Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Yami Gautam, Urvashi Rautela, Rishi Kapoor
Director: Divya Khosla Kumar
Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in: With a dialogue from Godfather 3, of all things!
Before you ask us what has a Godfather dialogue got to do with Sanam Re, here’s the answer. Bollywood still makes films based on concepts borrowed from the early ‘90s when we expect them to come up with something more 2016. Also, there are many scenes in Sanam Re that seem as forced as this Michael Corleone dialogue in this review.
You must have heard of Tanakpur. Yes, that snow-clad Uttarakhand town your friend went for vacations last winter. It all starts there, when Aakash (Pulkit Samrat) and Shruti (Yami Gautam) are still kids. As destiny planned, they fall in love with each other. Cliched, did you just say? Wait, there’s more. As expected, they choose separate paths, but destiny decides this is not how they’re supposed to live their lives. What do we believe in: Love or luck or both? Can love happen twice, or with another person? You know the usual questions.
Let’s give credit to Divya Khosla Kumar for beginning the story on a picturesque note. You marvel the scenic locales alongside searching for intense love, but the slow-paced office humour, chiefly driven by Manoj Joshi, denies you the solace you crave for. And, yes, his English is poor and that means he’ll keep referring to Shakespeare as Shaaaxxxpeer. Of course, you’re supposed to laugh.
Thankfully, Pulkit Samrat understands the value of subdued acting and steps away from being a part of the trademark Bollywood hamming. After a long time, we get a glimpse of the actor we first appreciated in 2012 film Bittoo Boss. But, he is not the only one in the film.
The director has given clear pointers to her actors. Pulkit needs to look a confused guy, Yami should be the innocent mountain beauty. But then, what’ll Urvashi Rautela do in this set-up? Ok, let’s make her gyrate on beaches and bathrooms. Who will enhance the hotness quotient otherwise? Nothing wrong in executing all this, but haven’t we lost that beautiful story we started with in this chaos?
Superbly backed up by its music, Sanam Re shows potential in patches. Pulkit has been given a clichéd yet nuanced role, but you can’t sustain the momentum unless other characters too pitch in. The actors have been made to do some really silly things. For instance, Pulkit and Yami are supposed to look like senior secondary kids who talk in weird lingo. You simply fail to realize the ‘aww’ factor in it. Ironically, the background score keeps reminding you of Tum Bin and that puts even more spotlight on the lack of intensity in Sanam Re.
Watch: Pulkit Samrat, Yami Gautam in Sanam Re trailer
This one has ingredients, but they’re not mixed in the right amount. Too much fascination with ‘glamour’ restricts it from becoming a satisfactory cinematic version of Nicholas Sparks’ novels.
To be fair with the team of Sanam Re, it’s not a bad watch. It’s not a great watch either. The film starts off on a promising note, but soon goes off the track. However, it could still be your Valentine’s movie. We know how desperately you need it!
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha)