How refreshing, that a movie about upwardly mobile young people should actually cast upwardly mobile young people! Jaane Tu…ya jaane na, a romantic comedy about privileged South Bombay kids, is the ultimate multiplex date movie, a sweet confection that entertains even the most jaded of Hindi movie viewers.
Abbas Tyrewala, who has written for movies like Munnabhai M.B.B.S and Main Hoon Na, is one of the few original and talented scriptwriters in Bollywood today. He makes his directorial debut with Jaane Tu…and brings the same sparkling dialogues and sense of joi de vivre to this movie.
Perhaps the best slice-of-life about rich kids and their romantic adventures ever made in Bollywood has been Dil Chahta Hai. In a sense, the characters in Jaane Tu… could be the offspring of the three yuppies in that movie. There are no financial struggles, no rich girl-poor boy angst and no dissaproving parents to cast the movie in the conventional Bollywood mould.
Still, the very wealthy can feel pain just like the rest of us, I suppose, and they do, as exemplified by Jai and Aditi, who are crazy about each other but go through all the trials and tribulations of young love before they figure it all out in the final reel.
Jai is played by Imran Khan, who is being launched by uncle Aamir Khan, whose production this movie is. Aamir wisely, and thankfully, hands over the chocolatey chikna college boy mantle to the next generation. Imran is cute as cute can be and turns in an admirable performance for his first movie.
Genelia D'Souza, who is a well known actress in southern films, makes a reentry of sorts this year in Bollywood. She plays Aditi, the emotional, tomboyish, confused girl who doesn't know what she really wants when it comes to love. Though she has a wonderfully expressive face, her Hindi diction falters a bit with a dialogue delivery that falls short.
Imran and Genelia are joined by an ensemble cast that features a bunch of newcomers, which gives the movie a fresh feel, though the kids are pretty raw. Also helping out are stalwarts like Ratna Pathak Shah, Naseeruddin Shah and a bunch of old timers like Kittu Gidwani and Rajat Kapoor who provide the maturity and depth the film needs.
Jaane Tu… is not as perfectly written and directed as Dil Chahta Hai. The movie begins awkwardly, being entirely narrated by the untrained young cast that stumbles over the Hindi dialogues which feel like they were written in English and then translated. The movie starts building up steam only after the first twenty minutes or so, so be patient. Some emotional scenes are not convincing and feel forced.
But what the movie has plenty of is heart, an intangible feeling of warmth and affection that only a good script can bring out. Abbas Tyrewala, who wrote both the dialogues and lyrics for the movie, does a great job here. A.R. Rahman proves once again why he is a genius by creating a wonderful, peppy score that fits the movie perfectly. Download "Kabhi Kabhi Aditi".
Jaane Tu… is a commendable effort for a debutant director. It also demonstrates the uncanny ability of producer Aamir Khan to figure out what works in Bollywood.
Jaane Tu…ya jaane na
*ring Imran Khan, Genelia D'Souza, Ratna Pathak Shah, Naseerudding Shah
Directed by Abbas Tyrewala
Produced by Aamir Khan Productions
My Rating – 4/5