By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Aamir Khan has raised the bar with TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. Comparisons between Aamir and Ajay Devgan, who makes his directorial debut with U ME AUR HUM, would be erroneous, but you can't turn a blind eye to the fact that the viewer would expect an encore with U ME AUR HUM. Will U ME AUR HUM live up to the humungous hype and expectations? Does Devgan have the trappings of a fine storyteller? Oh yes, he does!
Let's come to the point right away. Devgan needs to be lauded for choosing a daringly different theme in his debut film and most importantly, doing justice to it, handling it with extreme care. We know him as a powerful actor, now there's yet another designation added to his name -- avant-garde director.
Let's move on to the next query! Is the real-life couple -- Ajay and Kajol -- as dynamic yet again? The answer is, they're electrifying. Both pitch in bravura performances, reaffirming the fact that this jodi is amongst the finest of this generation.
One of the prime reasons why U ME AUR HUM works, and works big time, is because it's aimed at the heart. Anyone who's into relationships, anyone who believes in love, anyone who thinks from the heart, anyone who has watched his/her partner grapple a grave disease, will identify with a film like U ME AUR HUM.
To cut a long story short, U ME AUR HUM marks the birth of a powerhouse of talent. Watch U ME AUR HUM for various reasons, but most importantly, watch it for a new director who respects your 2.30 hours and the hard-earned bucks that you invest on watching his movie. It's time to fall in love with love… again!
The first time Ajay [Ajay Devgan] saw Pia [Kajol], she served him drinks. She affected him more than the alcohol, it was love at first sight. The first time Pia saw Ajay, he had a drink too many. She watched him make a fool of himself and was relieved when he passed out.
Ajay is on a cruise with his friends -- Nikhil [Sumeet Raghavan] and Reena [Divya Dutta], unhappily married, and Vicky [Karan Khanna] and Natasha [Isha Sharwani], happily unmarried. Ajay is having a wonderful time dealing with martial strife, lots of bad language and huge hangovers, when he finds Pia and time stands still.
After a disastrous first meeting, Ajay tries everything to woo her. He wants her, by hook, crook or even her little private notebook. She's not an easy catch at all, but finally, by sheer perseverance, he dances his way into her heart. Ajay and Pia develop a strong and special bond.
Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry. And Ajay-Pia love each other dearly, but no marriages can be complete without problems, and Ajay and Pia have also have to face hurdles. Kajol is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. How does the couple face the crisis?
The one thing you must carry when you set out to watch U ME AUR HUM is a kerchief. For, this film makes you shed a tear at times, cry at places and weep in at least two vital sequences. But it's not just rona-dhona that you get to see in U ME AUR HUM.
The first hour, strictly average in terms of writing, has several sunshine moments. It's breezy, funny, at times silly, but interesting. What also catches your eye is the eye-filling cinematography [Aseem Bajaj in top form, yet again] on the cruise. The songs, the glam look, the subtle humor… you don't take to the film instantly, but you know for a fact that a volcano is brewing.
And the volcano does erupt in the second hour! Ajay Devgan, the director, shows his expertise in this hour as the story does an about-turn, exposing the delicate, sensitive and fragile relationships. Devgan reserves the best for the concluding reels and you finally get the answers in the end.
U ME AUR HUM is more of a director's film, than anyone else's. A theme like the one projected in this film could go dangerously haywire if entrusted in inept hands, but Devgan seems to have done his homework well. The only glitch is the length in its second hour. A shorter narrative would've only helped!
Robin Bhatt, Sutanu Gupta and Akarsh Khurana's screenplay casts a hypnotic spell in the second hour. Sure, the germ stems from THE NOTEBOOK [2004; James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Rachel McAdams], but the writers have altered the screenplay keeping Indian sensibilities in mind. It works! Ashwani Dhir's dialogues touch the core of your heart. Every spoken sentence has a meaning. Vishal Bhardwaj's music may not be a chartbuster, but it alternates between soulful and melancholic beautifully. Aseem Bajaj's cinematography is topnotch. Monty Sharma's background score is effective.
Now to the performances! U ME AUR HUM is like a medal that glimmers on Ajay Devgan's body of work. He's exceptional! Kajol, well, what can you say of an actress who has proved herself time and again? That she's undoubtedly the best has been proved yet again. Sumeet Raghavan is first-rate. Divya Dutta gets into the groove in the subsequent portions. Karan Khanna and Isha Sharwani are okay. Sachin Khedekar does a fine job. Aditya Rajput and Hazel get minimal scope.
On the whole, U ME AUR HUM is a well-made, absorbing love story that's high on the emotional quotient. And that holds tremendous appeal for ladies/families mainly. At the box-office, it's the kind of film that will gather more and more speed with each passing show. Its business at multiplexes should be fantastic. Overseas too should be excellent. Very strongly recommended!
Bollywood.com Rating: 4