Hrithik Week: Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Hrithik and Esha and Saif, Oh My!

Such a silly fun light weight movie! You may say it’s stupid, and I won’t exactly argue with you, but it sure is fun too!

This is the kind of movie where the love token is a Paddington bear doll. And that’s before the Paddington movies turned him into a symbol of immigration and refugees, back when he was just a kind of lame kids toy from a British book series. This movie is not just stupid and cheesy, it is stupid and cheesy to the point of not even caring it is stupid and cheesy, going for the simplest easiest silliest plot points. But boy do I enjoy it!

Image result for na tum jaano na hum poster
Speaking of lazy, how lazy is this poster???? Including the tagline???

No one in this movie does a good job. They don’t do a bad job either, they just do the job required. Hrithik is almost manic in his energy and smiles, and then suddenly crushed and noble. Saif goes from naive and silly to goofy and enthusiastic and in love in no time at all. And Esha is just sweet-sweet-sweet, the kind of good girl who throws up when she sees meat. It works, because this plot is ridiculous and this movie is silly and a realistic performance wouldn’t even fit right.

I could live with better songs. I honestly can’t remember any of them. And maybe less boring costumes. But I’m not gonna complain about the crazy plot or the bad acting, or the dumb Paddington toy, because the movie is what it is and it isn’t ashamed of itself.

That “not being ashamed” is enough to give us some great set pieces. There’s a surprisingly sharp spoof of classic love song sequences, including Esha running into Hrithik’s arms only to knock them both down to the ground in a bruised and painful heap. There’s also a great over the top sequence with Esha in a “sexy dress”. And the ending is the kind of cheesy unrealistic thing that you can only get away with in a cheesy unrealistic movie.

Here, watch the whole thing! You’ll love it!

I’m not going to recommend this to just anyone, but if you like cheesy love stories, and you have somehow missed this film, get on it! It’s delightfully unashamed to be what it is.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

You ready for a delightfully stupid plot that relies on everyone deciding to do things in the most illogical way possible? It’s not even misunderstandings, it’s purposefully choosing not to understand each other because it is “noble” not to talk honestly.

While at school, Esha finds a letter in a library book which is so beautiful it changes her life. She then reads it on a radio call in show as a dedication and Hrithik, the former student who wrote the letter, hears her and calls in to talk to her. BUT! They are both aware that to fall in love without parental approval would be Wrong. And so, in order to remain virtuous, the decide not to exchange names or learn anything about each other. Because if you fall in love anonymously, it doesn’t count.

Sweet! Virtious! Childlike! Mentally Damaged! the classic heroine

For years, Hrithik and Esha exchange letters through anonymous PO Boxes, falling deeper in love (but it doesn’t count). Meanwhile, Hrithik’s best friend Saif is a playboy with a string of girlfriends who mean nothing to him. Not only that, he is dating them AND EXCHANGING NAMES AND CONTACT INFO!!!! The dog!!! If he were a good Indian boy, he would be sleeping with all these women without learning their names and then it wouldn’t count. Anyway, after his most recent girlfriend comes to his house and confesses she really loved him, his parents decide it is time to crack down and insist on an arranged marriage. Hrithik, friend of the family, agrees to go check out the arranged marriage possibility on Saif’s behalf, without telling her what he is doing, so Saif can learn if she is a nice person. Again, this would be Wrong, but it’s anonymous, so it’s all okay.

Hrithik is a photographer, Esha’s Dad arranges to hire him to do an ad campaign for their store, thus allowing Esha and Hrithik lots of time to get to know each other so Hrithik can report back to Saif. Hrithik and Esha hit it off and would be falling in love, only not because they are Good People and Saif is Hrithik’s best friend whose family adopted him when his mother died. He has a father and money and stuff, but his Dad lives in Canada (and who would live in Canada when you could live in India?) so I guess he stayed in India and Saif’s family, like, invited him over for dinner once in a while? An Unbreakable Bond!

