The title ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ rings a bell immediately as there have been two films with the same name made in the past. While the Kamal Haasan – Reena Roy starrer comes to one’s mind immediately, there was also the Saif Ali Khan – Pooja Bhatt starrer which released in 2009, almost a decade and a half after which it was made. Apart from directing two films (‘Lucky’ and ‘I Love New Year’) Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru have several popular music videos to their credit. Their latest venture ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ introduces two new faces in Harshvardhan Rane and Mawra Hocane to the Hindi film industry. The director duo has shown a flair for visuals in their past work. So, does this film offer an engaging story coupled with some luring visuals?
Inder (Harshvardhan Rane), a lawyer, has just won an important case. After reaching home, he heads straight to a tree in the garden which has his beloved’s name engraved on it. The film goes into a flashback and one sees Saraswati/Saru grappling with the sorrow of being rejected by several suitors. Saru belongs to an orthodox South Indian family and her father Jayaram Parthasarathi (Manish Chaudhari hates Inder who has recently moved into their building. Saru reaches out to Inder and requests him to help her meet his girlfriend (Shraddha Das), who is a leading makeover artist. A misunderstanding happens and Jayaram is falsely led to believe that Saru is having an affair with Inder. Saru is shattered when he disowns her and pronounces that she is dead for him. Inder provides Saru with a house to live in and decides to resolve all her problems.
The film suffers from an awfully predictable screenplay but that is not its biggest problem. The treatment or the direction is equally weak and does not see a hint of the visual dexterity that Radhika and Vinay had shown with their last projects. What could be worse than a regressive plot led by boisterous direction. The derisory screenplay is stretched to a point where you lose all your patience. There are a couple of heart-warming moments, including portions of the climax when they have a conversation in the hospital, between the lead pair but they are few and far in between.
Harshvardhan Rane exudes sincerity and grows on you with time. His compliments his rugged charm with an understated performance. Though Mawra Hocane is made to weep through most of the film, she does complete justice to her role. The actress, who has left a huge mark with her shows in Pakistan, deserved a better etched out role. The usually dependable Manish Chaudhari’s heavily modulated voice (or did somebody dub for him?) annoys. Murli Sharma and Sudesh Berry deliver noteworthy performances in small roles. Shraddha Das and Vijay Raaz do their bit in cameo appearances.
Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru write a dated script and display a lack of imagination while giving shape to it as directors. They brow elements from several love stories and put them together in a lazy screenplay. The editing (Deven Murdeshwar) is shoddy; the film seems stretched and overlong by several minutes. The cinematography (Chirantan Das) is fair. The film has a couple of good songs (Himesh Reshammiya) but their picturisation could have been better. The song “Ek Number” is a visual and audio nightmare. The background score (Sanjoy Choudhary) is very nice.
‘Sanam Teri Kasam’ is a dull affair that fails to engage for most of its duration. Sitting through this 154 minute long film turns out to be a painful experience. The film boasts of some sincere performances and a few hummable songs but that does not compensate for a juvenile screenplay and weak direction.