Reincarnation films in Bollywood straddle the real and the supernatural worlds, and are usually love or revenge stories. But Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha is different in that aspect. It straddles two genres instead. While the makers want you to believe it is a romantic thriller, it ends up being an unintentional comedy.
Our protagonist Dev is part spirit, part goon and part loverboy who is not a supernatural, but a hyper-natural being. He can swing down, Tarzan-like, from tree tops, perform a creepy CPR on the actress and stop a speeding car with his lanky bare hands, laws of physics be damned. He enters Natasha’s life in a bizarre manner spouting Urdu poems which neither him, Natasha nor the audience can really understand. But he is hell-bent on stealing her from his fiance, Sunny every chance he can get.
The story turns truly bizarre, when we find that there may or may not be any reincarnation angle to the whole thing and you’re suddenly slapped with an Abbas-Mastan-like forced cliffhanger. Just as the cliffhanger is just about to resolve itself, you find yourself seeing the actors breaking into song and dance. Sure the cliffhanger is weak, but you still want to know what it was! No chance of that as the story has already taken another odd turn.
The only solace you can find is in the brazenly used cliched Bollywood including dialogues including, ‘Tum mujhe chod ke nahi ja sakte’, Main tumhare bina mar jaoongi/ jaoonga’ and you give into laughter. And this is just the tip of the comedic iceberg. There are several such hilarious moments.
The performances by all, including Upen Patel, Shiv Darshan and Natasha Fernandez, play out like actors in an school play. The music resembles an easily forgettable nineties cassette tape with both sad and happy versions of the same song. Yet, there’s a lot in terms of music for die-hard Nadeem fans if they’re still stuck in that era.
The film belongs to the nineties, which was a simpler time when audience may have bought such an absurdist premise. But with a script that suffers from a serious case of ADD, you will just be mildly amused. Go for this if you dig films that are so bad, they’re actually good.