Popular Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan's directing debut starts out the kind of forced, formulaic romantic comedy Hollywood churns out for stars like Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller. But Devgan negotiates the film's abrupt turn into tear-jerking tragedy (via developments that owe no small debt to Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook) with remarkable skill, and its third-act revelations recast the opening sequence in an affecting new light.
Smitten by a girl he spots on a buffet line, teenaged Aman (Aditya Rajput) responds to his father's well-meaning advice about romance by daring him to chat up a stranger, choosing a middle-aged woman reading The Thorn Birds. The woman initially resists to his attempts at small talk, but gets sucked into his tale of long-ago love at first sight, a story so engrossing that even the middle-aged yahoos at the next table are soon rapt.
Many years ago, psychiatrist Ajay (Devgan) was vacationing with his friends Nikhil (Sumeet Raghavan), Reena (Divya Dutta), Vicky (Karan Khanna) and Natasha (Isha Sharvani) on a luxury cruise ship. Successful gynecologist Nikhil has been married to Reena for years, but petty stresses and disagreements have driven them to the verge of divorce. Cuties Vicky and Natasha are blissfully happy, but not ready for formal commitment. Bachelor Ajay is smitten from the moment he sees waitress Piya (Kajol, Devgan's real-life wife) in the ship's disco, but she's less than impressed -- passengers are always making amorous advances, and Ajay makes quite the drunken spectacle of himself. Desperate to make up for the bad first impression, Ajay sneaks into Piya's cabin and reads her private "Book of Possibilities," a diary detailing her likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. Ajay uses the information to woo Piya, while making the rookie mistake of lying about his past to make himself seem more interesting. Piya inevitably discovers the truth and breaks things off, hurt and furious that she fell for some sleazy player looking for a shipboard fling.
Eight months later: Reena and Nikhil are divorced, Natasha and Vicky are happy and uncommitted as ever and Ajay -- AWOL since the cruise -- has a surprise announcement: Six months after the break up, Piya forgave his lies and has agreed to marry him. They move into a dream apartment in Mumbai and begin planning their future, from the children they hope to have immediately to a 25th-anniversary cruise commemorating the way they met. But fate has a devestating surprise in store, one that tests their love and forces their friends to examine their own relationships.
U, ME AUR HUM ("You, Me and Us") has more than its share of awkward moments, including some excruciating slapstick, which makes its successful transition to wrenching drama -- the same kind of transition that derailed Hollywood's CHAOS THEORY, which opened the same day -- all the more remarkable. The first half is dumb kid stuff, but the second is classic melodrama aimed straight at viewers who've experienced life's cruel caprices and taken stock of what really matters. (In subtitled Hidi and English)
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- Released: 2008
- Rating: NR
- Review: Popular Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan's directing debut starts out the kind of forced, formulaic romantic comedy Hollywood churns out for stars like Jennifer Aniston and Ben Stiller. But Devgan negotiates the film's abrupt turn into tear-jerking tragedy (via… (more)