Fox Star Releases Bypasses Bollywood Convention by Casting Amy Jackson Opposite Prateik
(Fox Star Studios) Mark one for the road never traveled. Amidst a slew of bombshell leading actresses for the taking in the world’s most popular film industry -- be it Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, or Vidya Balan -- Fox Star Studios opted to cast a non-Indian Brit as a primo love interest opposite rising Hindi film star Prateik Babbar in Gautham Menon’s Ekk Deewana Tha. Also starring Omi Vaidya, Fox Star’s road never traveled should not be looked upon negatively. While Bollywood has not seen a British Caucasian leading lady play such a prominent role since Rachel Shelley in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, Fox Star’s decision to bring on the former Miss Teen World and Miss England as leading lady is quite fitting, considering Ekk Deewana Tha’s storyline.
Naturally, with Fox Star as producer and distributor, Ekk Deewana Tha
is going to have some unique nuances from the typical boy-meets-girl plot so predictably rampant in Bollywood. Yes, there is your standard story of a young man living under his well-to-do father’s shadow, who is educated in the sciences but yearning to do something artistic. Along his path to self-realization, he meets a beautiful woman and falls in love instantly. Oh, if only culture and religion were not a barrier, our new lovebirds could be together forever.
Where Ekk Deewana Tha departs ever so slightly from the usual Bollywood fare is applying the course of these two star-crossed lovers in the context of the twenty-first century. Indeed, Ekk Deewana Tha is less about the vertical struggles amongst family members living in a horizontal society, but instead the internal multi-directional complexities we as individuals encounter when answering questions concerning affairs of the heart.
Such questions are confronted by Sachin (Mr. Babbar) -- a film-obsessed engineering graduate trying to find purpose in life. As he struggles to navigate his way through the harsh movie business while surviving on a modest revenue stream from his father, Sachin begins to live a life of eternal waiting.
As he waits…and waits…then waits some more for his big on-screen break, Sachin one day stumbles upon Jessie (Ms. Jackson), who is not only beautiful but everything a man can ask a woman. She is beauty and brains and graceful, and a member of an orthodox Christian family. Amongst the big no-no’s in her life are hanging out at parties, going out on a date to the movies, and falling in love.
Of course, Sachin cannot help the fact he has completely fallen for Jessie, and so the story begins. How does Sachin overcome a family’s traditional lifestyle and share a love with a woman he feels strongly for, all while that same woman attempts to re-brand the same feelings she has in order to not only respect her lineage, but also protect her emotions from unleashing any harm.
In not following the traditional storyline involving differing castes or the typical Hindu-Muslim tussle, Ekk Deewana Tha dramatically delves into some very real struggles faced by today’s Mumbai youth. In many ways, Ekk Deewana Tha is a modern love story, even more so because of the nature of Jessie’s character (and Ms. Jackson’s casting).
Such is a tale one too many of the younger generations will be able to connect to, meaning Ekk Deewana Tha should resonate with quite a few audience members. Kudos for Fox Star Studios for connecting one of India’s rising stars in Mr. Babbar with a beautiful model-turned-actress who, at least before this weekend, was a complete unknown in Bollywood. The film’s score and music (by A.R. Rahman) rate is also quite solid.
With a relevant storyline and quite the awesome acting talent in Mr. Babbar, Buzzine Bollywood has high expectations for Ekk Deewana Tha.
For Fans of: Lagaan, Dhobi Ghat
Why We Like It: Modern Love Story, Prateik, Amy Jackson, Soundtrack/Music