Still not in love, filming a commercial together. Not sure how this is going to sell people on her father’s mall, but whatever

And then Esha learns her whole family has been carefully planning and arranging her engagement without telling her (because not telling people things is Wholesome and Right), and writes to her mystery penpal asking to meet so he can come and talk to her family about an engagement. And they will recognize each other because she will have a toy airplane and he will have a Paddington Bear toy. WHAT THE HECK? Who goes around in public casually holding a toy airplane? Also, they meet in a photogenic big empty old building, so why even use the love tokens? Can’t they recognize each other because they are the only two people there?

Anyway, Hrithik sees her, realizes it is his best friend’s fiancee, and nobly steps back and sacrifices his love. Because the bond between two people who met once and their family’s think they might like each other is something that no one should touch, especially if one of those people is a guy who invites you over for dinner some times. Really, it is such a silly sacrificial decision I can’t even get mad at how Hrithik is making this choice for Esha and the Patriarchy and all that. Who could take this seriously?

Sadness! Windbreakers! Old-fashioned cell phones with antennas!

And then we enter the cheesiest best part of the film. Hrithik is passionately in love with Esha, his best friend’s girl, but can’t admit his feelings and thus be silent and tortured. The best kind of Hrithik. This also leads to my favorite sequence, Saif has given Esha a tiny sexy dress and she wears it to a party with him to be polite. Hrithik picks her up and sees her distress but nobly does not comment. Then, on the ride to the party, Bad Street Drinkers comment on Esha, Hrithik lets it go until he sees one perfect tear fall from her eye, and then does a u-turn and beats them all up. And then they go to the party like nothing happened, and Esha doesn’t say “wait a minute, why are you so angry on my behalf? Aren’t you just my fiance’s friend? Is it possible you are in love with me yourself but nobly keeping it inside?”

That part is good, but my absolute favorite part is what happens after. Esha is dancing at the party with dopey-face Saif and the zipper on the back of her dress starts to slip down. Oh no! Hrithik watches, tortured, and finally reaches out and grabs her and spins her into his arms. And then, holding her close, he slowly zips her up again. Super sexy. And bonkers, could he not just say “hey, your zipper’s falling down”? I guess not, because that would be talking about things and talking about things is against Sanskar.

Hrithik of course eventually realizes that he has to be Noble and walk away. If that’s where the movie ended, I would be very irritated and unhappy with it. But no! There is more delightful cheese and “the noble thing is not to talk ever” coming our way!

More sadness! And also, burning metaphorical airplanes of love!

See, Hrithik stepped aside for Saif and moved to Canada. And then didn’t talk to Saif or his family or any mutual friends for 4 years. That seems reasonable. Randomly in a mall in Canada, he runs in to Saif holding a small child, clearly his son. Hrithik almost walks away, continuing his policy of “the best thing to do is never talk to people”. But Saif stops him and, in the sloooooooooooowest most roundabout way, reveals that he did NOT marry Esha, she canceled the wedding at the last minute because she was in love with someone else (her letter person whose name she doesn’t know). Instead he married that girlfriend who confessed her love and started this whole thing. Esha taught him to love and want commitment, and then he went back to the girlfriend finally understanding her feelings. Awwww! That just warms my heart! How often do we get the playboy character deciding he actually loves one of the women he played with, not the noble virtuous arranged marriage fiancee?

And then Hrithik flies to India, finds Esha, and slowly and dramatic pulls out his Paddington Bear doll thereby revealing his identity. Of course, they could have had this exact same happy ending 4 years earlier when they were supposed to meet since she was always going to walk away from marrying Saif, but then we wouldn’t have had the Tormented Crazed Hrithik section of the film, and I love that section. Hrithik should always be tormented and crazed! Especially in romances!

Okay, did I sell you on watching it? Did you read all of this and think “why would I want to watch this movie, it is insanely stupid”, or did you read it and think “why have I not yet watched this movie, it sounds insanely stupid”?

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7 thoughts on “Hrithik Week: Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Hrithik and Esha and Saif, Oh My!

  1. I agree re suffering noble Hrithik. And I like it, too, although you will wonder why when I agree with all the flaws you mention and have a few others to talk about.

