Tum Bin II's out-dated twists, needless complications and comical confusion over the sacrificial lamb prolongs the rona dhona by a good half an hour and still cannot settle who loves whom or if at all, says Sukanya Verma.
It's one thing to be sentimental about your first feature film but to oversell it as a brand like director Anubhav Sinha tries in Tum Bin II is taking things too far.
I get the franchise appeal of subjects concerning cops, crooks, spies or superheroes. But one based on deceased fiancés and atonement is just bizarre.
Tum Bin, a romantic melodrama set in Canada, is best remembered for its soundtrack, notably the Jagjit Singh tearjerker Koi Fariyad, a voice so intensely poignant in its nostalgia, a lump in the throat is inevitable.
Sinha shamelessly exploits it to stroke hollow yearning as bonds of deep value in a silly, snivelling, superficial schmaltz lacking in ardour or melody.
What's more he even ropes in Sandali Sinha, the joyless leading lady of his 15-year-old directorial debut, to pass on some gyaan about love and loss to its brand new heroine Neha Sharma as if it's some major coup in the vein of Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto's Spock off session in the Star Trek reboot.
Like Sandali, she proves to be equally inept at playing the inconsolable lass. No soon the opening credits have rolled out, doe-eyed Neha loses her man (a woeful Aashim Gulati) to a skiing accident and spends most of her time mourning against the breathtaking scenery of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
No-longer would-be father-in-law (Kanwaljeet Singh can do this in his sleep, he probably is) promptly hangs a framed snapshot of his son next to the garlanded photograph of his wife (spouse in real life too, Anuradha Patel), gives a long-winded speech on moving on and introduces her to a marshmallow-faced millionaire (Aditya Seal is pleasant and surprisingly restrained).
Grief and Scotland collide and every conversation over dinner and coffee is about a dead loved one or life blah blah and life yak yak.
Tum Bin 2's Mills & Boon meets Pinterest board of inspirational quotes framework is temporarily salvaged by the unaffected warmth of Neha's bubbly sisters, portrayed by an animated Meher Vij and impish Sonia Balani. It's as though their freewheeling camaraderie belongs to another script, one that would be endearing to watch in the absence of clueless crybabies and philosophy addicts.
But there is only so much a supporting cast's exuberance and Scotland's winter wonderland can do.
Tum Bin II's out-dated twists, needless complications and comical confusion over the sacrificial lamb prolongs the rona dhona by a good half an hour and still cannot settle who loves whom or if at all.