Friday, July 16, 2010


Milenge Milenge

It doesn’t seem so long ago, but there was life without Google and Facebook. There were also typically silly Bollywood films, where a girl could fall love with a boy, propose to him (“I want to grow old with you”) without even knowing his full name. That was the time, when actors and actresses weren’t ‘styled’ within an inch of glossy perfection. But there was still an innocence to those films, which you can’t find in today’s paint-by-number, made-for-NRIs movies.

Satish Kaushik’s Milenge Milenge, merrily ripped off charming Hollywood romance Serendipity, with no threat of a lawsuit, has been in the making for about five years-- started when its lead pair Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor were dating in real life. But when you see the garish and clunky film, you realize with a little shock that our films have altered beyond recognition in the interim; not so much in content, much of which is still ripped of foreign movies, but in the look. Everything and everybody now looks sleek and stylish.

If Kareena saw her own bleached blond hair and awful costumes today, she would sink into the seat in mortification; so would Shahid if he saw how gauche he looked and how badly he acted.

Priya (Kareena Kapoor) and Immy (Shahid Kapoor) meet in Bangkok, and she falls in love believing in a clairvoyant’s prediction that he’s the one for her. He pretends to be the ‘One’ by reading her diary and doing whatever she likes. She finds out, is heartbroken and deals with his pleas that they are destined for each other by writing his number on a currency note and her own on a book, and casting them away. If they are destined to meet, she says coldly, they will come across each other’s numbers. (Odd that in Delhi she is not harassed by crank calls!)

Three years later, both are engaged to other people and on the verge of getting married, but realize with a sudden jolt that they ought to have given destiny a hand and looked for their soul mate. Today, it would be a matter of searching on the net but back then, it involves a tedious (for then and for us) process of tracking each other down, using the inadequate bits of information they have—and she doesn’t even know his real name.

So, through most of the post-interval part of the film, the two don’t meet. He accompanied by a weird-looking friend scours the market for the book; and she, with her friend in tow, goes hunting for him. There are the usual close brushes meant to create dramatic tension, when they almost meet, but of course, that has to wait till the last scene.

If the film had better music, a less ridiculous supporting cast, a bit more humour, some more drama, it could still have worked, despite being so dated. Now you just see it and marvel how much Kareena and Shahid have changed.


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