Hum Tum Aur Ghost

Even though it seems like it was already forever ago, my first movie watchalong experience was a lot of fun! Lead up to see Arshad Warsi's first production was high in my little world, and when the time came to watch, my expectation levels were elevated much higher than they probably should have been, but I absolutely enjoyed every second of it (well, almost every second).

Hum Tum Aur Ghost is the story of fashion photographer Armaan Suri (Arshad), a man who hears voices, can't sleep and relies on alcohol to get through his days (perfect for filmigirl's drinking game!). Though he has the love of girlfriend Gehna (Dia Mirza), his is a secret that he fails to share with her. Who wants to tell the people they love that they think they're crazy anyway? That's what therapists are for. However, soon Armaan meets Kapoor (Boman Irani), the self-appointed ghost who let's Armaan in on the joke that it's ghosts that he's seeing, and he's been selected to help each of them find their own peace. What follows is a journey of one man who finds himself by helping others in the process.

Yes, exactly what I imagine a day's end is like!

Directed by Kabeer Kaushik, who also worked on the Arshad starrer Sehar (which I've yet to see or even find for that matter), HTAG has done a great job of successfully meshing drama, romance and comedy throughout. This isn't the typical boy meets girl film. Aarman and Ghena are a couple when the story begins, and it's refreshing to see a couple realistically navigate through the murky waters that is a romantic relationship. There are some really comical moments too, like a few of the outlandish requests some of the ghosts make to Aarman, or when Kapoor inhabits Aarman's body. Lastly we get loads of drama, in the form of Aarman's 'missions', relationship angst and an amazing (albeit slightly overdone) climactic ending.

I feel like all I'm doing lately is praising Arshad Warsi on this blog, but I guess that's what happens when you discover something new that you love. As Aarman, Arshad brilliantly and seamlessly switches between tortured, yet funny drunk and concerned, empathetic man on a mission. The sheer delight of watching him play the lead rather than the supremely self-assured sidekick is what makes this film, and the fact that he gets to exhibits all of it in a romantic drama is bonus for me. We get to see him do some fantastic dancing, cleverly play off of Boman and shed a tear or two despite being such a man's man! I loved every second of it.

I found it hard to believe that this movie was a box office flop. Through the entire thing I thought it was a cute and charming movie that was best illustrated by the actor's skill and chemistry with each other. I have never seen Dia Mirza in anything before, though I knew who she was. First off let me say that I think she is absolutely a stunning woman, not in a sexpot kind of way mind you, but very innocently beautiful, and she definitely makes use of one of her assets, her large expressive eyes. As Ghena, she played the concerned and affected girlfriend very well, and the comfort she felt with Arshad was very evident. There's a lot of jodis who simply fizzle on screen, but this is not one of them. Now I know a lot has been said off-screen about these two, but you can't deny that these two have fantastic chemistry.

And what of our supporting actors? Well Boman is always a favorite of mine. He almost always gives a performance that is exaggerated, but in HTAG he is unusually restrained. Sandhya Mridul plays Mimi, Aarman's friend and assistant. I discovered that I'd seen Sandhya before in Saathiya, but I can't for the life of me remember her at all. I will now though. She was fantastic, and whether it was the acting, the script or the directing, she played her role with style, void of all the usual stereotypical trappings we usually see.

So by now, everyone must know I'm a huge S-E-L fan, and I think they did a great job with the music for HTAG. I remember Arshad saying that there was only one situational song in the film, and when it happened to be Banware Se Pooche Banwariya I was so excited. Fast paced, racy, youthful, energetic, [insert more synonyms here], it is instantly catchy and gets me dancing every time, plus, as I said earlier, it allows me to see Arshad show off his dancing skills. Interestingly enough, Maria Goretti, Arshad's wife, was even involved in the song, forming a part of the chorus group. Dekho Raste Mein is a wonderfully romantic song, landing itself in the film during a montage with both KK and Shreya Ghoshal lending their vocal talents; and Kal Tum The Yahan serves as the backdrop of the couple's relationship angst and is beautifully sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Caralisa Monteiro. Overall, a fantastic album and the film's setting really enhances it more.

Like FilmiGirl, I don't really know why this movie flopped so bad. Critics said the story was weak, I didn't see it. It is funny, moving, stylish and beautifully shot (seriously - there are stunning STUNNING visuals!), and for me a home run.

16 Response to "Hum Tum Aur Ghost"

  1. cmleigh says:
    May 27, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    I can't wait to see this. It is a toss up between HTAG or Ishqiya for me to watch next. I think I will go with this one. I am still bummed about missing the watch along. Nice review!

  2. Rae says:
    May 27, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    I haven't seen it yet and I don't see myself having insane pyaar for Arshad but I did think he was one of the best things about Salaam Namaste. Your review makes me want to see this film though and those two screencaps at the end are beautiful.
    The aesthetics of Hindi films are out of this world, from the color palettes to the framing of the shots, they are gorgeous.

  3. Filmbuff Says:
    May 27, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    My twin shares filmi girl and your views about this being a good movie and wondering why it flopped. I haven't seen the movie yet - so haven't actually read your review. I shall read it after I see the movie

  4. bollyviewer says:
    May 27, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Hmm... its strange finding myself on the side of popular opinion for once! I can totally see why the film flopped - it tried to be a romcom, a ghost story, a fairytale and a schizophrenia-masala (whats with schizophrenia - its like everything I see these days has some element of it!) film all at once and failed at everything. And Sandhya Mridul's character - if she really liked girls, how come she was flirting with Arshad while there was gorgeous Diya right there?! Plus, I was disappointed with Arshad and Diya's acting - they are both normally very good but here they just seemed to be going through the motions. All in all, I kept waiting for the film's promised spark to ignite and it just did not! Sigh... I had such high hopes of this, especially with all my favorites in the cast. :(

  5. bollywooddeewana says:
    May 28, 2010 at 6:52 AM

    i agree with you strongly Bollyviewer, i myself made similar comments on filmigirls' post

  6. Shellie says:
    May 28, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    @cmleigh - I think Ishqiya is definitely the better of the two films, however if you're looking for something pretty light, then I'd go with HTAG. I hope you enjoy both of them.

