Let me start this review by drawing a parallel from the world of cricket. If you have in your team an experienced opener like Rohit Sharma, it would be foolishness to get someone new in his place to open the innings. If that happens, one would blame it on poor selection. Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha suffers from the same malady. When you have a handsome and popular actor like Upen Patel in your line up, offering a relatively inexperienced Shiv Darshan the dominant lead only reeks of nepotism. Shiv looks jaded, thin, tired and exhausted inspiring no confidence among viewers. Upen, on the other hand, with his natural good looks and wealth of acting experience would have always been a better bet to lead from the front. The actor tries his best to salvage the sinking ship and emerges as the lone silver lining in an otherwise doomed cause.
The movie starts by setting up a story in London that revolves around three primary characters. Debutant Natasha is all set to marry the dashing Sunny(Upen Patel) when saddle boy Dev(Shiv) mouthing Urdu poetry enters her life and she falls hook, line and sinker for him. She then professes her feelings for Dev much to the chagrin of Sunny who feels let down and rightfully expresses his ire.The mystery around Dev deepens when speculations start swirling around about him being a ghost or an apparition. Natasha refuses to believe and continues to be swayed by Dev. Meanwhile another mystery emerges in the form of a discreet killer who is on the prowl to kill Natasha. In one such failed attempts on her life, Dev emerges as her hero when he manages to stop her brakeless speeding BMW with his bare hands. Sunny who is heartbroken by now decides to let go his love for her happiness. The plot takes another twist after Natasha gets kidnapped and both heroes join hands to bring back the woman they love. Will they succeed? Is Dev really a ghost? Who will win Natasha? That is for you to know by watching the movie.
The movie fails owing to its lackluster content. In 2017, you need riveting storylines to hold the interest of viewers. Ghost stories won’t really work unless it is portrays something new. Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t. The biggest letdown are the performances of Shiv and debutant Natasha. Both fail to create the required chemistry together and their combined weak dialogue deliveries take the film to its predictable doom. Shiv who is making a comeback after a forgettable debut fails to express well onscreen and remains glued to a singular forlorn expression throughout the movie. Natasha looks glamorous in all the songs but fails to entice with her acting chops. Her forced expressions and underwhelming dialogue delivery leaves much to be desired. The only USP of the film is Upen Patel who stands out as the only desirable and worthy actor in the film. Apart from looking effortlessly handsome, Upen calls upon his wealth of cinematic experience to showcase the angst of a rejected lover perfectly well. His eyes speak volumes as he expresses well to make for a compelling watch. Unfortunately, the mediocre plot and tardy acting by the rest of the starcast leave him in a lurch. Given his personality, it should have been easily him romancing and serenading the beautiful actress and Shiv should have been the other Deewana. Alas! that was not to be.
Suneel Darshan’s return to direction after long can only be seen as a weak attempt at trying to resuscitate his son’s acting career. The film is not tightly knit and swings from story telling to song and dance routines almost predictably. The music will remind you slightly of the glorious 90s when Nadeem Shravan ruled the roost. So if you want to experience the musical world of 90s, this movie will take you on a peek a boo ride. The visual imagery and locations make for a good viewing but with no good plot to ride upon, it just fizzles out soon.
If you want to watch Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, do it only and only for Upen Patel. Given that there are no other major releases, you may well go for it.