Doubt is rather unfairly maligned; It may be true that it has killed more dreams than failure ever will, but sometimes, a tactfully timed doubt can be used to end an embarrassingly bad dream before it gets out of hand. Let’s take Divya Khosla Kumar’s second directorial feature, Sanam Re, as an example. If the director or the producers – T-Series’ Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar – had listened to any doubts they may have had during the making of this film, we might have been spared yet another ill-conceived love story. Unfortunately, they didn’t and as a result, Sanam Re exists. (Read: Fitoor review: Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapoor’s film spares no one, not Kashmir, not Delhi)
The alleged plot of the film is incoherent, cliche-ridden and was probably written by the children who appear in the intermittent flashbacks. The movie begins with Akash (Pulkit Samrat) who is too busy struggling up the corporate ladder to find time for love or even answer his mother’s phone calls. Even as he allows his obnoxious boss (a hammy Manoj Joshi) to bully him, he can’t escape the life that he has left behind in Tanakpur, a place, where no matter what time of the year it is, the CGI snow keeps falling. When Akash is called home to help sell off the derelict photo studio that once belonged to his ailing grandfather (a bewigged, bespectacled Rishi Kapoor), we are helpfully given some glimpses into the past so that the director can drive home the point of the film – which is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t escape love. Or something like that. We also discover that Akash once had a childhood sweetheart Shruti (Yami Gautam) who he gave up in his search for material success. (Also read: Fitoor, Sanam Re release today, this is what the audience has to say)
Due to some rather sketchily written career hiccup, Akash then goes to a yoga retreat in Canada where he has to woo a Mrs Pablo, aka Akanksha (Urvashi Rautela) in order to get some contract for his company. It is here that he runs into Shruti again and rather heartlessly abandons the smitten Akanksha. Once the love triangle is established, the movie chugs on its inevitable path, featuring fat jokes, transphobia, one terminal disease and a couple of major sacrifices (because what is a love story without a sacrifice or two). (Read: Fitoor and Sanam Re, two love stories to clash at box-office today)
Only the music, which is melodious and ear-wormy, and the locales, which are stunning, make patches of this movie bearable. The protagonists are too shallow and one-dimensional to be likeable, the dialogue is cringeworthy (the divorced Akanksha is compared to a used car) and the twists are too predictable for viewers to be emotionally invested in this film. This is a love story that should have lived and died as an idea.
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