“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough..”
Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook


Thus loved Kundan his Zoya. On the banks of the Ganga in Benaras.

As a child.

As a teenager.

As a young man……and for ever after.

 Meri akal deewani tum tak
Meri sakal jawani tum tak
Meri akal deewani tum tak
Meri sakal jawani tum tak
Meri khatam kahani tum tak
Meri khatam kahani bas tum tak”

And Zoya?

Did have a spark of interest at adolescence, which led to an “unfavourable” incident, largely orchestrated by Kundan’s blackmailing tactics (he threatened to slash his wrist is she did not say she loved him) and she was banished to her aunt to study. Eight years later, she returns, to Benaras, where he is waiting, with a new scooter, suit and flowers. But she needs her memory jogged about him.

You see he had remained where he was, waiting for her, as he had told her he would. She moved on….to Aligarh and thereafter Delhi to study. And he became for her a faded childhood memory which she did not take seriously.

So she now loves another. And yet Another loves Kundan too…his childhood friend Bindiya…but he exists only for Zoya and winning her and her family over and is assisted in all his endeavours by his friend Murari.

Reality however does sink painfully in-that this is unrequited love and he should withdraw. So he does, after helping her get approval from her father to wed her love. And he too decides to marry Bindiya on the same day.

Fate, takes a jolly good hand here…..and in a moment, lives change. It’s not easy to damp down fires which have raged for eight long years…and a discovery and Kundan’s subsequent actions lead to no weddings and a funeral.

And Regret, Revenge and Atonement.

Dhanush as Kundan is spontaneous, funny and natural.

Sonam as Zoya is pretty and has shown the most acting prowess in this outing.

Swara Bhaskar as Bindiya is natural and truly terrific in her jealous, occasionally foul mouthed friend role .Impossible to recognise Amaya here!

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub as Murari is incredibly talented. The essence of UP.

Abhay Deol-As Zoya’s love is handsome and watchable as always.

The story is set and acted out in Benaras and some part in Delhi. What is great is that they have made Kundan a Tamil-Brahmin by origin so his look and accent (does not have a noticeable south Indian accent though) fit in. The music-AR Rahman is soothing but only “tum tak” seems memorable.

The dialogues are well written and more importantly, well executed by the cast.

What for stood out for me was that while it is the story of unrequited love, it does not judge the other person for not loving you back. It shows all the shades of human nature as they are- loving, impractical, hurt, scheming, impulsive, emotional, regretful, grieving and vengeful.

Worth one trip to the Cinemas.


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