In Tum Bin II, a much-in-love couple lands in the Alps for a skiing holiday and immediately breaks into a song where he is wrapped up from top to toe and she’s barely covered in billowing chiffon. Amar, played by Aashim Gulati, is a mix between Shah Rukh Khan (as he dances on the Alps, arms spread wide) and Sidharth Malhotra. Neha Sharma plays his fiancée Taran, who is left to mourn and grieve over a tragic incident. She’s cosseted and cared for by everyone’s Papaji (Kanwaljit), who is in fact Amar’s father. Taran’s two sisters are her unwavering support system in the face of tragedy. Time passes, old wounds begin to heal and then there’s the timely arrival of a smooth-talking Shekhar (Aditya Seal).
Here’s a man everyone falls instantly in love with, no questions asked. It takes her some time but Taran gets there too. There’s much banter, some commentary on our neighbours as the youngest of the three sisters wants to marry a Pakistani (and a Fawad Khan lookalike no less), and many monologues and wise words from Shekhar. If all of this has happened by half time, you know the path ahead cannot be anything but bumpy. A love triangle is the most obvious plot twist, placing Taran in the tricky position at the apex. Who or what will she choose — will she follow her head or her heart?
Just when you think the film is going to tread the path well travelled it surprises you — but not for long, because that would have meant less tears, less drama, a 30-minute shorter film (if only) and a bolder resolution. While Shekhar and Amar stand tall, it is Taran’s character — an impressionable girl who is a victim of circumstance — who should have earned our sympathy, or at any rate our support. That quality pops up briefly and gets suppressed just as quickly under the weight of the more assured men who make decisions that will shape her future.
Scotland makes for a pretty backdrop to the story of these two Punjabi families bonded in times of happiness and loss. A few of the scenes are well executed; especially the early mountain accident and the blooming attraction between Shekhar and Taran. Writer-director Anubhav Sinha follows the blueprint from his 2001 hit Tum Bin with protagonists called Amar and Shekhar in both, accidents, guilt and forgiveness in both, and there’s also a scene that plays out at the airport.
Unlike the musical success of its predecessor, Ankit Tiwari and Nikhil-Vinay’s soundtrack does not deliver any memorable songs. What you do notice are the swells in the background music to heighten the emotional peaks, and if that doesn’t move you, perhaps the copious tears shed by Neha Sharma will. Do you really greet a long lost love, believed to be dead, by thumping him on the chest, as if it’s his fault he was in a coma? Credit though to the lead actors Sharma, Seal, Gulati and Kanwaljit for bringing heft to their roles despite some lifeless writing, thus rescuing the film from being completely humdrum.