    Hrithik stopping the car to beat up the loud mouths – Isn’t this putting Esha in danger? What if he is outnumbered by the six or so goons, who then go on to really molest Esha? Wasn’t she safer in the moving car and aren’t emotions easier to get over than actual molestation?? Makes me crazy.

    Dresses with zippers in back have hooks to prevent this ridiculous zipper-coming-undone stuff.

    In the final high emotion scene, Hrithik’s shirt is soaked in sweat. Kind of distracting.

    Which leads me to the art direction. Potentially the worst art direction ever in a Hindi movie.

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    • Your comment made me realize I wrote this whole review without talking about the behind the camera “talent”! Director has directed nothing else (shocking!). Producer is the owner of Big Bazaar, which is legitimately interesting. If you’ve never been to India, Big Bazaar is a kind of Target-Walmart like chain, it’s big business and it’s every where. And the guy who founded this also decided that this movie was the thing he just HAD to produce?

      And yes to all of your critiques! Come to think of it, Saif was established as the “bad suitor” because he didn’t think about Esha’s needs (giving her the dress, taking her to a non-veg restaurant), but Hrithik is the one who potentially got her mixed up with a bunch of random street goons!

      But the zipper scene has complete internal logic, being as Esha is a sweet good girl, she has obviously never worn a dress with a zipper before (only modest loose flowing things), and so ignored the hook and eye, not understanding what it was for. Hrithik, being a good boy, didn’t know either and so just zipped it up without fastening the hook.And again, Saif would have been the better option! I am sure he is familiar with the working of dress zippers.

      On Wed, Jul 10, 2019 at 4:07 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Arjun Sablok (the Director) played SRKs friend in DDLJ and also directed Neal n Nikki after this. That’s pretty much his entire filmography. KJo definitely became the more successful SRK friend from DDLJ

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  2. I have a fun story about this movie – I actually saw the shooting of one scene!!! After Eesha told Saif she loves a random stranger…Saif went to Hritikh and asked him to pretend to be the random stranger so he could break Eesha heart…this is at 2hrs 11min into the movie. They were shooting it late night at DLF golf course, where my dad is a member…so he found out about it and took the kids to see the shoot…I still remember the shoot was a mess…the director had no clue what he wanted…he kept stopping the scene and changing his mind and the actors were getting mad…finally Saif-Hritikh had a conversation on the side and decided to do it as they felt. And after it all wrapped up we got to meet Hritikh-Saif and take photos!! They were very kind and nice…made me a bigger fan of them….

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great story! And the movie looks like something directed by someone who had no idea what he was doing. Interesting that Saif and Hrithik just decided on their own, this was Hrithik’s 6th movie and I still don’t think he was a good actor, but I can believe he knew enough to work out how he wanted to do a scene with his scene partner, sounds like better than the director could. And really nice that Hrithik and Saif had that frustrating shoot and still agreed to be nice and take photos!

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  3. Okay so I rewatched this movie and I still kept rolling my eyes a lot. Isha is just a little too sweet and child-like here for me to view as an adult and more importantly, it never felt like she fell for the real Hrithik. It would have been so much better to see Isha fall in love with Hrithik and be confused between him and her pen pal. For some reason the chemistry between her and Hrithik is just not there. If you are going to make such a bad movie, there better be a LOT of chemistry, even if it is tortured quiet moments, which Hrithik had but Isha did not. I felt like Hrithik and Saif had more chemistry and wish that had been fleshed out more.

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    • You are so good to me, watching all these movies just because I review them!

      Agree Saif and Hrithik had better chemistry. Saif is just super good at building chemistry with co-stars! I can’t think of a Saif film where he had bad chemistry with the heroine, or his co-hero. But that’s not a skill set I think of either Hrithik or Esha having. They really need someone else to do the heavy-lifting for them in terms of creating chemistry out of nothing. Like Rani did for Hrithik in Mujshe Dosti Karoge or Ajay for Esha in Yuva.

      On Mon, Jul 15, 2019 at 12:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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