Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele Review: Anshuman Jha And Zareen Khan Starrer Is Well Performed But Sluggish Gay Take On Jab We Met

Here’s our review of Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele starring Anshuman Jha and Zareen Khan. The film is directed by Harish Vyas.

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Hum Bhi Akele Tum Bhi Akele Review: Anshuman Jha And Zareen Khan Starrer Is Well Performed But Sluggish Gay Take On Jab We Met

He is gay. She is lesbian. And they are on a road trip of self-discovery. This sounds like a sturdy recipe for a super-chic rom-com.  Sadly, the  early promise of  something unusual and  arresting fizzles out in what looks  a like  series of episodes written for a web series strung  together with no care for proper pacing. Many sequences overstay their welcome, some  never take off   and others just seem to be forced  into the narrative  for the  sake  of seeming fashionably avant-garde.

The  ending which I don’t want  to  give away  for all those curious to know what two homosexuals of different genders can do behind locked doors, is specially problematic and  lachrymose: a touch  of misplaced sublimity in a film that has long lost its relevance. It is the opposite of a cherry  on  the icing.

Icing reminds  me of  the songs which are  played  strictly  in  the background and a  lot of it in Punjabi(why Punjabi in a  Hindi language film,  why not  Haryanvi, Himachali or Mathili?) as the unlikely couple head towards McLeod Ganj. Remember reticent Shahid Kapoor driving through half of India to take chirpy Kareena Kapoor to her beloved ‘Anshuman’ only to be rejected by him?

Put Anshuman Jha in Shahid’s shoes, Zareen in place of Kareena and her lesbian partner Nikki(a fetching Jahnvi Rawat) who doesn’t have the  guts to spill her sexual preference in front of  her Dad(can you blame her, when the Dad is played by  the formidable Denzil Smith?) in place of Tarun Arora (Anshuman)…and we have met Jab We Met re-loaded, but alas, not ensured against transportative mishaps.

The sequences showing the  couple  locked  together  in hotel rooms have predictable bra  jokes and  clean-versus-messy gags, and a dinner date where both  the lead actors say  the same line  one after another: “Charo cheez tumhare favourite hain aur maine khud banaya hai.”

 There are way too many stopovers in this gay-lesbian love story. Veer(Anshuman Jha) has just broken up with his  closeted married lover(Gurfateh Pirzada who looks more morose than gay). When Veer tells his lover’s wife (Prabhleen Kaur braving through lonely-wife dialogues like, ‘Aaj bhi mujhe hi change karna padega’) about her husband’s secret she reacts with unnerving calmness.

Everyone in the film remains unusually tranquil all the time, as though they have been told to rein-in  their emotions, to make it look as if they are to  project the calm before the storm, which sadly never comes. Till the end, this awkwardly sincere film remains a  bundle of  possibilities that  never come to any shred of fruition.

What redeems the shroud of ennui that envelopes the proceedings from stifling the breath out of the plot,  is the lead pair’s determined bid to keep the  wobbly  storytelling afloat. Anshuman Jha, almost always an  actor  any script can  rely on, here  tries to bring conviction into the role of a  gay man who seeks happiness in a  lesbian’s company. It seems like a self consciously queer combination.

The scriptural  blueprint-- let’s  bring two homosexuals of  two genders together  into a road trip-- only takes the drama so far, and no further.

Image source:instagram/ theanshumanjha/disney hotstar, youtube/disneyplushotstarvip
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