20 September 2009 | ijzeren_jan
EMI, or: how to turn bank loans into a feel-good movie?
EMI is the story of several unrelated people and their bank loans. Ryan (Arjun Rampal) is a charming good-for-nothing DJ, who loves beautiful but demanding women, as well as a luxurious lifestyle he can afford only thanks to banks giving him one credit card after another. Chandrakakta (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) is an elderly gentleman whose love for his only son is unlimited, and who takes a huge bank credit to finance his son's studies in London, merely because the latter wants to "explose his life path". Anil (Ashish Chaudhary) and Shilpa (Neha Uberoi) are a young couple who believe married life should start with a minimum amount of wealth, and therefore borrow a lot of money for their wedding, their honeymoon, an apartment, a car, and a laptop. Prerna (Urmila Matondkar) is an elegant young woman, whose husband committed suicide, and because she is not entitled to any insurance money, she cannot maintain herself and her 5 years old daughter anymore.
After a year, all these people are in deep trouble, because they cannot repay their debts. Sooner or later, they all fall prey to Sattar Bhai (Sanjay Dutt), a merciless gangster who owns a recovery agency. Sattar, however, has a major problem: he wants to be a politician, and therefore has to take his mentor's advice: "Treat people with respect, so that they will respect you as well. Then you will win." Thus, instead of having his goons beat up his poor, insolvent clients, he decides to help hem out.
The subject of EMI (Easy Monthly Installment) is far from pleasant: the ongoing credit crisis is proof enough of what can happen when people massively take loans they can't pay back later. That is also the morale of the story: be careful with loans! Yet, EMI is a pleasant and fairly uncomplicated feel good movie, taking the loans problem from a rather optimistic angle.
Sanjay Dutt is great as always, although this is obviously not a particularly challenging type of role for him. If you need a friendly gangster, take Sanju Bhai. More than once, I couldn't help feeling like I was watching Munna Bhai 3 (or 4, if you include Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin), although it should be said that EMI is not as good as the Munna Bhai movies. For the rest, Arjun Rampal does a great job and makes his part into something really interesting, Urmila is beautiful and fascinating, Kulbhushan gives an impressing performance as the honest, static father of a somewhat spoiled son. From the entire cast, I can't really think of anyone who did a poor job in this movie. Even Malaika Arora did not spoil anything.
The movie has a few great moments. I particularly like the scene in which Ryan teaches Sattar, hopelessly in love with Prerna, how to behave at a romantic dinner ("You don't have to kill the chicken, it is already dead!"), and the scene in which Sattar is feeding his sidekick "Decent" huge amounts of alcohol to find out what he really thinks.
All in all, EMI is not too ambitious and quite predictable, a tad moralizing as well, but sympathetic and well-performed.