    We'll definitely have to do another watchalong. It was fun, if somewhat distracting! I had to rewatach the movie before I could review it.

    @Christy - Arshad will never replace my no #1 love, but he certainly has that "something" that I find incredibly appealing. Funny I don't really remember him being that outstanding in Salaam Namaste. In fact I didn't even realize he was in the movie, though to be fair, I saw it a long time ago before I knew who he was.

    If you ever get around to it, I hope you like it.

  7. Shellie says:
    May 28, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    @Filmbuff - I hope you enjoy it when you get around to it.

    @bollyviewer - Well, I suppose there are reasons why it didn't do well with the masses, and, like anything else, they are subject to interpretation. Could be that Arshad can do no wrong right now for me (as I continue to do some serious fangirl crushing), but I really honestly felt like he and Dia were wonderful together, very natural. While there were a couple of things I didn't like (like the extensive crash scene), I thought the story's elements worked well together. Plus it watching it with people probably enhanced the initial experience too.

    @bollywooddeewana - I'll have to check out what you said at Filmigirl's post.

  8. Shellie says:
    May 28, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    @bollywooddeewana - I would also like to read that article from Filmfare. If you still have the scans would you mind sending them to me as well.

  9. Filmi Girl says:
    May 28, 2010 at 7:16 AM

    Oh, gosh! I guess I find myself on the "wrong" side of popular opinion once again. Well, at least Shell will be keeping me company with Team Arshad! :D

  10. Chrism929 says:
    May 28, 2010 at 7:30 AM

    Enjoyed your review. I liked the movie a lot too - as you said, it was a visual treat and for me the performances were just right for the tone of the movie - with one exception.

    I did have a problem with Dia, whom I've liked in other films; her character was not convincing to me here, and I didn't like the way the relationship was written, either; simply not convincing. All very shallow. Still, it didn't set out to be a deep movie, did it?

    Apart from that quarrel with the writing - mainly the acting, writing, and styling of Dia's character - and on balance, that deficit, to me, was compensated for by the great Sandhya, and her delightfully written character - I liked the story though. It was simple but internally consistent - no sillier than most, for sure.

    Basically I saw it as a lightweight,entertaining charmer and for some reason its charm just doesn't work on everybody. It was rather subtle and understated for a Hindi film and maybe that was the problem with some people.

    I really looked forward to the watchalong and was all ready with my DVD but failed to participate whenthe time came because I didn't understand how it was supposed to work. Yes, I'm a newbie at some of this internet stuff. I wish someone could have given me a simple instruction. I wasn't born knowing how to do all this like everyone else seems to have been, but I'm a quick enough learner. Is there a tutorial anywhere?

  11. Shellie says:
    May 28, 2010 at 7:38 AM

    @Filmigirl - I never worry about what side I land on. If I like a movie, I like it. If I dont', I don't. Easy enough. And at least we know we're in good company! GO TEAM ARSHAD!

    @Christine - You're not the only one who doesn't always get the ways of the internet - it took me a while to figure out how to sync up. However, what you need to do for the future is create a gmail account - that's the only way to be able to google chat, and then hopefully the invite to join the chat room will work.

    Anyway, about the film. I didn't have anything to compare Dia in, as this was the first time I'd seen her, so that could be why I liked her so much. HTAG definitely is a lightweight film, but I generally really enjoy romance films (of any type really) so that + actors I adore = win for me.

  12. ajnabi says:
    May 28, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    I was so bummed I couldn't do the watchalong, but I'm still going to watch the film. I think it'll be fun!

  13. Shellie says:
    May 28, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    ajnabi, anytime you want to do a watchalong with any movie you let me know! I'll gladly join you if I can.

    Let me know your thoughts on this one after you've seen it.

  14. Bombay Talkies says:
    June 1, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    I'm sort of late to the party but was browsing this post since I just got a copy of HTAG. Haven't watched it yet, but did watch the clip of Banware Se Pooche Banwariya, and I have to say it sounds a bit...poached? The bit that starts at 0:32 is musically the same as the bit of Pappu Can't Dance Sala that starts at 0:52 here:

    (The sound and spacing and rhythm of the lyrics in BSPB make it sound almost like someone took the bones of PCDS and built a new song on it. Not that that's unusual threw me a bit. The part of PCDS I'm talking about are the lyrics that start "Pappu kudiyon mein craze hai...")

    Not really a big deal I guess, but I def had to look up the music and make sure it didn't come courtesy of Pritam. :p

  15. Shellie says:
    June 1, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    LOL at your Pritam dig.

    I listened to the songs at both points that you mentioned, and I can hear a similarity in the beat and rhythm, but the melodies are different enough that I don't recognize it as a musical "borrowment" (Is that even a word?)

    But you've got a good ear and a good memory for hearing it in the first place.

    I really hope you like the movie. When you watch it, come back and let me know what you thought.

  16. Bombay Talkies says:
    June 1, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    If "borrowment" isn't a word then I say we make it one. :p

    Watching it tonight, will let you know what I think! I'm psyched, I <3 Boman Irani.