“With Love… Tumhara”; Cast: Nakul Vaid, Preeti Jhangiani, Parveen Dabas, Anupama Verma and Sharat Saxena; Director: Kamal D. Nathani; Rating: *1/2

Love is…an unread diary. War-widow Preeti Jhangiani (didn’t she play one in her debut film “Mohabbatein”) gets down to read her dead soldier-lover’s diary.

Half a sentence later, there’s an electricity failure. The diary never returns. Neither does a mellow momentum that the narrative so desperately seeks to generate through the cold climes of Himachal Pradesh.

“With Love… Tumhara” is not so much a film as a television soap about two soldiers, Vaid and Dabas, apparently bonding during the 1999 Kargil war, in a makeshift barrack that looks like a set for a warehouse off-season sale.

Cut to another location. Soldier No. 2 stands at Soldier No. 1′s father’s doorstep with the dead man’s things.

Remember that moment in “Rang De Basanti” when mother Waheeda Rehman received air squadron Madhavan’s things in a suitcase?

Films with an army backdrop always have a very humane tale to tell. So does this one.

Lamentably director Kamal D. Nathani doesn’t go beyond the ambience of a neat soap opera. The pacing is sluggish. A kind of soap on a rope with no hope to whip up lather.

The film does have a sweet timbre of romance trickling through its veins. But the atmosphere never develops into a likable triangle among a man, woman and the ghost of her lover, which comes in the way of her right to renewed happiness.

Nakul Vaid has a charming aura to support his sketchy now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t role.

Parveen Dabas in the much meatier role has to go from soldier to lover to martyr. The transitions are undertaken in the spirit of a television mini-series with the commercial breaks replaced by sporadic soporific songs that tell us nothing about love and romance except that they can be mighty boring for onlookers.

Who says everybody loves a lover?

The girls are especially at a loss in the romantic cul de sac. Anupama Verma plays the rich bitch with a whining insistence. It takes us back to her stint in Sony TV’s reality show “Bigg Boss” where she just goes on and on complaining.

Preeti in her author-backed role of the soldier’s beloved, who chooses to live with his memory, offers plasticity in place of passion.

She has some terrific moments of emotion with her screen father-in-law Sharat Saxena who wants her to marry his son’s friend.

Sadly, noble intentions do not make a watchable film. “With Love…Tumhara” makes you weep more for there isn’t than what is.

— IANS

 

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