I am not a fan of Divya Khosla Kumar’s directorial debut ‘Yaariyan’ but I must admit that like many of the music videos Khosla directed, the film was a visually sound product. There is no denying the fact that the director has a keen eye for visuals. After making a frivolous campus romance, one hopes the director offers good storytelling along with some striking visuals in her new film ‘Sanam Re’ which stars Pulkit Samrat, Yami Gautam and Urvashi Rautela.
Akash (Pulkit Samrat) is a young professional based in Mumbai who is trying hard to get a contract for his company which would lead towards him getting a promotion. In the midst of all the stress that he is going through, he gets a call from his mother (Prachee Shah Pandya) asking him to come home and sell the redundant photo studio that used to be run by his grandfather (Rishi Kapoor). Akash heads to Tanakpur, the small town he grew up in. After reaching there, he reminisces about Shruti (Yami Gautam), a girl he was in a relationship with. Years back, Akash had left the town for higher studies without informing Shruti as he felt that she would try to stop him from leaving. Akash is about to sell the studio when he gets a call from his boss (Manoj Joshi) asking him to come back to Mumbai. His boss is livid at him for not being able to get the contract. Akash goes to Canada to meet the head of the company whom they hope to get the contract from. There, he stumbles upon Akanksha (Urvashi Rautela).
The film starts off on a jerky note as you meet a host of unimportant characters sprouting corny lines and a dance number that seems like a last minute addition. One slightly gets interested as the film goes into a flashback but the interest level dips soon after as you see fifteen year olds trying to be extra cute and talking like five year olds. The flashback portion is as superfluous as it gets. There is no explanation as to why Yami Gautam lands up in a Yoga camp several days after the programme starts and comes across as a completely different person when she is in Tanakpur. The Canada portions, revolving around the Yoga camp, aim to arouse laughter but they make you cringe with tacky humour. The reason behind Shruti avoiding barely comes as a surprise. The only time where the film tugs at your heartstrings is when a twist arrives towards the end. Unfortunately, it does not build up very well and by the time the revelation happens, the film has exhausted you completely.
It is high time Pulkit Samrat stops mimicking Salman Khan. His body language, expressions and dialogue delivery – all come across as a pale shadow of the superstar. Though Yami Gautam tries hard, she gets a very poorly written character to play which does not let her make an impression. Urvashi Rautela is made to play a caricaturish character which has no depth whatsoever. Rishi Kapoor is good in a cameo appearance. The character, played by Bharti Singh, (and the lines uttered by her) gets to one’s nerves. Prachee Shah Pandya leaves an impact in a small role. Manoj Joshi gets some tiring dialogues to mouth but he brings the house down with his performance. Divya Khosla Kumar looks expressionless in the song “Humne Pee Rakhi Hai”.
Divya Khosla Kumar puts together some beautiful frames but handles the subject rather flippantly. The film comes across as a series of random events put together without any thought. The screenplay (Sanjeev Datta) is silly and disjointed. The romance does not work, the humour falls flat and the emotions do not come across. Barring a few lines, the dialogues (Hussain Dalal and Sanjeev Datta) are bad. Sameer Arya’s camerawork is very nice. The music (Jeet Ganguli, Mithoon, Amaal Malik and Epic Bhangra) is good with one terrific title track that, sadly, does not come across well on the screen. The background score (Raju Singh) is very good with a bunch of melodious music pieces. The editing (Chandrashekhar Prajapati) is far from being impressive.
We are in February and yet, one can assume that by the time the year comes to an end, ‘Sanam Re’ would be counted as one of the worst films of the year. The film, marketed as an intense romantic film, is frivolous to the core. There is no depth in the film and it lacks the one key element that is integral to love stories – emotion. Apart from an interesting revelation in the end, the film offers nothing to keep you engaged throughout its duration.