Saw U Me Aur Hum (2008) this past weekend. Starring Ajay Devgan and Kajol, and familiar faces including Divya Dutta (she's underrated, I tell you), produced and directed by Ajay Devgan (his first), and with music by Vishal Bharadwaj. The film was more interesting than I expected, and Ajay and Kajol were the biggest reasons why. Since this movie is relatively new, I'll stick to some highlights without revealing too much of the plot (well, at least not the most important bits). You might want to play this tune as you read along:
2. Ajay (Ajay Devgan) -- a doctor -- was aboard a cruise and partying one night when he saw Piya (Kajol) -- a waitress -- and fell head over heels in love with her. Very believable, only because it's the stunningly beautiful Kajol, who any sane single guy would easily fall in love with.
3. There was a good build-up to the catchy song Dil Dhakda Hai (not mis-spelled) by Adnan Sami Khan, Shreya Ghosal and Sunidhi Chauhan (promo at this link), but the final product was not my favorite. Let's just say this: if I wanted to see fit (and often pretty) women bouncing around in bikinis, I'd watch beach volleyball at the Olympics ;)
4. Of course, Ajay pursued Piya. She refused to heed his calls for attention, but eventually gave in given everything he did led her to believe they were compatible. Compatibility (I prefer the term 'strategic alignment'), like Divya Dutta, is underrated, so I liked where this was headed.
5. A song with an obvious and good Latin vibe, Jee Le was timed and used well. Singers Adnan Sami and Shreya Ghosal were fantastic again. And I've given up on a song in a Hindi film with Spanish lyrics not having the word 'amor' -- I guess that would be as singular as a Hindi film not having a song!
6. Piya overcame her reservations and married Ajay. The question was...would they be happy together? For the answer, watch U Me Aur Hum. I think it does well in engaging hum (the audience) too.
7. If you're a fan of placements of old songs in new films, you'll enjoy several bits. There's Saara Zamaana, Aate Jaate Khubsoorat, and my favorite in this case, Chalte Chalte (from Pakeezah) which is one of the best placements of a classic in contemporary cinema in quite a while. Kajol singing bits of the song was a lot of fun to be involved in.
8. The dialogue was a definite highlight. Part of Ajay's profession required him to be good with words, and his articulation of about every situation imaginable shone throughout the film. Here are a couple of examples: a) Ek sach ki umar sau jhoot se zyaada hoti hai (the life of one bit of truth is greater than that of a hundred lies); and b) Jaise pyaar ko paane ke liye junoon zaroori hota hai, waise pyaar ko nibhaane ke liye bhi junoon zaroori hota hai (fulfilling love requires intensity, just like earning love does).
9. The songs combined for a good overall effect. The title song (in player above) was excellent and fit perfectly with the vibe of the film. It was used with the opening credits, and set the tone and pace for the rest. When the line 'Apne rang ganwaaye bin, mere rang me ghul jaa' (blend in with my colors without sacrificing yours) was used, I was reminded of two things: a) A certain song by the Spice Girls that spoke of unity in romantic love, and b) A chameleon. Would you believe we we were taken very close to one of these in the film?!
Saiyyaan left some to be desired, if only because the lyrics weren't consistent with the film's proceedings. For example, there was a sentence that accused (in jest) Ajay of spending more time with the TV than with his biwi (wife). That's great, except that there wasn't one scene with Ajay watching television throughout the film. The flow wasn't seamless. This applied to at least one more song.
10. The art direction was very good. My only complaints were negligible: a) It's 7 a.m. when our lovebirds meet daily, and there was not one soul (okay, maybe just one) around on the front deck? Really?
/** MAJOR SPOILER
b) Piya had Alzheimer's, and the care facility she was sent to looked like something from the Jetsons. Still, it had its strong points, like the capturing of this ambiance:
END MAJOR SPOILER**/
c) The color palettes (with shades of blue and white more prominent than the rest) were spectacular. Add Kajol to the mix, and it's an unbelievably delightful film canvas.
11. The supporting cast was up to the task. Everyone (especially Ms. Dutta) did well.
12. The biggest strength of the movie was, as expected and without a doubt, the Ajay-Kajol pairing. It might be other celebrity couples that get the press, but I doubt there's a better on-screen pairing of a real-life couple than Ajay and Kajol. They must truly be absolutely in love to not need to act the part. Or maybe they're just actors par excellence (I think for Kajol at least, it's both). They were in fine form here. Kajol acted her part brilliantly, and the second half catered to Ajay Devgan's strengths.
13. The film was not without flaws. The pace with which the plot unraveled required patience (filmmakers would argue that it was required to suck in the viewers, which would be a fair response). Some comedy was of the pedestrian variety. These moments were so few and far between, one couldn't help but wonder why they were used to begin with. Not sure the film identified its target audience very well. The jokes (some good, others not quite), the marketing, and the title, suggested one target audience, and the plot (and the majority of the people involved in it), another. That could work well in some situations, I just didn't think it did here. Had they done better in developing this, the film might have done much, much better at the box office, for it certainly was a good filmy product.
14. I wished they had not deliberately mis-spelled the 'U' in the title. Then I saw this on the eBay home page last night. I rest my case :)
15. Anyone read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough?
Overall, it's still a very good film that deserves to be seen at least once. The integration of the music, the pace of the film, and some humor that didn't do much for me, are easy to overlook if one buys into the plot -- that's where Kajol and Ajay are effective. If you are comfortable watching uncredited inspirations (yet again) from a Hollywood flick, definitely give U Me Aur Hum a shot. And while you're at it, keep a handkerchief handy.
Movie rating: 3.5/5 (Very good!)
My classification: PG-13
Music rating: 3/5 (good)
Official website (and picture source): http://umeaurhum.erosentertainment.com/