Romantic comedies and romance dramas have come to be the hallmark genre of Hindi cinema. With time, interesting facets and sub-genres have made this previously one-dimensional, formulaic genre vivid and colorful. Movies like 'Rockstar', 'Ek Main aur Ekk Tu' and 'Love Aaj Kal' are those that come to mind on instant recall due to their impact value and screenplay. Of course, attempts to be different are consistent and regular, what with Rose Movies' last 'London Paris New York' helmed by debutante Anu Menon and starring Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari being one of them. While the whole of that film looked heavily borrowed from Richard Linklater's 'Before' franchise, it did manage to make for a fun watch for the characterization, performances and narrative. And with Rose Movie's Goldie Behl coming back for his second solo production with another romantic comedy, one's interest is piqued alright.
So meet the narcissistic Ishaan (John Abraham), who lives with his girlfriend Anushka (Chitrangada Singh), has arrogance all over him, and is a music producer. Obviously his nature pisses Anushka, they break up, and he moves out. This is where he meets Gauri (Prachi Desai) and she teaches him life's good lessons. All's well until – as the viewers will expect – some complications arise and he has to find himself on the crossroads of life, forcing him to make a decision.
Debutant director Kapil Sharma takes over an interesting concept featuring vivid colors of coming-of-age romance with dynamic brushstrokes that sounds fantastic on paper. Devika Bhagat ('Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl', 'Bachna Ae Haseeno') writes quite a few smart moments that are usually executed well in other films she's worked in. Here, however, the director hasn't given any justice to more than three-quarters of the film. Sharma would probably need to strengthen his loose ends of executing material to get to giving the moments a more genuine emotion. Although of course, it's not entirely the director at fault here. Bhagat goes the clichd way for more than half of the film's moments and subplots. This hampers the overall flow and makes the film highly inconsistent. Also, the inclusion of songs at some really unnecessary points in time (and this author knows this is conventional Hindi cinema) disrupts any connect the viewer might be trying to get through the film. Case in point would be the 'Capuchino' number arriving bang in the start of the film, which is bound to make viewers have a lot of radical reactions between frowning and irritability at the film.
The climax of the film, however, ends on a masterstroke. But this is only appreciated if the viewer is able to travel through an extremely muddled screenplay.
Technically, the movie boasts of decent cinematography and camerawork, but it is the edit here that strips the film of any technical sheen it could have kept. Highly basic gimmickry and tacky transitions ruin the way the film looks, and an exclusion of these would have been the right thing to do. Julius Packiam's ('Ek Tha Tiger', 'Kabul Express') background score ranges from strong and emotionally involving to tacky and overtly conventional. Music is good, but most of them don't fit into the narrative, except for two exceptionally strong numbers 'Saajna' (Falak Shabbir) and 'Darbadar' (Sachin-Jigar; 'ABCD', 'FALTU').
Performance-wise, John Abraham fortunately holds the film together. Whilst he mainly sticks to overacting and underacting in the first half, he attempts a genuine push in the second that makes him come on his own. Prachi Desai disappoints heavily. While one expects her to perform the part of the perky girl-next-door girl perfectly, she does a 180-degree turn by overdosing on perkiness. This makes her character look inherently unnatural and highly annoying. Chitrangada Singh is a winner here. She tries hard to get through some really cheesy dialogue with dignity, thereby giving herself a more sensitive second half with a better character arc to play. Zarina Wahab performs the role of a doting mother to the T. Mini Mathur is genuinely fun to watch. Raima Sen is yet another disappointment in the film. Others are alright.
Overall, 'I, Me aur Main' is an average attempt at a coming-of-age/romance spin-off where movies like 'Lakshya' and 'Wake Up Sid' excelled highly using these very elements. Although it boasts of one of the more mature climaxes in Hindi cinema, how this writer wishes the rest of the movie went on a similar path. If you're going to end up at the cinemas and you're watching the movie anyway, you'll sit through it. It is, however, avoidable enough as it is. It you want to watch the film anyway, have patience; rent the DVD if you may. Or watch 'Kai Po Che' for all that matters while it's out!