Watching a remake of this sort, one often wonders what could be the point behind making it at all. From the filmmaker’s perspective, the exercise seems fairly immaterial, isn’t it? Given that they are adding very little, if anything at all, to the original material anyway. It stops even being a tribute then — simply a copy-paste.
The original being Mani Ratnam’s return of sorts, O Kadhal Kanmani, that released only a couple of years ago, also set in Mumbai, which I loved very much. Though many still crave for Ratnam from the ’90s, when he was in top form — it is unfair, and altogether his fans’ problem.
The way I recall seeing OK Kanmani, and it came across rather well in the film, was that it was about two couples — a young one that questions the eternal bond of marriage and togetherness, choosing a life that comes with fewer strings attached, so they can both fly, and so what if in opposite directions at some point. They’d rather momentarily live-in.
The other couple was really old, married, where the husband selflessly, singe-handedly nurses his wife who’s in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. This old couple signifies all that’s supposedly great about marriage as an institution — care, companionship, and eventually, unconditional love. Living-in perhaps does not allow for that level of security, I suppose (I wouldn’t know).
This juxtaposition is interesting, though. Somehow, you sense much less of its impact in this Hindi version. Naseeruddin Shah plays that sombre old man in this film. The boy (Aditya Roy Kapur) and the girl (Shraddha Kapoor) are his paying guests of sorts. While focused on their careers, for sure, these young ones clearly can’t look beyond each other. As with movies about commitment-phobes (a recurrent theme), they’re neither philanderers spoilt for choice, nor people whose past relationships have scarred them forever. There is, in fact, nothing wrong with the way they already are.
And that’s what makes this film rather breezy with light romance, and slight humour for the most part, and the lead actors, perfectly paired, to add a touch of both. This is what the teenagers eagerly packing in the FDFS (first-day, first show) in my theatre had been drawn towards anyway — speaking of the point of remaking a film! Besides that, mainstream audiences rarely watch movies that are not in their own language (unless dubbed, in the case of Hollywood). And many of them could have been lured by the rather odd version of ‘Humma Humma’ because they were too young or perhaps not even born when the original appeared as the first proper ‘item song’, in Ratnam’s Bombay (1995).
Beyond these fine and obvious baits, the film itself seems so strictly okay. Going back to the title, and pardon the petty peeve (it’s mostly thanks to Whatsapp), the word is okay, or OK, even O.K. will do — not ‘Ok’ Jaanu. OK?