The wise souls at SI have long held that Tamil film director Gautam Menon puts out mostly trashy films.
Menon’s Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010) was a piece of junk.
But trash too finds eager takers in some quarters (hint: it’s a two-word South Indian state starting with T) and was lapped up by a troupe of monkeys who love to watch the antics of other monkeys.
A veteran recidivist, Menon has now unleashed Ekk Deewana Tha, the Hindi version of the aforesaid Tamil junk, to withering scorn from Indian movie critics.
A comeuppance, that in our not-so-humble view, is well deserved considering Menon’s repeated assaults on the craft of movie-making.
Here are excerpts from a sample of caustic reviews for Ekk Deewana Tha:
While there are directors who dig relentlessly for a new theme around which a rom-com can be built, there are others such as Gautham Menon who believe old cliches are the best plot points for a love story….And with the spark missing, the innumerable tiffs and make-ups and casual kisses just serve in endlessly prolonging the film….music doesn’t make an impact.
EKK DEEWANA THA fails to leave an impact for a valid reason: A beaten to death plot tends to stagnate after a point. Also, Menon overstays the hospitality by dragging the film in its second hour. Just when you think the story would conclude, Menon does a time travel and starts a new chapter in this never-ending love story. That, honestly, only makes this snail-paced movie a taxing and cumbersome experience.
Sometimes even the worst films can redeem themselves with a moment of lucidity. Just as you are struggling to make sense of Gautham Menon’s “Ekk Deewana Tha“, the heroine — in a fit of emotion — tells the hero “there is nothing here, no chemistry or anything at all. Nothing”. And just like that, she hits the nail on the head.
This almost three-hour romance is the cinematic equivalent of listening to someone scratching their nails on a blackboard. You want to pull your hair out and tell them to stop it already. Unfortunately, Menon seems to be in no mood to listen. Just when you think it’s all over, it goes on for a little bit more.
Nothing and nobody has the right to force this onto an unsuspecting audience….Menon’s unbelievably contrived direction is so loud and uncultured, that even basic filmmaking techniques including dubbing (easily the worst in recent Indian film history – quite the norm in South Indian films lately), sound-design and, wait for it, ACTING – have assumed lower priority in the pecking order of technical frailties.