Dumb Luck

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By Neel Chaudhuri

Their chemistry oscillates between colgate commercials and frolicking poodles

Stumbling into Priya’s room one night, Immi is struck by her moonlit beauty and steals her diary which details her yearning for a man without vice. He conducts an elaborate charade, posing as the epitome of all things good. Priya falls for him and proposes marriage, only to discover a copy of her diary in his room. Destiny turned to dust; she spurns him but Immi begs for another chance, claiming love has transformed him. Priya leaves their fate to destiny, or their destiny to fate if you prefer, and so far we have only hit intermission.

The rest is from the John Cusack starrer, Serendipity. Much like Immi’s opportunistic handling of Priya’s diary, Shiraz Ahmed’s screenplay covets, underlines and employs. The second half of Milenge Milenge is a poor facsimile of the Hollywood film: Immi and Priya desperately seek out dumb luck in the depths of Mumbai and Delhi. You wonder whether the filmmakers have confused ‘serendipity’ with ‘destiny’ as little is left to chance or accident. When all has transpired and they finally meet for good, it happens under the neon splendour of Ansal Plaza, renamed ‘Destiny Mall’, to underline the point.

Milenge Milenge’s release five years on seeks to exploit the real-life ‘love and heartbreak’ saga of its two leading stars. Too much has been made of this, and their out-of-date chemistry oscillates between the toothiness of Colgate commercials and the frolic of poodles in the sun. There are too many close-ups of Kareena’s tear-stained face and Shahid’s on-screen presence, which benefited greatly from his performance in Kaminey, regresses to his days as a shampoo boy. The director Satish Kaushik plays the pick of a number of caricatured supporting parts, but even his good humour fails to lift the film. Further, his faith in Himesh Reshammiya as a music director is overspent. The gaudy pop soundtrack — that includes a song with the refrain “Love me the way no one’s loved anyone” — makes the loudest case for the good sense in leaving some things to serendipity and some films to the shelf.

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