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Movie Review: Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha

Movie Review: Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha

Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha

Director: Sunil Darshan

Cast: Natasha Fernandez, Upen Patel, Shiv Darshan
Quick take: Slick visuals, jaded story

Rating: 1.5 stars
Reincarnation dramas used to be the fad in the ‘60s and ‘70s. But director Sunil Darshan revisits that nostalgic trend for his son Shiv Darshan updating the film to contemporary visuals and a European setting. Lovers from past lives are reborn and then they take about 2 hours to get a handle on things and figure out what went wrong in pichla janam. That's exactly how things pan out in Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha (EHTEDT). There is a feeble attempt to mock rebirth and romance across multiple lives, but all of that comes undone when the climax goes all mumbo jumbo. The first half of the film does manage to build some interest, but the final 20 minutes come crashing down like an old theatre on fire.
The story starts off as a young couple Natasha (Natasha Fernandez) and Sunny (Upen Patel) drive in a fancy convertible car heading to an exotic European estate. Its supposed to be an old family estate of Natasha's, the place also has an attached legend of a tragic romance between Natasha's grandmother Asha and her stable boy lover Dev (Shiv Darshan). Once Natasha reaches the eerie estate, Dev mysteriously appears onto the scene kick starting the love triangle, the reincarnation saga and a murder mystery. It’s a throwback of sorts to films like Woh Kaun Thi (1967) and Bees Saal Baad (1962). While that may sound promising, it becomes hard to invest faith and emotion in a film where the first sight of the hero is him swinging from a vine to rescue the heroine drowning in a lake. Where that vine is hanging from does not matter. Also since it is 2017, the premise of the hero being a purported ghost and then having a seductive tryst with the mortal heroine does seem a bit too far fetched. In the end, there's some good old fashioned magic too. God sends an ultraviolet beam that sorts everything out.
The leads Shiv Darshan and Natasha Fernandez are good-looking and actors with an urban appeal. To see them pout chaste Urdu romantic dialogue and hark on about poetic love seems like a space-time continuum anomaly. But that's the level of mish mash that EHTEDT serves up with aplomb. There’s one romantic song with decent music and chemistry almost every 15 minutes. That's not so bad, but all the goodness of this slick looking film dies the moment it resorts to the regular tropes of reincarnation formula. Its like watching a 2017 film that was written in 3 days in 1960.
EHTEDT had a nice thing going when Upen Patel's and Natasha's characters mock the whole reincarnation theme. To have the narrative smartly veer from the janam janamo ka saath to a murder mystery would have been a nice touch. Alas, the film only alludes to that thought. In the end, it plays out like a B-movie with big ticket production values. A complete let down for sure.

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