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It's Gonna Be Me

  • Nikhil Arora

    Nikhil Arora (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - March 23, 2014 4:41 AM IST
    3.4DM (1286 ratings)

    Verdict - I Me Aur Main is a progressive (anti)romantic comedy

    I Me Aur MainWatch trailerRelease date : March 01, 2013

    I, Me Aur Main is a surprisingly good film. On several occasions, it goes towards clichxe9s, gets a good look around, shrugs its shoulders and then takes a different path. This is an urban film with characters living in the big city; their conflicts arise from their own misgivings instead of fate or an external character being the villain. As the bad title suggests, the film is about a selfish individual. What the title doesn't tell you is that it is actually a film about a man and his relationships with the women in his life - girlfriends, mother, sister, colleagues etc. The best thing it doesn't tell you is that it looks like a romantic comedy, but it isn't one.

    John Abraham is nowhere near one of my favorite things about acting but I didn't think he was bad here (which is a rarity). He takes the concept of a limited range to a whole new level but it's been long since I've seen him giving a crap about his character. No Smoking (2007) was probably the only other time. He plays Ishaan, a self-obsessed a**hole who is perfectly content being so. You need a skillful actor to overturn this description, probably a charmer like Ranbir Kapoor to pull it off, but John manages to not walk through the film like a zombie. Chitrangda Singh is the most good-looking woman in the industry today. Those looks sure deserve bigger roles but she does get a good character to portray. Prachi Desai plays the other woman in Ishaan's life who gives him a reality check. Better casting was required here but she is passable. There are three more women in the film - Zarina Wahab, Mini Mathur and Raima Sen. I'm not sure about Sen but the other two women are warm and fierce when they need to be.

    It's no surprise that this film would easily be written off as something nobody is keen to watch. Selfishness, ego and irresponsibility. Does anybody want to watch a lead character possess these qualities? We look at characters in movies and as soon as they do something we do, we start relating to the character. What about narcissism? Nobody wants to relate to that, it's the perfect recipe for throwing off your audience. Nobody wants to accept they are in the wrong. I'm glad filmmakers want to tackle such tricky territory, especially when the trick isn't political or social but deeply personal.

    Character development. These two words are thrown around to describe how much the audience gets to know the characters in movies, how they evolve. I quote Pulp Fiction here: a€oeJust because you are a character doesn't mean you have charactera€. The lead character in the film learns this the hard way. But is that what you want to watch? Not exactly entertainment, right? It is for me. More than anything I like the ideas the film projects to its audience, especially to the urban audience and the youth. If only these progressive elements could be identified and embraced by our audience.

    If the director had not intermittently decided to present the film in a semi-clichxe9d fashion this would have been a whole different ballgame. The mid-point of the film is marked by a revelation that makes everyone rethink their relationships. Whenever these words are spoken, the lower octave of the piano arrives to make it look more melodramatic. A better background score would have done wonders for this film. I can't blame Kapil Sharma much. For an hour or so, the film tries to find its footing. It ultimately finds it in the final act. Characters make believable, responsible decisions, something you rarely see on the Indian screens. They even know how to hold their hormones when they can't hold their drinks.

    I admire the effort of the writer, Devika Bhagat, who takes her time to make us care for the characters. I like to hang out with the characters instead of being informed who they are and the screenplay offers just that. It leaves off petty entertainment for some moments of genuine originality. I like the women in the film. They are strong-headed; they can fend for themselves and don't need to hold a man's finger to go walk ahead. Mostly, I'm glad the film doesn't stoop down to become a romantic comedy. It stays afloat to be a modest drama about a flawed character. Yes, it is about how he learns to take responsibility and accept his weaknesses but is also about *when* he chooses to accept them. The ending left a smile on my face. I was nodding in approval when the credits rolled, because I had seen something honest and noble. Also because I knew I had seen a good film. Indian cinema is indeed growing up, now it is entirely up to us to know *when* to receive it.

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