The publicity and curiosity gathered around Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam wasn’t for its cast, much less for its music, but for constant postponements of its release date. One was hoping that the producers and presenters were taking time to add a classy touch to this already stale film but alas no. However, one can sigh because at long last this movie has seen the day. Whether it’s worth the wait is another matter. Actually, the movie isn’t all that bad but considering the more than ample time given to the director, he should have come up with something more realistic and gripping. If not seen from a critical point of view, the film can manage to surpass one’s low expectations but finally ends up being another case of “could have been so much more”.
In such cases, it’s expected that the script is the stumbling block and the technical aspects being the saving grace. Here it’s vice-versa. The script does offer some shades of originality, which prevents the film from looking very much stale but visually it doesn’t help. Salman’s constant change of haircut (or was he running bald?!) will testify that. The person to blame for this is none other than the producer K.C Bokadia. It’s understandable that he went bankrupt during the making of the movie but some scenes badly deserved to be re-shot.
The basic premise of the film is very simple. In a nutshell, Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam shows the tribulations encountered by a couple, Gopal and Radha (Shah Rukh and Madhuri), after their marriage. The main source of problem is Radha’s best friend Suraj (Salman Khan), who Gopal sees as someone trying to get too close to his wife. In the end, he accuses his wife of infidelity despite the lack of any concrete evidence and forces her to leave the house. Once separated, a sea of turmoil engulfs Gopal which way the tide turns in the lives of Gopal, Radha and Suraj forms the end of this sentimental drama.
The movie works very well at times particularly in the first half where the story moves at even pace and some light moments thrown in by Shah Rukh manage to break the tensed atmosphere. The introduction of the three main protagonists has been done in the simplest of manner leaving the viewer in anticipation of what will happen next. With much dismay, what follows is nothing but an anticlimax. The scenes drag after the intermission and need to be placed on the editing table again. Be it the dialogues by Shah Rukh Khan or the message the film carries, the second half works more as a documentary. It lacks the gripping factor and as a result turns out to be very boring.
Had the film been released a few years earlier, the screenplay could have been hailed as one of the most innovative for a Bollywood film. At some places, it makes the viewer think and ask himself whether separation does any good to people involved. As it is, it follows the same path as Karobaar, which means, it has faded with time. The impact left by the screenplay isn’t what it was meant to be. From a realistic viewpoint, divorces and legal separation are very much common nowadays so much so that the film won’t be able to create any waves in people’s hearts.
Fortunately for the film and to his own credit, K. Adhiyaman doesn’t suffer as a director. It’s unanimous that he possesses talent and I wonder how better he could have been had he worked with a more competent producer. Just watch the two scenes following the “Taron Ka Chamakta” song and you’ll understand what I mean. He also deserves mention for not dwelling into unnecessary pre-marriage romantic scenes. The flip side though is that he lacks a bit of consistency and logic. At times, he throws the cap too far concerning the Suraj/Radha relationship, which itself isn’t much developed. He could have also improved the untwisted simple climax and turn it into something more exciting. Nonetheless directing three superstars is a big deal and in my opinion, he has done a good job.
The editors will be cursed by a large section of the public for chopping off “Khoye Khoye Din Hai”, arguably the best song on the soundtrack. None of the songs in the movie, except perhaps for “Sab Kuch Bhoola Diya”, gel with the proceedings. The title track comes across unexpectedly and bad choreography in “Main Aagaya” makes the song a loser. Farah Khan and Ganesh Acharya’s dance steps range from average to mediocre.
Technically, the film is no great shakes. Cinematography by Anandh Kumar is below average stuff much because of the poor integration with the story. The camera shifts to an unknown location for the title song and later comes back again to square one. Bad move! Costumes and outfits are spectacular and more importantly they gel well with the sets of the movie. The outfit worn by Salman Khan during the song “Taron Ka Chamakta” (white suit and black shirt) is awesome. Background music by Uttam Singh is a bit too light at times and fails to create the deserved impact. Dialogues by Reema Raakesh Nath are good.
Shah Rukh’s role is broadly restricted to being a jealous husband but he manages to add more depth to his character and succeeds in leaving a mark. Such roles should be tailor made for SRK, as he’s one of the few actors who have the ability to make the audience care for his character despite having negative shades in it. He is also one of the most expressive actors in the industry, letting his eyes and mouth do the talking. His good screen presence is further proved when he hogs the frame when opposite both Madhuri and Salman. Finally, he shows some sparks of brilliance in his short drunkard role, which is a foretaste of what we’re going to see with Devdas.
Salman Khan once again disappoints. His character gives him much more room than Shah Rukh to act and yet he fails to do justice to it. His facial expressions and body language are rock bottom and he needs to work on these. The main problem with Salman Khan is that he is so disinterested in his work that it’s very much obvious on screen. But then, Salman has never improved as an actor since his Khamoshi days. Despite portraying the “good guy” role in the film, most of the audience’s sympathy will go towards Shah Rukh Khan simply because Salman fails to add a sensible touch and creativity to this character.
Madhuri is Madhuri, 24 gold carat as always. When she is good in duds like Yeh Raaste Hai Pyaar Ke, you can expect her to give her best in movies like these. She is at ease while acting with both heroes and looks stunning throughout the movie. She emotes very well and Amisha Patel needs a few lessons from her as how to cry in movies.
Aishwarya guest appears in a role that would make or break the entire story. Were it not for her character there would be no climax to the film. Her portraying the role does help lend the character more emphasis in this as well. Presumably, she has been made blind to suit the story that love can happen without physical appearances, and to emphasize the morality of love in general. Aishwarya plays her part with ease.
Atul Agnihotri gets annoying with his Amitabh Bachchan episode while Suman Ranganathan is wasted. Alok Nath and Aruna Irani are both passable in short roles.
Hum Tumhare Hai Sanam isn’t anywhere near the masterpiece level, and frankly I don’t think it had such aspirations being in the making for such a long time, but it’s better than the recent products Bollywood has been churning out recently (AMALL, Ab Ke Baras). Low expectations will work in the film’s favour and who knows, it may be a winner at the box office!