It is February and love is in the air, of course. A love story like Sanam Re makes for a fitting iteration to a catalog of romance film tropes. That said, there are moments in this film that are soulful and so replete with passion, they can turn the staunchest of skeptics into believers. Albeit, only for a few minutes. The slip-shod execution, the plethora of loose ends and a long list of redundant leaves a lot to be desired. What could have been gut-wrenching, only manages to crawl up to tepid.
Sanam Re begins with Aakash (Pulkit Samrat) stuck in the mundane rut that is his job. With a draconian boss, who is also predictably ridiculous, breathing down his neck at work, and an irate landlord perennially heckling him for rent, Aakash is stuck between a rock and a hard place. He portrays the jaded urban young man, driven by ambition, but clueless as to what he really wants. Something is making his insides churn, but, he just cannot fathom the cause of his unease. A call from his mother about a certain exigency takes him back to Tanakpur, his hometown. An almost fantastical-looking town where the snow refuses to stop falling and the alpenglow never fades. Who wouldn’t fall in love in a town like this?
Then comes the flashback. We are introduced to Samrat’s idyllic childhood, his playful and clairvoyant grandfather, Daddu (Rishi Kapoor) and the quixotic existence they lead. Dancing in the snow, clicking pictures in the cute, little studio owned by Daddu, spreading love and mirth, and lots of laughter, constitutes their day. Here, Aakash meets Shruti (Yami Gautam). It is love at first sight and they grow up together, promising to love each other till the end of time. But, as fate would have it, they are torn apart. Aakash decides to move to the big, bad city of Mumbai to chase his dreams and ambitions. Yami is left behind, waiting and hoping.
Cut to 10 years thence. A series of incidents land Aakash up in Alberta, Canada, at a Yoga camp, in search of a certain Mrs. Pablo (Urvashi Rautela). But surprise! He ends up meeting his childhood sweetheart, Shruti, at the same camp. All this, while he is trying to woo Mrs. Pablo. The lovers are reunited, only to be separated again. But why? And who is the mysterious Mrs. Pablo? Many such questions haunt your mind and you wait for the second half, which reveals the heartbreaking plot. The climax, in particular, is stirring and can move one to tears.
The performances are strictly okay. Yami Gautam, who shows promise more often than not disappoints. Pulkit Samrat does a decent job, portraying the quintessential straitjacketed guy, torn between love and ambition. Urvashi Rautela does an admirable job for someone who is clearly only supposed to be a prop in the film. Rishi Kapoor is completely squandered and adorable as he is, leaves the audience dissatisfied.
The title track is a hauntingly beautiful melody, but the rest of the soundtrack is forgettable at best.
In its entirety, Sanam Re is a good attempt, but loses a lot owing to slip-shod implementation, feeble stabs at humor and a slew of platitudes and avoidable caricaturish characters.
Pulkit Samrat looks ravishing, Rishi Kapoor is absolutely lovable, the locales are picturesque and dreamy. If you enjoy stories, which are cloyingly sweet and aspiring tearjerkers, this would be the perfect pick. If self-sacrifice and forever-and-always are your jam, Sanam Re will be too.