange for the viewers, that is) dilemma and breaks up with Sachin as well.
Jeez! Thereon, story keeps going on and on and on and on and every time you heave a sigh of relief and get up from the seat expecting the end credits to roll, you find that there’s a bit of film still left. Gautham Menon stretches the plot beyond the snapping point and squeezes in a good number of strictly average songs to add to a viewer’s frustration and impatience. Worst of all, one can’t really comprehend what’s all the drama about. The character of Jessie is more confused than a cat chasing its own tail. First, she’s stuck between Sachin and a hard place (read, her father). Then in the second half, she’s not even sure of her own feelings and you can’t help but feel sorry first for yourself for enduring this confusing drama and then for the poor chap Sachin, being played around like a yo-yo by a girl who doesn’t even know her own heart.
Thankfully, a little respite comes in the form of performances by Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson. There’s something about Prateik that makes him fit the role of a bashful, nervous lover and he does well as Sachin, save for the moments when he tries to dance. Ergo, he should join the dance classes pronto.
Amy Jackson is pretty, and in those lovely saris she does look like an Indian accidentally born a Brit. Her performance has raw edges no doubt but it’s not bad and definitely creditable for a first timer. From the sidelines, Manu Rishi adds a bit of humour.
Summing it up, Ek Deewana Tha has hardly anything going for it except the pretty smiles of Amy Jackson and the biceps of Prateik Babbar. The movie’s story is unconvincing, overlong and littered with more songs than you could buy the popcorn and cola for.
A Film Best Avoided.
Rating: 2 stars out of 5