T-Series’ Sanam Re is a love triangle. Little Akash (master Neil Tyagi) falls in love with little Shruti (baby Delissa Mehra). Their love blossoms all through their schooling days, till, one day, at the end of their schooling, Akash (Pulkit Samrat) has to leave his home town and go to Bombay for further studies. He leaves without informing Shruti (Yami Gautam).
He returns to his home town several years later, to sell the photo studio owned by his grandfather (Rishi Kapoor). His boss (Manoj Joshi) in Bombay threatens to dismiss him because of which he returns to Bombay as soon as the sale is completed. To save his job, he must now get a contract from Mrs. Pablo whom he has never met. To meet Mrs. Pablo, he goes to Canada because she has enrolled herself in a yoga camp there, after divorcing Mr. Pablo. The yoga camp has a strange rule – people have to enrol themselves under pseudonyms. This makes it even more difficult for Akash to trace Mrs. Pablo. However, he does ultimately succeed. Akash also gets lucky and meets his childhood sweetheart, Shruti, who has registered under the name of Anjali. Shruti denies that she is Shruti but, nevertheless, she spends a lot of time with Akash at the yoga camp, which alludes more to sex talk than yoga when an erstwhile sex addict (Bharti Singh), now reformed, fills in for the disposed yoga instructor.
Participants complete the yoga course and return to their respective homes. By the end of the course, Mrs. Pablo, who, it turns out, was also a childhood friend of Akash, has fallen in love with Akash. But she soon realises that Akash loves Shruti. Why, Mrs. Pablo even assists Akash in tracing Shruti as she has not given her address to Akash.
Does Akash track down Shruti? Why is Shruti unwilling to admit that she is Akash’s childhood beloved? Is she taking revenge because Akash had left for Bombay, for further studies, years back, without informing her? Or is there some other reason? Does Akash get Shruti’s love or do his grandfather’s words, that he would never get the love of his life, prove prophetic? Does Mrs. Pablo sacrifice her love? Or does Akash marry her?
Sanjeev Datta has written a very childish story which fails to strike a chord in the viewer’s heart. He makes it appear to be an intense love story but the shallowness manifests itself every now and then, making it look like a joke of a love story. His screenplay is weak, to say the least. Making little Akash ask questions about love, lady love, and matters of the heart to his grandfather looks irritating rather than cute as was the intention. Why the yoga camp is made to appear like a quasi-sex camp is not explained. The entire angle of Akash’s grandfather telling little Akash that he would find love within 500 steps from their photo studio looks silly, more so because Akash takes it literally and searches for love at the end of 500 steps rather than within 500 steps. The grown-up Akash asking the tea-stall owner whether his own grandfather’s prophecy generally comes true looks a bit silly. Frankly, the screenplay runs out of steam every once in a while and the director tries to camouflage this major shortcoming by letting the camera capture the snow-filled locations and falling snow flakes, probably not realising that there’s a difference between content and visuals and one can only complement the other, not replace the other.
The twist in the end is a nice one but that’s actually about all. In other words, the screenplay has just one scene which touches the heart! The comedy is weak. Sanjeev Datta and Hussain Dalal’s dialogues are ordinary for most of the part. At a couple of places, they are even incorrect. For instance, the characters keep referring to the ‘importance’ of quality of life but keep talking about the ‘necessity’ of quality of life!!
Pulkit Samrat is ordinary and fails to rise above the script. He looks good, of course, but his performance is routine. Yami Gautam does an average job. Urvashi Rautela hardly gets any scope to perform. Rishi Kapoor is alright in a special appearance. Manoj Joshi tries to entertain but succeeds only at places. Bharti Singh just about evokes laughter in a role which does not do justice to her talent. Prachi Shah is okay as Akash’s mother. Divya Khosla Kumar’s dance in an item song is average. Ketaki Dave and Jiten Mukhi have been wasted. Ashish Kaul (as Akash’s father), Ashwin Kaushal (as the landlord), Rajender Sharma (as Bantoo), master Neil Tyagi (as little Akash), baby Delissa Mehra (as little Shruti), baby Kritikaa (as little Akanksha), S.K Batra (as Shruti’s father), Abhishek Khanna (as the office peon), Uday Nene, Kaizeen Daruwala and Vishal Malhotra (all three as friends of Akash), Shashwita Sharma (as Akash’s maid) and the others just about fit the bill.
Divya Khosla Kumar’s direction is routine, at best. Her choice of subject is very poor. Music is the film’s biggest asset. While the title track (composed by Mithoon) is fantastic, the other songs (Mithoon, Jeet Ganguli, Amaal Malik and Epic Bhangra) are also good. Lyrics (by Rashmi Virag, Mithoon, Manoj Muntashir, Manoj Yadav, Ikka and Kumaar) are nice. Choreography (by Divya Khosla Kumar and Ganesh Acharya; ‘Hum ne pee rakhi hai’ by Directorgifty) is commonplace. Raju Singh’s background music leaves something to be desired. Sameer Arya’s camerawork is lovely. The locations are truly heavenly. Salonee Dhatrak’s production designing is nice. Chandrashekhar Prajapati’s editing is not upto the mark.
On the whole, Sanam Re is a dull film with good music as its plus point. In fact, it is because of the very popular music that the film has opened reasonably well. But it does not have the strength to sustain in the cinema houses for too long and will not be able to do much at the box-office. Its medium budget on the one hand and recoveries from non-theatrical sources on the other will ensure that the producers make a profit.