Watching EMAET is like ordering a dish from a restaurant menu based on the glowing description and the fancy ingredients, and then finding out they forgot the salt.
The not-rom-com about a stuffed shirt and the free-spirited girl who loosens him up tries very, very hard to please. Debutant director Shakun Batra assembles his ingredients and creates a recipe in textbook fashion –
– Get experience in successful contemporary Bollywood movies like Jaane Tu.. (second assistant director) and Rock On (first assistant director)
– Put together an A-list cast (Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor) that has never been paired before
– Get the mighty budget and avuncular blessing of Dharma Productions (Karan Johar’s studio)
– Pick up-and-coming composer Amit Trivedi (Dev D, Wake Up Sid) to compose the film’s score
– Co-write a light and fluffy popcorn plot that is squarely aimed at the multiplex metrosexual crowd.
If following a recipe was that easy, I guess we would all be Julia Childs by now.
It’s not that the movie is bad, it’s just blah. The script just doesn’t have good lines in it, and Imran’s tortured Hindi diction just keeps reminding you that people in Mumbai speak (and THINK) primarily in English these days – the dialogues feel translated. Kareena’s role is identical, just a shade underacted (mercifully,) from her Geet character in Jab We Met. As other reviewers have commented, the lead pair has no chemistry, but this may have been deliberate (as you will see if you stick around to the end of the movie). The songs are hummable, but Amit Trivedi’s serious musical chops have been defanged and blandified by the power of THE BIG BUCKS. Listening to “Gubbare,” it is hard to believe this pleasant pap (yes, that’s spelt right) was the offspring of the same man who composed the powerful and defiant “Pardesi.”
And why Las Vegas? The thrumming city with its one-armed bandits, smoke-filled gambling rooms, and sordid underbelly is completely whitewashed into a G-rated yuppie heaven with carnival rides complete with stuffed toys and popcorn, and wide roads leading to scenic vistas. What the heck? If unsuspecting parents take their bachchas to LV for a nice family vacation after watching EMAET, they can bill the movie makers for the resultant therapy needs. If a quickie marriage had to be contrived, surely there were other ways to go about it than set the movie in a city where everybody feels out of place. When the movie shifts to Mumbai post interval, it perks right up, as if it has come back home from a vacation that didn’t go well. (And how would it, since we went to Las Vegas, and all we got for it was an animal hat?) The writers throw the “sex” word around a few times to show how grown-up they are, but you can sense their heart isn’t in it – this is, in fact, a family movie and parents can easily deflect any awkward questions that may arise.
If you must watch this movie, wait for the DVD..you’ll feel a lot less cheated if you pay 2 bucks instead of 40 for the same dish, even though it is cold.