Socha Na Tha (2005) is the debut movie of the director Imtiaz Ali and the hero Abhay Deol. I could not watch it when it was released. Years later, just one day prior to watching Rockstar (2011) in theatre, I happened to watch Socha Na Tha on internet and now I can safely say that this first venture of Imtiaz Ali is not only his most underrated product but also one of the most underrated rom-coms of this century (or millennium).This charming movie is just like a gust of fresh air where love is innocent, the lovers are having hearts of gold and even their family members are no stereotyped villains. Troubles are there, confusions are there, indecisiveness is there, misunderstandings and consequential quarrels are there but the most important thing is that everything is realistic and everybody is human. And to err is human, we all know. That’s the quality which makes this movie a winner.Socha Na Tha (not thought of) is the love story of a confused young boy Viren (Abhay Deol) and an orphan girl fostered by her uncles and aunts – Aditi (Ayesha Takia). Their parents / guardians want them to get married with each other but they have other plans. On one hand, Aditi likes someone else (Shayan Munshi), on the other, Viren feels infatuated to a Christian girl – Karen (Apoorva Jha). Viren seeks the help of his sister-in-law (Ayesha Zulka) to get out of the proposed matrimonial alliance with Aditi and finally manages not only the consent of Karen but also her parents as well as his parents for their marriage. But meantime, Viren and Aditi have become friends. Now Viren expressively and Aditi silently feel that in fact, they have fallen in love with each other. Innocent Viren with a clean heart does many illogical things to first repel Karen and her parents and then do the repair work in case of Aditi. However the misunderstandings between their families keep on increasing. Finally, they go away from each other. Viren transforms himself into a mature and successful youth but now Aditi who was earlier much more mature and sensible than Viren, approaches him to unite with him. What happens thereafter is the climax.The theme of this movie reminds me of a very old black and white comedy – Chacha Zindabad (1959) starring Kishore Kumar and Anita Guha. However this movie does not at all appear to be a copy of that old movie or any other movie. It has an originality of its own, courtesy the fresh style of treating the story idea.
Teenage and just after that is that time of a normal person’s life when the heart wants to fly in the air. Let someone become mine. Let myself become someone’s. Let’s sing love songs. Let’s release sighs when not together. But it takes time to realize as to what actually one wants. It cannot be understood within a short span of time as to who is or can be your real soulmate. And that’s the message of Socha Na Tha.Director Imtiaz Ali has been fully successful in his mission of presenting a touching and lovable rom-com. Hilarious moments are there. Laughs are there. Tender feelings are there. Emotions are there. But as I have said earlier, there are no villains. The negatively behaving people are also not wrong from their viewpoint. The late understanding of things as well as the immature actions of the protagonist create misunderstandings that result in negative reactions of those who are in one way or the other, related to the lead pair. In fact, all the characters involved in the script are good by heart. The ending scene evidences it in the most simple and straight manner.
Now I am surprised where this young director has lost his touch and the skill to pick the pulse of the young and educated generation. Socha Na Tha is a movie which you will love like anything if watch with not so high expectations. As far as I am concerned, I felt like flowing with the lead characters and the things happening to (and by) them in the story, empathizing with them. Love is like the fresh cow milk when innocent. And let’s not allow its innocence to be tainted by any means.
This movie, produced by Dharmendra, has a good production value and technically perfect. The music of Sandesh Shandilya is completely in sync with the mood of this romantic movie and all the tunes are melodious and lovely. However they do not possess the quality to remain in mind when the movie is over. The beautiful and touching lyrics of the songs (coming from the pens of Irshad Kaamil and Subrat Sinha), if listened to with attention, are able to strike a chord in the listener’s heart.
Abhay Deol has proved in his debut movie itself that he’s the horse for a long race. With his long hair and innocent raw face, he not only looks dashing but his performance is so impressive as if he was born before a camera. Ayesha Takia, with her childish looks, is not far behind. The movie has one more Ayesha – the veteran heroine, Ayesha Zulka as the Bhabhi of the hero and she has done exceedingly well in the meaty role assigned to her. The complete supporting cast has done justice to the respective roles but mainly the movie belongs to the lead pair which has lightened up the screen with its amazing chemistry.
It’s painful for me to know that this brilliant romantic movie was a commercial failure. May be due to poor marketing. However true to its title, any viewer of this movie (including me) had not thought of liking it so much. If not for some repetition of things in the later part of the movie and the absence of some memorable songs, I would have awarded it a five star rating. It’s virtually a heart-conqueror. If your heart beats for someone special, you can watch it any number of times without getting bored.
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