By Subhash K. Jha
Film: "Tum Milo Toh Sahi"; Cast: Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia, Suniel Shetty, Vidya Malvade, Rehan Khan, Anjana Sukhani; Director: Kabir Sadanand; Rating: ** 1/2
Just for the pleasure of watching Nana Patekar and Dimple Kapadia together, this quaint and sincere look at love across three generations is well worth a 'dekko'.
Dimple, exuding a warmth that pervades the screen, plays a feisty Parsi woman who isn't deterred let alone defeated by attempts to dismantle her dream, namely a strategic cafe where Mumbai-wallahs meet like they still do in cafes all over Kolkata for a bit of a brainy pow-wow and buttery pao.
It all adds up. The feisty Parsi lady and the cranky sullen unhappy-with-life lawyer (Nana Patekar) who helps her keep her property and not-so-promptly falls in love with the lady.
You get the picture?
Rajen Makhijani, Sameer Siddiqui and Kabir Sadanand's screenplay cruises the realm of the known but still provides elements of freshness in the way the predictable characters are framed and photographed. Pushan Kriplani, director of photography, adds an afterglow to the already seen characters' lives. You could feel the characters' feelings, if you care.
There are three sets of people falling in and out of love, stumbling along that path to mutual fufilment strewn with roses and thorns. This is a film that finally exudes the scent and strength of goodness. The Dimple-Nana relationship is endearing in its nostalgic references. Both are in splendid form.
The next generation's angst is represented by Suniel Shetty, who is restrained in a quiet but forcible way, and the surprise-packet Vidya Malvade.
Sadanand gives all his principal actors room to blossom. And that includes the third generation pair Rehaan Khan and Anjana Sukhani who are just discovering life and love. The couple is fresh, eager and raring to articulate their inner world.
The storytelling is moody and leisurely, like a stroll down a beachside on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The narrative has no sharp dips and curves. But director Kabir Sadanand is able to hold all his characters together, giving them a life and sustenance that takes them beyond stereotypes but not far enough to make them memorable creatures of the romantic zone.
Everyone from every generation wants a piece of that shimmering sky where love is more than just a Valentine's Day slogan. "Tum Milo Toh Sahi" is not as sharp in its sensitivities on love as could have been. 'Lekin tum dekho to sahi'.