This movie is merciless in the way it grinds the watcher into shocked silence. That a successful commercial film maker of the eighties and nineties might come up with a bad film today, is entirely within the realm of possibility. Much of popular cinema is based on contemporary taste, and since taste changes so quickly, a maker could quite easily trap himself in a time warp within a few short years. What is surprising about Suneel Darshan’s latest movie is not the decision to go ahead with an obsolete romantic style, but the sheer shoddiness of the writing within that idiom, and the director’s obvious disdain in observing the basic grammar of filmmaking.
At times the sloppiness almost appears deliberate; as though the film were being sabotaged from within. Told in an hour and three quarters, and set entirely on the coast of England and Wales, it starts off as a romantic mystery. A soon to be married couple turn up at a heritage mansion in this beautiful part of the country and are met by a reincarnated ex-lover of the girl. The intention of the dead soul is not to disrupt the present bond of the couple, but to warn the duo that danger lurks ahead.
Shiv Darshan, the son of the director, plays the dead man lead in the movie, and though he did make his debut in an earlier film, produced by his father, he has clearly not given up his belief that acting is his true vocation. So here he is given the role of Devdhar, a well intentioned spirit who turns up to rescue his ex lover, Natasha (Natasha Fernandez), presently betrothed to Sunny (Upen Patel). The entire cast deliver their lines slowly, carefully, in a very deliberate tone, as though they were at a funeral. Considering the terrible lines they are given to speak, the sombre ambience created of grand announcements made at a requiem, is not surprising. At one point, as the film changes gear and makes a transition from a mystery to a murder story, a character announces that we have finished with the ‘bedtime' story, and shall now commence with the 'bad time' story.
It is difficult to gauge the purpose of this film. Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha possesses no entertainment value whatsoever. It is a failure in every single department of movie making. If the intention of the film were to exploit the acting potential of Shiv Darshan and to resurrect his career, it has gone about the enterprise in exactly the opposite way that it should have.
To describe this film as a disappointment, would be an understatement. It is the worst Hindi film released in 2017.