I have been an ardent fan of Chris Columbus’s 1998 superhit English movie ‘Stepmom’ starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon. I would have watched the movie more than 30 times and still like to catch up whenever the movie is shown on television. When Karan Johar announced that he is going to remake ‘Stepmom’ in Hindi, I was very curious to find out the outcome. I wanted to see how Kajol and Kareena would have potrayed the same role that Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts had already immortalized in the history of world cinema. My wait ended when I got to watch the movie today.

Karan Johar alongwith Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan has always spelt success and the hindi version of ‘Stepmom’ i.e. ‘We R Family’ starring Kajol, Kareena and Arjun Rampal was something to look forward to. Although KJo was not the director and it was newbie Siddharth Malhotra who has been an assistant to KJo on several projects. Surprisingly I was impressed with whatever I saw.

‘We R Family’ has its own positives and flaws as it is normally seen whenever an English movie is remade into Hindi. The restrainted and flawless performances of Susan and Julia is replaced by the over dramatic and loud acting of Kajol and Kareena (so synonimous of Hindi movies). The premise is the same as the original with little alterations done to suit the tastes of our Hindi movie audiences.

Maya [Kajol] is the perfect mother. Her life revolves around her three children, Aleya [Aanchal Munjal], Ankush [Nominath Ginsberg] and Anjali [Diya Sonecha]. Despite being divorced from her husband Aman [Arjun Rampal], Maya has ensured that everything runs smoothly in her house, under her watch, and that they continue to remain a happy family unit.

When Aman introduces his girlfriend, Shreya [Kareena Kapoor], a career-oriented woman, the situation takes an unexpected turn. However, Maya is diagnosed with a terminal illness and circumstances bring the two women under the same roof. Can two mothers make a home?

With a plot like this, you expect ‘We R Family’ to be an out-and-out serious outing. However, the film has its serious moments, but the director ensures that it doesn’t come across as a gloomy and serious fare. In fact, the generous dose of light moments in the narrative keeps the drama fluid. There’s an inherent sensitivity that the director brings in, which keeps you involved for most parts.

On the flip side, the film tends to stagnate in the middle of the second hour. One expects the story to move forward, but there’s not much movement here. Thankfully, the film picks up wonderfully towards the penultimate reels.

Kajol as usual is first rate while Kareena is able to match up to the towering presence of Kajol. After Rock On, Housefull and Raajneeti we see another brilliant act by Arjun Rampal. The three children are aptly cast and perform well.

The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is a big let down especially because Dharma Productions is always associated with chartbuster music and all their movies since KJo took over the reins has always been ‘Musical Blockbusters’ from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to the recent I Hate Luv Storys.

Mohanan’s cinematography, Niranjan Iyer’s dialogues and Raju Singh’s background music is first rate. Director Siddharth Malhotra shows promise as he has handled the dramatic scenes between Kajol and Kareena brilliantly.

This movie will appeal to the female audiences who in turn will bring their spouses and children to watch the movie with them ensuring good returns for the movie. On the whole I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the movie to everyone….

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