16 August, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na: Movie Review

Amir Khan seems to be spinning more gold than Rumpelskiltskin. He has been dishing out one delightful movie after another- Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and now Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Let us call it JTYJN for the sake of convenience.
One would expect JTYJN to be “just another mushy college romance” – it is that and much more. It is the original treatment of the beaten-to-death plot that makes this movie so refreshingly different. Along with a great feel-good movie, Amir gives Bollywood a new chocolate boy - his nephew, Imran Khan.
What is the movie about?
Well, obviously it’s about friendship and love! Though JTYJN does not have a “plot” or “story” to talk about, it manages to delight purely through near-flawless direction and marvelously etched characters.
The story is about Jai (Imran Khan) and Aditi (Genalia) who are “best friends” in college. The narrative takes us through their journey from friendship to love and the grand realization of the same (which in this case, takes a tad longer than usual). Even the supporting cast deserves a pat on the back for laudable performances and comic timing. Ratna Pathak Shah, Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz and Sohail Khan appear sporadically but do not seem wasted in respect to the larger picture. Each cameo has something valuable to contribute to the narrative. Nassiruddin Shah hangs around in a photo-frame hung on the wall but steals the show with his powerful screen presence and performance (as usual!)
The Verdict:
Abbas Tyrewala has executed the script with sheer brilliance and simplicity. He steers away from the mould of a typical commercial bollywood flick without losing out on the mass appeal. Imran does exceptionally well as a debutant and shows lot of promise. Genelia glides through her complex character effortlessly and makes you wonder why an actress like her is so under-rated. Both look convincing in their “average college goer” look with no over-the-top styling, designer labels and snazzy cars. A.R. Rehman’s music in the film is fresh and youthful- the first half seems to have too many songs but they really don’t irk you. “Pappu can’t dance” and “Kabhi Kabhi” are catchy and linger on long after you have walked out of the theatres.
In all, the movie comes across as a light, enjoyable, clean romantic comedy. JTYJN is packed with wit, humor (not the loud, slapstick kind) and excellent performances. It makes you smile, laugh and want to fall in love. Though it has nothing new on board, you simply must watch it because it is fun and it is different!
I would give it a ****1/2

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