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Review: Cookie-cutter moralizing in 'I, Me Aur Main'

There are a few pleasures in this tale of a chastened egomaniac (along with a typically oversold Bollywood score).

March 03, 2013|By Robert Abele
  • Chitrangda Singh (center) in "'I Me Aur Main."
Chitrangda Singh (center) in "'I Me Aur Main." (AFP / Getty Images )

The Indian film "I, Me Aur Main" (Me Myself and I) wastes no time establishing its chiseled rake of a protagonist. A music producer named Ishaan (John Abraham), he's a guy primed for a fall — coddled, arrogant and commitment-phobic toward his beautiful, long-suffering live-in girlfriend, Anushka (Chitrangda Singh).

When she finally throws him out, it precipitates a downward spiral that exposes his depthless existence. This being a pop-sheen fantasy of a playboy's comeuppance, though, Ishaan naturally meets gorgeous redemption right away in new neighbor Gauri (Prachi Desai), a cheery flirt whose merciless teasing of Ishaan goes a long way toward humbling him.

The minutes before the movie's intermission reveal the biggest opportunity for Ishaan to face up to his responsibilities and relationships, and it's in the second half that director Kapil Sharma manages delicately complicated drama amid the cookie-cutter moralizing.

It's all slight stuff with a typically oversold Bollywood score, but there are pleasures here and there, mostly when Abraham gets to slow down the hunky self-centeredness and play dumbstruck sparring partner to the effervescent Desai. There's also admirable uncertainty in whether a happy ending is in store, which is a welcome bit of emotional suspense for an otherwise routine tale of a chastened egomaniac.


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