For any filmmaker, to make his film hit high-notes at the ticket window, a few essentials are needed - An original hit film to either remake or get inspired from; a celebrity lead cast; item song featuring a superstar; controversies around the film to keep it in news. Gautham Menon who last made Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, presents a film that barely meets the standards of a blockbuster. Except for being the remake of Tamil hit film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, Ek Deewana Tha barely has been in news of anything else. Now whether it hits the marquee of blockbusters or not remains to be seen.
A 22 year old engineering graduate Sachin (Prateik) falls in love at first sight with a 23 year old doctor Jessie (Amy Jackson). It doesn't take him any time to express his love for her however, their practical differences - he an assistant director, she from a family where films are a sin; he a Hindu, she a Christian; make Jessie give a complete no to the relation. However, Sachin is determined to make her fall in love with him.
Both the Tamil and Telugu versions of this film had been huge hits down south and had two different versions of climax. While Tamil had a sad ending, Telugu, keeping the audience taste in mind, altered it to a happy end. And despite the development in audiences' choices in Hindi cinema and a visible increase in the acceptance of various innovations, filmmaker Gautham Menon opts for a safe end by taking the Telugu route.
However, it's not the end but the journey till the end that comes as a rough ride. Right from the first scene you succeed in figuring out the biggest flaw of the film, its casting. At a stage where Hindi cinema is, where every year cinegoers witness at least 50 romantic films, one really has to be careful in the execution of a story if one has to stand out from the clutter. But Gautham goes wrong from the word go. The film has the scope of being a very mushy romantic story that audiences would've loved but Prateik's complete lack of acting skills and Amy's taut appearance comes as a big let down.
The song Hosanna which did really well among the music lovers comes in the initial five minutes of the film itself and the rest of the songs that follow surprise you for coming from the legend AR Rahman. There's a song almost every five minutes in the second half boring you to death. Surprisingly some of the major portions are thrown in as montages within the songs which don't make any sense.
The entire film goes on in circles replete with various repetitive scenes and dialogues. The first half still moves forward decently but by the second half you almost pray it end as soon as possible. There's a climax every 10 minutes being thrown at you like a tease but the film doesn't end and the ordeal continues.
Prateik disappoints not just in acting but at dancing too. Amy Jackson's make-up is hilarious of the lot. One wonders the point of roping in a firang and then dabbing excessive bronze on her in a bid to make her a Kerallite. Throughout the film Amy's skin colour keeps changing. She is not only turned to an oiled pan cake in many scenes but her make up even at that is uneven making you wish if you only could wipe her clean. Manu Rishi as the cameraman and friend to Sachin is the best of the lot.
Final Verdict, Ek Deewana Tha is a never ending saga that you so wish should end! Easily avoided. Listen to Hosanna on radio instead!