Milenge Milenge (“We Will Meet, We Will Meet”) is a remake of the 2001 Hollywood romance Serendipity that is, at times, remarkably faithful to the original. Too bad the writers missed the point of the movie.
Kareena Kapoor stars as Priya, a college girl who abhors guys who drink, smoke, and lie. A tarot card reader — played by the great Kirron Kher, who acts like she’s embarrassed to be in the movie — informs Priya that she’s going to meet her soulmate on a foreign beach in seven days. The next day, Priya learns that she’s been selected to attend a youth conference in Bangkok.
At the same time, good-for-nothing fellow college student Immy (Shahid Kapoor) finagles his way onto the same trip. In Bangkok, he stumbles into Priya’s room while running from the cops and immediately falls in love with the sleeping beauty. He steals her diary and learns about the tarot card reader’s prediction. He makes sure he’s the one waiting for Priya on the beach on the seventh day.
Of course, pretending to be Priya’s fated soulmate means Immy must give up drinking and smoking. After he finally decides that being with Priya is worth abstaining, she discovers his scheme and calls the relationship off.
At this point, Milenge Milenge becomes a full-fledged Serendipity clone. The couple meet up in India when they both reach for the same item in a department store. Priya has Immy write his name and phone number on a 50 rupee note, and she writes hers inside of a book. Then she gives both the book and bill away. If Priya and Immy are destined to be together, she reasons, he’ll find the book with her name and she’ll find the note with his.
The original Hollywood movie began with two strangers meeting in a department store. They spend some time together and enjoy each other’s company, but both are already in committed relationships. They also do the bit with the book and the dollar bill, a cosmic test to see if they should ditch their partners and be together.
The whole reason that the fate angle worked in the original was that the lead couple had no history. The test of fate was based on the idea of what could be.
When Priya and Immy test fate, they already have a history, and it’s a bad one. Immy is a thief and a fraud, and Priya has good reason to dump him. If he wants to prove that he can change, he needs to be with Priya to do that.
If their test works and they are reunited by fate, it doesn’t prove that Immy is a better man. What if Priya was simply destined to be with a jerk?
In addition to the logical problem of Priya & Immy’s fated reunion, there’s also a practical one. In Serendipity, the male lead didn’t know the woman’s last name. In Milenge Milenge, Immy knows Priya’s last name, as well as where she went to college. Why not call the alumni office? Why not Google her? There’s no reason why he can’t find her.
The fact that neither Immy nor Priya thinks to consult the Internet makes the movie feel dated, as does virtually everything else about Milenge Milenge. The quality of the cinematography makes it look like a contemporary of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) rather than a movie made in 2004. (The movie’s been stuck in post-production hell for the past six years.) A cheesy soundtrack, wacky overacting, and a prudish sense of morality make Milenge Milenge seem even older than that.
Milenge Milenge languished on the shelf for six years. It probably should’ve stayed there permanently.