Freshly cooked, piping hot food is savoured instantly. Similarly, a film that radiates freshness catches your eye instantaneously. Conversely, if a film takes a really long time to hit the screens, it generally doesn't find a place in your things-to-do-this-weekend list, unless the word of mouth is electrifying. MILENGE MILENGE suffers for this reason. Even the man on the street knows that it's a dated product!
The gap between the commencement of this film and its eventual release is quite substantial and that's pretty evident when you look at its promos. Especially the way the lead actors look. The camera doesn't lie, right? Perhaps, that's a prime reason why MILENGE MILENGE doesn't propel you to rush to a nearby cineplex and grab a seat, despite the fact that its lead stars are at the prime of their respective careers and enjoy a solid fan-base.
But never judge a book by its cover. Sure, you march into the film with zilch expectations, expecting a dated product with a hackneyed plotline, but as the reels begin to unspool, you realize that it does have a story to tell. So what if MILENGE MILENGE borrows from the John Cusack - Kate Beckinsale starrer SERENDIPITY . The Indianisation by writer Shiraz Ahmed is quite engaging at places.
The 'recipe' for that perfect love story is simple [at least that's what most film-makers believe]: Cast a good looking pair, choose a tried-and-tested story [read, make a mix of EK DUUJE KE LIYE, Q.S.Q.T., MAINE PYAAR KIYA, D.D.L.J., KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI], garnish it with sweet/cute/romantic/delightful situations, add a couple of energetic songs [at least two/three Hit songs are a must] and shoot the muvie at panaromic locales. Presto, prem kahani tayyar ho gayee!
But MILENGE MILENGE has 'kismet' keeping the lovers apart. Imagine a love story where the lovers have already expressed love for each other, but some force beyond their control gets in their way and keeps them apart till the end of the film. The script indulges in bringing its leads together, but also makes sure that they stay far away from each other till minutes before the film is about to conclude. Sure, this thought sounds interesting on paper, but there's a flipside to it. With Facebook, Twitter, Google and also cellphones at one's disposal, is it difficult to trace anyone in today's times? Naah, not anymore!
Final word? MILENGE MILENGE may be dated, but watch it for the chemistry between its lead pair. Perhaps, this JAB WE MET jodi may never team up ever again!
Immy [Shahid Kapoor] and Priya [Kareena Kapoor] meet at a youth festival in Bangkok. Priya is a romantic at heart and expects her life partner to be a teetotaler, a guy who doesn't smoke and also, who doesn't lie. Immy is totally opposite of what Priya wants from her life partner. Their world collides when Immy lays his hands on Priya's personal diary and learns of her likes and dislikes. He poses as her dream mate by giving her a totally different picture of himself.
While preparing to return to Delhi, Priya discovers the copy of her diary in Immy's room. She realizes that Immy has made a fool of her and decides to confront him. In the meantime, Immy confides in his friends that although he has cheated Priya, he is truly in love with her. But Priya appears in front of him and all hell breaks loose. She decides to end the relationship.
Immy tries to regain her trust by telling her that they are destined to be together. Priya decides that if it is destined that they be together, then they will find each other in Delhi again, although both do not know each other's whereabouts in Delhi. Three years later, Immy returns from abroad, while Priya is now settled in Mumbai. Immy is engaged to a family friend's daughter [Aarti Chhabria], while Priya has also moved on in life. She is in a relationship with a pop singer.
Both of them are about to be married, but after all these years, they still have this nagging feeling that the other was his/her true love. Of course, fate conspires to bring them back together [after several near misses] as they simultaneously undertake one last attempt to find one another just before they get married to someone else.
MILENGE MILENGE starts off like one of those countless love stories, with mandatory songs and lovey-dovey scenes aplenty, but the twist minutes before the interval is so well executed that it suddenly raises the bar of the film. Naturally then, you expect the post-interval portions to charter a new path.
The second half has its share of engaging moments, but, very frankly, it tends to get repetitive and melodramatic as well. The entire track of a particular Rs. 50 currency note and the book with Kareena's name and phone number on it, although novel, hasn't been portrayed too effectively. Even the finale - when Shahid reaches out to Kareena - isn't convincing. Like I pointed out earlier, what binds the film together is the chemistry between the lead pair and a few charming moments.
Satish Kaushik's handling of a few sequences is commendable. Himesh Reshammiya's musical score is quite good. 'Kuch To Baaki Hai' and the title track are good compositions. Cinematography is okay.
Both Shahid and Kareena play the hopeless romantics to the hilt. Their [then] off screen chemistry comes across very well on screen. Although the film was shot several years ago and Shahid looks boyish all through, his performance is consistent and believable. Kareena is equally convincing. Aarti Chhabria has nothing to do. Delnaaz Paul [Kareena's friend] and Sarfaraz Khan [Shahid's friend] get ample scope and are noticeable. Satish Shah is hardly funny. Kirron Kher sparkles in a brief role. Himani Shivpuri is wasted.
On the whole, MILENGE MILENGE has the charismatic lead pair, who are very popular with the youth, as its USP. But the problem is its dated look. Having taken a long time to reach the theatres, it will have to rely on a solid word of mouth to lure the audiences into cineplexes. Business-wise, there's some hope in the Hindi belt, where traditional love stories and melodrama are accepted.