Critics' verdict: EMAET is a must-watch
By Hindustan Times
Shakun Batra's Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is not a regular rom-com. It's not anything that you may have witnessed on the Bollywood screen earlier. Shakun Batra’s direction is mature. This doesn’t look like the debut attempt of a director although it is, say critics.
It's fresh and unconventional
"Intrinsically, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu may be a rom-com, but it's not anything that you may have witnessed on the Bollywood screen earlier. First-time director Shakun Batra brings with him a novel grammar of storytelling, which stresses more on tête-à-tête, while the camera captures those moments resplendently. Besides, Shakun doesn't rely on buffers like heavy-duty drama, earsplitting background score or props to augment a scene or move the narrative frontward. In short, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu doesn't take the conventional route. Neither is the plot humdrum, nor is the treatment unadventurous," writes Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.
"With only the faintest trace of the Hollywood hit, What Happens in Vegas (2008), Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu shows what first-rate direction and a cute but brave script can do to the done-to-death story of opposites getting attracted to each other. EMAET has heart, charm and an enviable lightness of being. And it certainly helps that the lead players are in fine form. Like quality wine, Kareena seems to improve with every passing year though you find shades of Geet (Jab We Met) in her part. And Imran brings just that right amount of balance to the difficult part of an uptight, gawky individual who evolves with every passing day. The movie is essentially his journey from boy to man. With its neon lights and flash, Las Vegas too is an important character adding to the film's mood and melody," says Avijit Ghosh, TOI.
"Shakun Batra's Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a coming-of-age film. Not for Kareena and Imran's characters, though, but for the industry and the audience. It's okay to say b-u-m without the beep. And talk sex among friends, without a beep. Admit it," writes Piyali Dasgupta, NDTV.
"Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu begins on a thin note, as it looks like a replica of Hollywood flick What Happens In Vegas, courtesy the accidental marriage aspect but, in due course the story takes a new turn. But, again, one can find traces of Jab We Met and Anjaana Anjaani in the screenplay which makes it quite conventional. The film however, is full of surprises post interval with various powerful moments which are quite mind-boggling. Watch out for the scene where Imran confronts his parents about his real feelings and later, seeks apology from Kareena which is complemented with an equally mesermerising act from actress’s end," Dainikbhaskar.com writes.
"EMAET is neither on the epic side like Dharma Productions' great, grand ancestors nor weighed down by an overload of pop culture references of those that define the genre. Instead the confection's appeal lies in its underplayed wit, quirky within plausibility protagonists and a refreshing disregard for conventional conclusions.
Almost like a big studio flick with an indie mindset. Almost," writes Sukanya Verma, Rediff.
Is it a Valentine's Day watch?
"For those who swear by sentimental movies and are die-hard fans of rom-coms, who fervently wish Valentine's Day is prolonged eternally, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is akin to an answer to this yearning. Rom-coms relaxing in the splendor of harmonious compositions, a creative and innovative take on present-day romance, pulsating images and timed during the Valentine week… aah, you can't ask for more!" Writes Adarsh.
"Shakun Batra’s direction is mature. This doesn’t look like the debut attempt of a director although it is. No doubt, Batra has made a film mainly for the city audiences but it is clear that he knowrs his job very well. His handling of the scenes mentioned in the portion above on well-scripted scenes is truly like that of a seasoned director. Amit Trivedi’s music is a plus point. Aunty Ji, Ek main hoon aur ek tu hai, Aahatein and Kar chalna shuru tu are all well-written (Amitabh Bhattacharya) and well-composed songs. The Gubbare song is also good. The Rehne de song (few lines in the film) is composed by Clinton. Picturisation of the Aunty Ji song (by Bosco Martis) is fabulous. His own dance in that song is just too superb. Kareena, Imran and the others have also danced very well. The picturisation of Ek main hoon aur ek tu hai and Gubbare songs is also good (choreography by Rajeev Surti). David Macdonald’s camerawork is excellent. Aasif Ali Shaikh’s editing is sharp. Production values are righ. Technically, a superior product," writes Komal Nahta, Koimoi.com.
"Director Shakun Batra shows rare deftness for a first-time filmmaker in Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (EMAET). It is full of honest, warm moments that - to their credit - work without the manipulation most directors resort to in films belonging to this genre. Instead, Batra relies on sharp dialogue, and some well-etched out characters. I’d go a step further and say that the film is the best you would have seen recently in the two genres it melds together - a romantic comedy and a coming-of-age-drama, something Wake Up Sid just about fell short of," writes Aniruddha Guha, DNA.
"Imran fits into the role of a stickler for precision smoothly. In fact, you'd expect Imran to be overshadowed by Kareena completely, in view of the fact that Kareena is a far more experienced actor and also because her character is feisty and livewire, but Imran manages to stand on his feet and delivers a delightful, likeable performance yet again. The outburst at the dinner table only goes to provide evidence to the fact of how wonderful an actor he has evolved into," writes Adarsh.
"The supporting cast comes up with impeccable performances. Boman Irani excels yet again. Ratna Pathak Shah is remarkable. Ram Kapoor is fantastic. Sonia Mehra is feisty in the cameo. The actor enacting the role of Kareena's father is first-rate," according to Adarsh.
"Imran Khan does an excellent job as the uptight son of dominating parents. He is superb in scenes showing him feeling awkward in the presence of his overbearing parents. His showdown scene at the dinner table is undoubtedly his best in the film. Kareena Kapoor is extraordinary. She underplays her bubbly character with such elan that one can’t but admire her. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Kareena has lived the role of Riana Braganza. She looks terrific. The too make for a lovely pair. The scene of misunderstanding between Rahul and Riana and the aftermath have been beautifully done by both, Imran and Kareena. Boman Irani is absolutely fabulous. His body language and facial expressions deserve distinction marks. Ratna Pathak Shah is just too lovely. Her acting makes her character so believable. Ram Kapoor lends admirable support. As his wife, Dena Lewis is first-rate. Nikhil Kapoor is endearing as Riana’s easy-going father. Zenobia Shroff is good as her mother. Manasi Scott and Mukul Chaddha provide the necessary support as Riana’s sister and brother-in-law. Rajesh Khattar, Preeti (as his wife) and Zeus (as his son) lend admirable support. Sonia Mehra is alright. Others do as required," says Nahta.
"Imran is tailor made for this role. I read somewhere how he harbored a secret crush on Kareena for the longest time. No wonder the gleam in his eyes when he gazes into hers screams fan boy. Sweet thrills aside, his Rahul is a self-effacing underachiever and Imran's puny physique, stiff body language and understated hesitation score adequately," says Sukanya Verma, Rediff.
"But EMAET really works for its two lead stars - Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. I am astonished at how good Khan is in a role that seems tailor-made for him; you can’t imagine another actor in the role. He was lovable in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, only because there too he fit the character to the T. After some terrible performances in Kidnap and Luck, Khan has been mostly patchy in rom-coms like I Hate Luv Storys and Break Ke Baad. In EMAET, though, he hits all the right notes, the credit for which largely goes to Batra and co-writer Ayesha Devitre. He’s a limited actor, but the film shows that his chocolate boy, innocent looks and an honest approach to his roles can be used to good effect if the director knows his job," says Guha.
"Kareena, of course, is the lifeline of the film. Ravishingly beautiful, lovable and zestful, Kareena finally gets a role to sink her teeth into after playing doll to the Khans in films like Bodyguard and RA.One. The role has traces of Geet from Jab We Met, but Riana is a wilder, yet softer character. The two lead actors hold the film together with their wit and charm, their chemistry sparkling, especially in the supremely enjoyable ‘Auntyji’ song. Amit Trivedi gives another great score that works well for the film," adds Guha.
Rohit Vats, IBNLive.com reviews the film in a series of tweets, "When will Dharma productions stop using names like Rahul and Breganza? #Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu"
"Now is the time for a dramatic change in his life. And here comes Kareena Kapoor with a bang... @kjohar25"
"Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah playing Imran's parents. Imran is a 25 year old mama's boy. #Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu @bomanirani @kjohar25"
"A good ensembled cast has come up with a fine performance in the beginning...#Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu"
"On the whole, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is a slick, breezy and pleasant fare that should click with its target audience -- the youth -- and also has the potential to woo the older spectators as well. This take on love is refined, smart, lively and thoroughly pleasing thanks to its characters, conversations and the inherent humor. A perfect date movie. A film stuffed with exquisite moments that are sure to bring a wide smile on your face. Simply put, you cannot afford to miss Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Just go for it!" concludes Adarsh.
"On the whole, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu is an entertaining and enjoyable fare for the city audience. Its business in multiplexes will be decent. Given its total investment of around Rs. 35-36 crore and given that it can easily recover around 60-65% of that from satellite, audio and home video, recovery of the balance 35-40% from India and Overaseas theatrical business is something which will be accomplished in the first week itself. It will, therefore, prove to be a comfortable earner," concludes Nahta.
"EMAET is the sweetest heartbreak that Bollywood has conjured in a long, long time. It works both as a college buddy movie and a date movie; for the young and the not-so-young. You can even watch it alone. And if a gorgeous girl asks you for a drink, go ahead, take a chance. As Rahul will tell you, it will be worth every second of your life," says Avijit Ghosh.