Movie Review: I, Me Aur Main shallow screenplay short-changes audience
I, Me Aur Main would have been a far better film had the screenplay been more generous with expanding on key elements and developing the plot in a more engaging manner, rather than letting the loose ends hang unashamedly.
I, Me Aur Main is Mama’s boy, Ishaan Sabharwal (John Abraham) gone badass in an extreme way. Ishaan, a music producer in a music company, CMC, lives in with his lawyer girlfriend of three years, Anushka (Chitrangada Singh) in a plush apartment owned by her.
He does not pay rent to live there, he does not help in any chores for the general upkeep of the apartment, hosts all nighter parties and trashes the place down and, he does not pay the monthly milk bill as he “drinks only black coffee”. When Anushka says “I love you” he smarmily retorts, “I love me too”. You get the drift. He’s selfish. And according to his mum Nisha (Zarina Wahab) and him, Ishaan is the best, which is reiterated many a time in the film.
Despite his obvious shortcomings, Anushka is ready to marry him and confides in her best friend, Shivani (Mini Mathur) about her plans who advises her to leave her no-good brother, who will not come through with a commitment to her or anyone else. On love struck ears of course!
So, one day, rather, one night, when Ishaan forgets about their “meet the parents” plan in Pune and is out drinking with friends, Anuskha shuts him out of her life and her apartment for good. He moves into an apartment across a very friendly and chatty neighbour, Gauri Dandekar (Prachi Desai) who is a fashion stylist and lives by herself. No sparks fly, except for the occasional electrical trip ups. But nevertheless, she seems to have a way with him and can make him apologize (a big deal in Ishaan’s world) when he’s wrong and in general, tries to turn him into a responsible and mature adult.
But his doting mum, on hearing of his break up with Anushka, moves in with him, ajwain parathas et al. She, being tired of his retired father’s constant demands, has also decided to leave him in Pune and living with Ishaan permanently in Mumbai seems perfect to her, but not to him naturally.
At work, things are just tiresome for him, as well as the viewer, with an ego-fuelled tussle between him and his boss, Bina (Raima Sen) over whose vocal chords need to be pushed in the music market. The script is scattered all over the place and it gets a bit crazy towards the latter half. The characters speak a certain way and behave in a completely contrasting manner, almost out of character. Gauri’s stable nature takes a flighty turn when she goes into the bit about moving to Paris, Anushka’s speech of life makes absolutely no sense given the path the story has taken so far, the mum going back to the father overnight and Ishaan’s sudden change of heart in matters of the heart make him look even more selfish.
Director Kapil Sharma makes his debut with the film, but even though it is a sincere effort on his part, the screenplay is not befitting of the premise of its lead character being a man-child – it does not have the required depth to take the story or the players’ parts forward in its narrative.
John Abraham’s boxers aren’t as exciting as his six-pack, and he plays the part to the best of his acquired ability to act. Chitrangada Singh, as always, puts on a great show of beauty and talent but the best performance in the film is by Prachi Desai as the spunky girl next door. Her portrayal of Gauri is real and seems effortless with the ease she essays it. Zarina Wahab is excellent as the mum, leaving no room for anything but praise. Mini Mathur, who is director Kabir Khan’s (Kabul Express, New York, Ek Tha Tiger) wife, makes her acting debut in the film and breezes through given her years of experience as a television host.
I, Me Aur Main would have been a far better film, had the screenplay been more generous with expanding on key elements and developing the plot in a more engaging manner, rather than letting the loose ends hang unashamedly. I’d say the screenplay is far more selfish than John’s character in the film, leaving the audience shortchanged with its shaky, faltering bits.
While Hart does put on a show and comes on with a few surprises playing a father grappling in an uncharted territory, the film leaves much to be desired.
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