Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hum Tum (2004) or A Jerk Who Grew Up To Be A Man!

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This is the story of two very different people who are victims of improbable co-incidences in three different continents over several years who finally give in to their fate and fall in love. In other words, its a run-of-the-mill masala movie with a difference (quite a paradox, that) and I love it! Its the movie I like to watch when I am feeling blue and need a laugh or when I am happy and need to see my happiness reflected on-screen.
 
Rhea (Rani Mukherjee) is your normal feisty, intelligent, attractive, girl-next-door. On her way to the US of A for further studies, she runs into Karan (Saif Khan) who fancies himself a lot and fancies women even more. He never misses an opportunity to impress the ladies. That his efforts meet with indifferent success is completely due to the ladies' bad taste and no fault of his! Rhea is one of a long line of girls who are unappreciative of Karan's seductive appeal. The guy does everything he can to impress her - he double guesses her food orders wrongly, goes through her purse while she sleeps, ogles every thing in skirts, tells her how much he likes mentally undressing women, and even kisses her. Really Rhea - you are hard to please!

Fast forward a few months. Rhea runs into him and his girl friend (yup, there are such deluded women in the universe) in Central Park. Moved by deep pity for this suffering member of her sex, Rhea lets the girl friend know all about the TERRIBLE KISS. Poor Karan looses the only girl delusional enough to love him. (cue violins, please)
Time marches on and a maturer (do guys like this mature?) Karan goes home to India where his Mom - Anju (Rati Agnihotri) - is a wedding planner. He has acquired a "Tom Cruise" hairstyle that even Cruise might envy and begun to make a name as a cartoonist. A cartoonist eh? That explains it - anything less than a Cruise-cut may not look funny enough! Alas, all his charm is wasted on Rhea whose wedding is being co-ordinated by Anju. Karan being the man that he is, doesnt give up easily. He takes her on a long drive where he tries his best to provide scintillating conversation on the back of a truck. The vegetables, also along for the ride, do nothing to cramp his style.
You wait with bated breath as the time for the ceremony approaches. This is where I think a Hindu wedding fails to properly uphold romantic traditions. The priest does NOT ask the assembled guests to state their objections [if any] to the wedding or forever stay silent. Most Bollywood heroes would step up at this point, whether invited to do so by the priest or not, and declare their undying love for the heroine. Karan however, is a hero with a difference. He realises his limitations the moment he sees the groom - Sameer, played by none other than Abhishekh Bachchan (sans his stubble) - and retires gracefully from the arena. Poor Karan makes up for his disappointment by flirting with Rhea's gorgeous Mom, Bobby (Kiron Kher) while Rhea is safely married off to Sameer.
More years go by. Karan, now an established cartoonist, is traveling in France where his famous photographer Dad Arjun Kapoor (Rishi Kapoor) is based. In his travels, he runs into Rhea. Scarred by his previous encounters with the lady, he makes no attempt at seductive charm but sticks to the basics. He learns that Rhea's husband died after a year of their marriage. This is when the charming jerk is replaced by the sensitive, caring, modern-man. He brings her Chinese take-away (for any modern-men reading this - I prefer Thai), sings weird songs to cheer her up and talks her into thinking of re-marrying. Who could resist the appeal of this cute modern-man-with-a-heart-of-gold? Rhea certainly cant but it takes her a while and a few more twists-in-the-tale to understand her feelings. Karan, on the other hand, is inexplicably struck by a bizarre inferiority complex and contends that he isnt good enough for her! (He isnt, but then when did a guy give up because of that!) Do these two people ever realise that they are really made for each other? If you dont know the answer to that you need to watch this movie and if you do know the answer then you may want to re-watch!
Rani is in her element playing Rhea, the self-confident, feisty young girl who grows into a mature self-reliant woman over the course of the movie. She fits the character to a T and you cant help wondering if its not just acting. Saif is superb as the stereotypical [slightly] lecherous, happy-go-lucky boy whose shallow character acquires depth and maturity with age. (If you dont end up half in love with him by the end of the movie you aint got two X chromosomes!) The progress in their relationship from strangers to friends and romantic pair is beautifully done.
Apart from the main story there are several interesting sidelines that are pretty well sketched. Karan's estranged parents (Rishi and Rati together after a looooong time) and their marital discord is beautifully handled. Its always nice to see Rishi Kapoor playing the benevolent father, especially when he chooses to entertain you with Main shaayar to nahin (A poet I am not from his hit debut film Bobby). Rati Agnihotri looks gorgeous - who wouldnt want a Mum like that! Then there is Karan's friend Mihir (played by a rather sorry looking Jimmy Shergill) and his story that includes the delicious Isha Kopikkar. I must make a special mention of my favorite in the movie - Kiron Kher who plays Rhea's mother. Like Hema Malini, she grows more gorgeous with time! She dimples charmingly even as she rebukes Karan "Cruise" Kapoor on their first meeting. She flirts with both father and son yet conveys her deep affection for her daughter and concern for her well-being. And the icing on the cake is Karan's cartoon strip animated as Hum Tum (You Me).
Hum Tum is a light-hearted, fun-filled, romantic comedy that you shouldn't miss on any account!

