Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

April 2, 2010

Coffee, tea? No flee!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:51 am

April 02, 2010

Cast: Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Shetty, Vidya Malavade, Rehaan Khan, Anjana Sukhani

Director: Kabir Sadanand

Anyone who’s spent a lazy afternoon tucking into the delicious sali boti at Britannia or the cherry cream custard at Kyani can appreciate the climatic conflict of Tum Milo Toh Sahi, in which an old-fashioned Irani cafe must be saved from a greedy corporate giant that wants to turn it into one of those homogenized coffee shop franchises.

Had this been the basic premise of director Kabir Sadanand’s film instead of its predictable take on contemporary relationships, Tum Milo Toh Sahi might not have turned out the mangled mess that it has.

Dimple Kapadia hams it up as Dilshad, the garrulous Parsi owner of the café, who develops an easy friendship with Nana Patekar’s cranky Subramanium who has an almost Norman Bates-like obsession with his dead mother. Sunil Shetty and Vidya Malvade play a constantly bickering married couple Amit and Anita, who clash over his long working hours and their inability to agree on how to raise their son. Finally, Rehan Khan and Anjana Sukhani play young collegians Bikramjit and Shalini, faced with your typical Bollywood cliché — they must traverse the film’s skull-boring song-and-dance routine till they realize they are in love.

Predictably, it’s the relationship between the senior characters that is most engaging, thanks to a consistent performance by Nana Patekar, who plays to the gallery with his quirky characterization. Suniel Shetty delivers the film’s most embarrassing performance with his accented dialogue delivery and awkward body language. His garbled words are hard to figure out most of the time, and his over-acting in this film consolidates his position in the hall of shame alongside fellow doorknobs Zayed Khan, Fardeen Khan and Bobby Deol.

To be honest, except for Nana Patekar and to some extent Rehan Khan who pitches in an earnest turn, the entire cast of this film grates with annoying performances and bad accents. Even a child actor who plays Dilshad’s Australia-returned grandson deserves some serious neck-wrangling for his mutilation of the English language in the name of an Aussie twang.

If there’s anything more infuriating than the acting in this film, it’s the distracting background score that qualifies as sheer noise. Raghav Sachar, who famously holds the distinction of playing some 30-odd musical instruments, is credited with composing the background score which sounds like plates and glasses being smashed against walls.

This film is intended as a warm drama about love in a big city, but the script never quite gets around to achieving that. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Kabir Sadanand’s Tum Milo Toh Sahi. Since coffee is used as a metaphor to bring people together in this movie, I suggest you spike yours with a large shot of whiskey to make the pain of watching this a little easier.

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