Why bother to remake a destiny-driven romance if you cannot capture the things that made it romantic in the first place?
JUL 11, 2010 – SHE’S AN ORPHAN WAIF WAITING for Mr. Right, who – according to a tarot reader – will make his appearance (a) near water, (b) in a foreign country, and (c) wearing clothes in seven different colours. Naturally, to land this man, she heads to a Pride parade at Palm Beach. Just kidding. She does find Mr. Right – except that he’s stolen a wrongful peek at her diary and is playing a role he knows she’ll fall for. And we wait till interval point for her to cotton on to the truth about his caddishness. It’s all tediously predictable.
Just imagine, however, that we were not shown that he had rifled through the confessions in her diary, and that we, along with her, were taken for a ride. How much more powerful the revelation would have been! The interval block nears. We wonder what could possibly go wrong with this beach-blessed match. (Otherwise there would be no second half, right?) And bam! We learn that Mr. Right has wronged her – and us.
But even that might not have saved the Serendipity-derived second half of Satish Kaushik’s Milenge Milenge. In theory, the casting of young leads like Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapur is a good idea, because this story of lovers who depend on destiny to unite them is more than a little immature. You’d think that if two people would be traipsing around the countryside looking for a lost love days before getting married to others, it would be moonstruck youngsters such as these, not thirtysomethings like John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale who ought to know better.
But the latter were so charming, they made us buy into this nonsense, while Shahid and Kareena exhibit as much romantic knowingness as the film they’re stuck in. In Serendipity, the book that united the twosome was Love in the Time of Cholera, which is just about one of the greatest love stories ever written. Here, it’s Miracles of Numerology. Destiny, clearly, isn’t on the side of the audience.
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