20 comments:

  1. I'm eagerly awaiting the day when Netflix finally buys another copy of this movie. It's been in my saved section for four months now!

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  2. sigh...I looove this movie. It's sooo romantic and sweet and...sigh...

    ajnabi---just buy it. You won't regret it.

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  3. Mmm... it really is very romantic and sweet and perfect in almost every way (yes, I am totally blind to its flaws!)...

    ajnabi, memsaab is right. You really should buy this one. Its total Paisa Vasool (no "or not" about it)! :-) I saw a rental DVD and then had to dish out the $$$ for my own copy so I could watch it again and again and again...

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  4. I love Hum Tum! It's very modern and cute. This movie also reminds me of Korean romantic comedies

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  5. This was the one movie Kunal Kohli got right... although, I have to say a part of me actually preferred your captions :D

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  6. Nicki, this certainly was modern! Kunal Kohli wasnt content with just a lip-lock but had a one night stand, too! I was delightfully shocked! :-)

    Amrita, Thanks for commending my captions. Kunal Kohli certainly got it right in this one. I liked his latest - Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic - too, but this one is more of a universal favorite.

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  7. Nice movie and nice review. But u didnt say anything abt the songs.....didnt u like them? The songs are very hummable and nicely picturised

    Regards

    Nirvana at http://www.nirvana73.blogspot.com/

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  8. Bollyviewer,

    I also enjoyed this film! It was light and cute and sweet and never over the top...If you look at the cartoon stuff on the DVD you think, "Ok, maybe, but might be a bit cheesy"... and its not at all!

    Saif was a jerk in this film, but played a much more likable character than the jerk he played in Salaam Namaste.

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  9. nirvana and nida, thanks for stopping by.

    @nirvana: I liked the songs especially the Hum Tum and Ladki kyon numbers, but four years later, I remember them only when I watch the movie! Agree about their picturisation - they fit pretty seamlessly into the narrative and did their bit to move the story along, especially Hum Tum.

    @nida: Yes, it was amazing how the movie didnt go over-the-top or descend into plain cheesiness! Saif's jerkiness here is quite bearable because he redeems himself in the latter half of the movie while in Salaam Namaste he starts out cute and turns into a jerk half-way through!

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  10. Hi Bollyviewer: Great review, and convincing too. I need to revisit this because my only fond memories from Hum Tum were Hum and Tum. =)

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  11. "my only fond memories from Hum Tum were Hum and Tum"

    You definitely need to re-visit. The story is pretty well told and in the main characters you can see shades of people you know and understand. This, plus its modern take on relations (I cant recall offhand when a Bollywood heroine was allowed to fall in love with two great guys) makes it especially worth a watch/re-watch!

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  12. hum tum is sucha cute movie..and my idea of love

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  13. I actually started liking Saif in this film;love the way he flirts with Rani and the way she tells him to back off.
    Though there were some flaws in the film(some scenes i didnt like)but i dont seem to remember them :D

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  14. You mean you did not fall for him in Dil Chaahta Hai? I thought he was the only bright spot in that otherwise avoidable film! But yes, this is certainly one of his best.

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  15. True., He waz good in KHNH and DCH too..... Hw could i forget???:D

    He's come a long way since being a second hero to Hrithik in Na tum jaano na hum!!!

    I found a Rajni film "Anthuleni katha" co starring Revati and Kamal Hassan.Will watch and tell u :)

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  16. Oh yes, how could I forget Kal Ho Na Ho? He was great in it, too!

    Do tell me about Anthuleni Katha. Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan are far from being my favorite actors, but I might watch it for Revathy if she has a substantial part in it.

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  17. Sorry Bollyviewer , The DVD cover was misleading; the lead heroine is Jayaprada.
    The film is about a single woman who takes care & is responsible for her family. Rajni is her elder brother .
    The whole film is about a modern woman & the choices she makes .
    The Same movie has been remade in hindi , Rekha being the lead in that one.It is worth a watch

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  18. Jeevandhara?! Is that the Rekha film you are referring to? I did not like it much, even though I love Rekha. I'm glad Revathy was not part of such a film. Which reminds me that I need to find the films Revathy has directed - I loved her Phir Milenge.

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  19. I've seen this movie today for the first time and it's so wonderful! Great post about it! And yes, I've fallen in love with Karan (he's so cute when he changes his mind!).

    Can you recommend me more bollywood films? Thanks!

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