Tum Bin  
Producer: Bhushan Kumar & Krishan Kumar
Director: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Sandali Sinha, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Rakesh Bapat, Himanshu Malik
Music: Nikhil Vinay, Ravi Pawar & T.S.Jarnail
Lyrics: Faaiz Anwar & T.S.Jarnail

Released on: July 13, 2001
Approximate Running Time: 3 hrs
Reviewed by: Rakesh Budhu
Reviewer's Rating: 7.0 out of 10

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Mediocrity at its highpoint is certainly enough to watch Anubhav Sinha’s directorial debut, Tum Bin… A decent set of newcomers that are pleasant to the eyes is enough to watch Tum Bin… An above average, ear friendly musical score is enough to watch Tum Bin… What more can someone ask for? A decent plot? A decent plot is another reason enough to watch Tum Bin, though it doesn’t set records for originality or creativity. Yes, I’m saying that you should watch the latest newcomer film, Tum Bin… for as it is no work of perfection, it is definitely a commendable effort and definitely supercedes low budget newcomer projects, like last month’s "Paagalpan."

Though going beyond the ideals of “promoting” his film (rent recent DVD’s, watch some television and you can’t miss promos for Tum Bin…), barring the few that may have had some expectations, Anubhav Sinha didn’t really place any “high“ expectations on his film, and no one really had any. That is probably what has worked in its favor (maybe he has learned from the string of highly anticipated film-flops Bollywood saw earlier this year) as the film has a substantial amount of everything to succeed, and the box office openings have shown that. In fact its openings have surpassed Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai, which doesn’t say much for Abhishek Bachchan. What it does say is that maybe the audiences are looking for fresh new looks, fresh music and a fresh story.

It is suffice to say that whatever the fate of the film at the box office, Tum Bin… is definitely worth your time, your rental, your ticket, especially if you are looking for a nice romantic movie after the past releases of thrillers and intense dramas.

Tum Bin… is predominantly a tale of Pia’s (Sandali Sinha) tangled love life. Tangled is the best word to describe her relationships as they are filled with predictable yet twisted turns. Pia lives in Canada, where the film is partially shot, with her intended husband’s family, Amar Shah ( Rakesh Bapat ). The Shah’s are high a class family who run their own industry. Their industry however, is going down hill, and Shekhar Malhotra (Priyanshu Chatterjee) is the only one who manages to save it. Well, not before doing some damage first, see Shekhar is involved in an accident, but it is Amar who gets hurt. Witholding the information on his bad deeds, that were a mistake, Shekhar manages to weasel his way into the family’s heart (Amar’s) and Pia’s heart (that was heartbroken). Enter the next twist, Abhigyan (Himanshu Malik) who falls head over heel for Pia (you’d think he’d fall in love with every other heartbroken business tycoon’s daughter in law to be, after all there are so many)! Ultimately, there are a number of twists, turns, (some that may not seem as all believable or logic) and Pia falling in love with more than one-person, then of course, the climax.

However, like many directors have proven it’s not so much the story of a film, but how it is handled. Tum Bin’s story gets a little clichéd at the ending (and even midway), but still has its positive aspects, which help it a lot. Though Sinha does throw in a few things that stray from your average masaladar flick, he has also overdosed it with drama, romance and the stuff romance movies are made of. Still, Tum Bin… is still one of the better movies Bollywood has seen as of late.

On to the other things! The soundtrack doesn’t only benefit the film; it is definitely worth your attention. Being an expertise in music videos, Sinha makes the visualization of his good songs even better. “Chotti Chotti Raatein” (though it resembles Yash Chopra’s style) will leave you impressed and “Tumhare Siva” , “Dekhte hi Dekhte” all will leave an impression. Jagjit Singh’s cameo in the westernized song “Koi Faryaad” was also entertaining (though long). Taz from Stereo Nation also performed with Stereo Nation’s “Daroo Virche Pyar” which brought in the Punjab element in the film. Cinematography and screenplay are excellent. They certainly make the film a notch above the rest. In fact the look that the film bares at parts will certainly supercede some of the dull looks we’ve seen recently. Even the oddly titled "Zoom Boombura" will have you tapping your feet. Sinha definitely had an upper hand with this musical score and he has utilized it to the max. Camerawork works for the film. The locales, especially in parts of Canada, are very appealing to the eye making one really film like they are watching a big budget film.

What everyone is probably wondering about the most is the four newcomers, do they have the stuff? Not exactly. Bollywood is definitely entering Generation X with a large influx of new stars. Given, some of them are adding life to the industry (Aftab, Fardeen, and of course Hrithik, Amisha and Kareena), but the others are simply desperately seeking hits. Since they are new comers in the real sense, we had no expectations from them (no star son’s etc.), and they don’t disappoint. Sandali makes her presence felt (her looks are a major (if not all of it) asset) and Rakesh is the only other who shows a little style and his role is limited. The other two are okay, simply put. However, Sinha has put a lot of effort into the film, money wise and work wise, and the work he put in on training the four newcomers is visible.

Conclusively, Tum Bin… is worth your time. It deserves some recognition for a first effort, style, the music and decent handling of everything involved. The film isn’t without its flaws though, but as with many other Bollywood films, we can easily look over them. For those looking for romance, Tum Bin… is definitely paisa vasool.