First things first — Tum Mile is nowhere near the epic Titanic (even as its trailers cry hoarse to the opposite). Second, it barely manages to touch the 26/07 catastrophe – the hype of which was merely a cheap gimmick on part of director Kunal Deshmukh to attract more audiences to the theatres to watch this movie, which is a pathetic attempt at reliving the horror of 26/07 (and the word attempt is used very loosely here).
Let’s start with the plot. Poor boy (Emraan) meets rich girl (Soha), both fall in love, they start living together, they break up due to irreconcilable differences. They meet each other six years later, realise that they’re still in love with each other, but confess their undying love only after they’ve survived the aftermath of the Tsunami (generally speaking, people would do so during the Tsunami for fear of not being able to see their loved ones the next day, but ah! Who cares?).
The problem is with the script — I don’t know whether or not Deshmukh was genuinely confused about the kind of film that he was making. He led the audiences to believe that it’s a love story that unfolds in the backdrop of 26/07, but in reality, it was simply a love story (to give him credit — Mumbai was shown flooded, even though the depiction was highly un-relatable, because can you fathom people cheering and clapping in the midst of a flood that’s life threatening for them?).
Yeah. Didn’t think so.
The narration is shown to switch back and forth between the past and the present, where, at one point of time, the line between the past and the present becomes so blurred that it’s difficult to comprehend as to which part of the couple’s lives the audience is being exposed. And ironically, while two songs cover up the friendship, and then the blossoming love between the couple (saving precious time), one song from the latter half focuses solely on Emraan painting Soha’s image, time which could have otherwise been utilised to show the bonding between the two in a more intense and passionate manner.
The film was not without obvious flaws too — Soha is shown to have maintained the same haircut and hair length for six years straight; Emraan and Soha are shown to be on the first floor of a building which gets flooded within minutes, even as we see cars of the streets which are only half submerged in water… and of course, the cherry on the cake, when Emraan follows Soha into her mansion during dawn and sees her boyfriend, who questions Emraan’s presence, Emraan quickly takes some money out of his pocket and gives it to Soha as change (he’s a delivery boy and he was still in his attire). Never did it once strike Soha’s boyfriend odd as to what a delivery boy was doing there at 5 am in the morning. Weird.
Coming down to the performances, well, the chemistry between Soha Ali Khan and Emraan Hashmi was zilch. Soha is brilliant only in parts, while Emraan lacks the intensity to come across as an out of work artist, unable to come to terms with his joblessness. Pritam has managed to come across with a decent, hummable score, but Pritam being Pritam, I’m reserving my comments till the time his scores are exposed to be a rip off of somebody else’s hard work.
But to give credit where it’s due, Deshmukh manages to build up his characters quite early into the movie, and as hard-to-relate the flood sequences were, they were pretty impressive by Indian standards. Kudos too, for daring to be different and casting unconventional stars against each other — breaking prevailing stereotypes that the lead actors have to necessarily be gorgeous, hot, or to be fawn-worthy in the least to be accepted as part of a mainstream Hindi masala movie.
Superb dialogue delivery with a script which was crisp in bits and pieces, were the only reason why it was easy to relate to the situations that the two got into and then got out of. The dialogues, which were nothing over-the-top, but words that we use in our day-to-day lives (for example, during a major fight between the two, Emraan says “Yaar toh tum kya chahati ho?). There was no talk of nonsensical notions like, ‘woh unche gharaane ki ladki, aur mai gareebghar ka ladka’.
Emphasis was given to the couple’s relationship and how the smallest of things start to become major issues between the love-lorn couple, like when Akshay’s feeling of being jobless was re-instated every time Sanajana paid all their bills (without even once touching familiar grounds of male ego)…
The movie could have worked had Deshmukh advertised it for what it truly was — a love story, a story of a modern day couple that struggled hard to keep their love alive despite the numerous challenges that they faced daily. But, unfortunately, people going to theatres to experience the horrors of the 26/07 tragedy will come out thoroughly disappointed, with a feeling of being cheated of their hard-earned money.