July 6, 2004 > Hum Tum: A Review
Hum Tum: A Review
Mekala Raman and Alia Yunus
As we (Mekala, Alia and Ceri) walked into the Naz Theater to see a classic Indian love story, we wondered how director, Kunal Kohli, had modified the usually predictable and formulaic romantic plot to thrill or at least capture and hold the audience. We can assure you that the result did not disappoint us in the least.
Hum Tum (me and you), is a lighthearted film focusing on the question "can a boy and a girl be friends without love getting in the way?". The film centers on the two lead protagonists, Karan Kapoor (Saif Ali Khan) and Rhea Prakash (Rani Mukherji) and their evolving relationship with each meeting. Karan is an energetic young cartoonist, whose cartoon "Hum Tum" is featured in a newspaper. His cartoons are usually about women and tend to reflect what is currently going on in his life. All meetings between Karan and Rhea are intertwined with animations of the cartoon Hum Tum. Rhea is a conservative girl who is going to America to study fashion design and later opens a boutique. Karan is attracted to the beautiful Rhea and does all he can to get to know her. His flirting however bothers her so that she ends up rejecting him. They meet again at Rhea's wedding where Karan is dismayed to learn that she has found someone - not him - she loves dearly.
Hum Tum was a charming romance. The use of cartoons was a nice touch that has broad appeal, especially to younger audiences. Direction by Kunal Kohli is excellent; he brought out superb acting from both Saif and Rani. The chemistry between the characters felt real and it was easy to forget that you were watching two people act. The movie should be easy for a person with no Indian background to follow because the actors spoke Hindi peppered with various English phrases (which is really quite realistic). In addition there were subtitles, advantageous to many Indian people as well who don't speak Hindi, like me (Mekala). Also, additional settings in locations other than India (America and Paris), created a more westernized tenor to the movie. Costumes also helped bring out this aspect since the characters wear western attire more often than traditional Indian clothing.
Music is well placed and although the tunes are not "catchy," the lyrics are amusing. Usually, in Indian movies, you can expect actors to break into song at any moment. Yet in Hum Tum, the breakout of song seemed more natural like singing at a wedding, rather than suddenly changing background scenery from a house to a mountain. The natural entrance of song aids the flow of the movie, and also retains the viewer's interest. One problem we noticed was that since the movie is shown in a flashback form, some details can be confusing (or amusing) for the observant. For example, looking back five years, Sony Ericsson camera phones or tiny cell phones for that matter were, at best a rarity, yet these appear in the film.
We definitely recommend Hum Tum as a light-hearted romantic comedy that will be appreciated by all audiences, especially the younger crowd. Hum Tum makes its point that love is all around and can be found when you least expect it.