Through the streets of Mumbai, our young hero Imran gallops away like 'Sivaji' on his steed, only to win back his love. What is a banner that gave us cinematic gems like Lagaan and Taare Zameen Par doing with a more traditional youth flick? Has Aamir Productions lost it? The answer is simple…APL (Aamir Productions Pvt Ltd) is a force to be reckoned with and their latest venture Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na cements the fact that they stand for uncompromising quality in Indian cinema.
Though this time a certain Khan is missing, there are several other Khans in the movie, of which the real limelight is on the debutant Imran Khan. And if all goes well, I am certain that Imran will be remembered for years to come with that ‘shot’ that I mentioned in the beginning. But another notable debut is that of the talented Abbas Tyrewala as a director. After writing for various films and songs, he finally makes his directorial debut with Jaane Tu, and I must say, a mighty good start it is!
*Spoiler Alert* - The following paragraphs concern specific events from the movie.
It does not take much time however for Jai to find someone interesting, as he swoops in to save his lady love Meghna (Manjari) from the clutches of Bhaloo and Bhageera (eventually leading to a rather silly Jungle Book moment pre-climax). Thus we have Jai happy, the rest of the gang happy, and Aditi of course trying her best to be happy, …when the truth is that she begins to realize that Kuch Kuch Hota Hai!
*End of Spoiler Alert*
Now let us call a ‘spade’ a ‘spade’ and agree that Jaane Tu has a very stale plot. Several movies have beaten this subject to death. People south of India would have already had their share of this with recent success stories like Niram (Malayam) , Nuvee Kavali (Telegu) which incidentally also happens to be Genelia’s debut Hindi flick- Tujhe Meri Kasam.
To begin with the narration unfolds (as told) by the 'friend's circle' to a newcomer as they wait at the airport for the return of the lead characters (remember Chalte Chalte anyone?) And then it instantly takes us to our college days and the immediate days after, before the tensions of our career consumes us away. And the viewers can instantly connect to the various emotions that run wild in every youth – yaari, dosti, pyaar. Everything is kept realistic except for giving into a filmi style ‘airport’ ending. (Chalte Chalte again?). But I did not see anyone complaining about that, I guess sab chalta hai in Bollywood!
Then again, there isn’t much wrong that the makers have got here with Jaane Tu …except perhaps for its stale plot. But otherwise the cast, music, characters, screenplay and subtlety...everything works and blends very well to make this flick one of the irresistible charmers of this year. This is essentially the alluring bliss on the lines of say, Jab We Met, but thankfully one that does not lose its way like the latter did mid way through.
The actors effortlessly get into the skin of their characters. Imran Khan is a natural and makes a confident debut with his ‘boy next door’ looks. Though he still has a long way before getting to the filmi routines of performances, he does well when the emotions are kept at a minimum. For Genelia, this is a cakewalk having done similar roles in the past, the difference being that with this she gets a ticket to the big league. The rest of the cast that forms the circle of ‘Friends’ also perform well.
Another reason why this feel good flick works so well is that it gives enough meat for all its cast members to leave an impression. Though the characters aren’t really well etched out, it is interesting to note how each one leaves an impact in their short ‘guest like’ roles. Two of the most impressive of acts is that of Naseerudhin Shah and Prateek Babbar. While the former has a ball of a time as the brave macho ‘Rathore’ papa of Jai, the latter makes a formidable debut in the role of Aditi’s brother. Playing a loner character that looks like Taare Zameen Par’s ‘Ishaan’ in college days, Prateek does give us glimpses of his mother Smita Patil for sure. Irrespective of being kept out of the limelight, he is bound to gain a lot from this showing.
Also chipping in with good performances are Ratna Pathak Shah, Paresh Rawal, the Khan brothers, Sohail and Arbaaz. Manjari also does a decent job that will do wonders for her career.
Keeping in tone with the feel of the movie, the freshness is evident in the music score from Rahman as well. The jazzed up background sounds are a welcome treat for the ears. As for songs, the likes of ‘Kabhi Kabhi Aditi’ and ‘Pappu Can’t Dance’ are already a rage on the air waves!
All in all, if last week’s Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic was strictly for the kids at heart, this simple flick is strictly for the youth at heart. They are bound to lap it up. The rest will look back at it nostalgically with a heartwarming smile. They know it is more than just a tale of how Aditi and Jai got together. There is a slice of everyone’s college days somewhere in there.
So…What’s This? It's a fresh breezy entertainer which undoubtedly is the best the year has seen so far!