May 10, 2002 
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Hrithik and Esha
Hrithik, Esha need no reason to fall in love
Na Tum Jaano Na Hum is just another Bollywood film.

Bhavna Giani

Sometimes, only God knows why things work the way they do. After much song, dance and tears, confusion and pricked male egos, you eventually end up in the arms of your true love, even if it is four years and three long Bollywood hours later.

Na Tum Jaano Na Hum is another one of those triangular love stories, where only one man can have the woman both he and his best friend love.

Esha (Esha Deol) and photographer Rahul (Hrithik Roshan) first hear each other on Radio FM, through a request programme. Esha, while still in school in Shimla, dedicates her song to any person who "is in love with being in love" ie Yeh woh insaan ke liye hain jise pyaar se pyaar hain.

At the other end in Mumbai, a rapt Rahul immediately punches the radio station's number on his cell phone and adds his two bit to Esha's concept of love. She decides to get familiar with this young man, without meeting him.

Then starts the exchange of sweet words on love paper dotted with big blue blots. Every month, Rahul receives mail in his anonymous Post Box No 143 at Colaba post office, Mumbai. And Esha receives her mail via her best friend in Shimla. Esha and Rahul discover they have plenty in common, including the colour blue (which probably explains the letter paper they use), thus speeding up their falling-in- love process.

A photography assignment for the bridal collection of Esha's grandfather's (Alok Nath) massive apparel store, sees Rahul flying to Shimla. Esha's hair blows out dramatically from behind her, the camera zooms in onto Rahul's light eyes, and Esha lightly moves on after briefly shaking hands with the photographer she mistakes for a model.

Hrithik Roshan Some more blue paper letters are exchanged. One day, Esha's grandfather decides to get her married to a boy her Bua [aunt] has known since he was a kid.

Enter Akshay (Saif Ali Khan). A disaster in his previous affairs, Akshay now longs to find true love. He sends best friend Rahul to meet his wife-to-be, declaring he will marry Esha only if Rahul approved of her. And that is why Rahul lands up in Shimla. The bridal photoshoot offer was an excuse, after all. Only, Esha didn't know that. When she finds out, she is livid.

Akshay too comes to Shimla and, quite expectedly, falls for Esha. She, on the other hand, tells him she cannot marry him because she is waiting for a man whose name she doesn't know, whose profession she knows nothing about, whose whereabouts she has no knowledge of and whose family she has never met.

Naturally, Akshay scoffs at the idea of Esha loving someone she has never seen/ felt/ held. Even though Esha requests him time and again to call off the wedding, he stubbornly refuses, and the shaadi mandap [marriage pandal] springs up on schedule.

You wonder why it is so difficult for Akshay to accept Esha's love for someone she has never met, considering he had sworn to marry her before he saw her.

You also wonder why bachpan ki dosti [childhood friendship] always becomes so debilitating that maturely confronting the fact that both friends love one woman seems impossible.

Esha Deol First-time director Arjun Sablok does nothing spectacular with the movie. Perhaps the only worthwhile mention is the song Aha aha, where he does something different with its visualisation. And Rajesh Roshan has certainly scored better music in the past.

As far as performances go, Esha is quite good, emoting clearly with her eyes. She makes the transition from bubbly schoolgirl to young woman waiting for her love easily. Her grace fills the screen. Dancing seems to come as naturally to her as it does to Hritik. A carbon copy of her mother Hema Malini, one cannot help but feel one is watching the Dream Girl all over again.

Hrithik still has the same substance everyone talks about. Comedy, anger, helplessness --- his face reflects them all vividly. He moves to the music instinctively, as he always has. Saif, surprisingly, is just about average. Maybe it has to do with the high expectations resting on him after his performance in Farhan Akhtar's Dil Chahta Hai.

On the whole, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum is a regular Bollywood film. One could go watch it, but one would not miss anything if one didn't.


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