Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tum Mile

Let's Get Out of this Mess

I had thought I was consciously going from one disaster flick to another, from the latest that Hollywood has to offer, to what Bollywood has on its plate. The trailer would have suggested that it's in line with Hanuedae with copious amounts of flood waters wrecking havoc on the man on the street, but this was actually quite the disastrous picture in itself.

It's a romance story, with little time devoted to its gimmicky backdrop with the 2005 Mumbai flooding. Unlike similar plot devices in various disaster films, this one could have done away with its gimmick, but what would remain is an uninspired piece of romantic drama that neither sizzles nor touches, but contains every conceivable cliché offered by any mediocre television drama. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, they fight and we find out whether they reconcile under a heavy downpour. Making things worst is that the characters have absolutely no chemistry, and you'd be rooting for them to stay apart since staying together had proven to be difficult.

Emraan Hashmi continues to play the artist type as Akshay the painter (he was also a painter in Raaz: the Mystery Continues), who thinks the world of himself and refuses to compromise his art nor to eat the humble pie. He falls for rich girl Sanjana (Soha Ali Khan) and they decide to move in together in a swanky Cape Town apartment. Being without of a regular job, we know who will ultimately be forking out dough for bills, and this damages his big male ego. Multiple fights ensues, they split, and meet again some 6 years later, where the film began, aboard a business class section of the airline. Yep, ego boy finally made good, and is contemplating against his ego how to woo his lady love back, except that this time the heavens so wish to rain on his parade.

The narrative gets told in flashbacks, which I thought the backstory would be over and done with by the time the intermission rolls along. Unfortunately not, as it continued to plod on. The story by Ankur Tewari failed to realize how to cut its losses once the appeal of the lovebirds no longer hold, and the focus could have been on how damaging the disaster is, no thanks to inept, lazy and incompetent staff at a meteorological station who seemed more concerned with who's making money from the in-house gambling table. Then again, perhaps the lack of a fat budget had prevented that aspect from taking place,and what resulted in were a couple of CG wide shots of the city drenched, and a couple of archived newsreels to tell you just how bad the situation is.

For a set action sequence – check this – we have a bus turning slowly to its side in a manner which defies the laws of physics, just because a tree branch had punctured one of its windows, and it seemed like the end of the world for all on board, who had so far been mulling around just waiting for the rain, and the flood waters to stop and recede, which the latter did so under miraculous circumstances actually. And what about the inexplicable rush of a towering body of water into a building floor which is higher than what the level of water on the streets is currently, just to see capture sheer horror from the faces of our lead characters? And to top if off, some melodramatic moments you see coming from a mile with regards to water, and power cables.

For what it's worth, Tum Mile could have been a wonderful comedy, but it decided to focus on the insipid relationship between two uninteresting couples in their tiffs and attempts at reconciliation. The result? A total washout.

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