Review – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: Usual and unusual

Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar & Karan Johar, Co-produced by Apoorva Mehta and scripted & directed by Ayan Mukherjee, Dharma Productions’ Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a love story set first in Manali and later in Udaipur. Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone,Kali Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Farooq Sheikh, YJHD is both usual and unusual.

Girl falls in love with the boy, boy does not respond, they separate and meet after 8 years to reunite – reminded of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Boy is full of life, girl is coy and shy and has had a protected life, they take a hoilday together and girl falls in love with the boy -reminded of DDLJ?  Boy chooses dream career over girl, lives his dream life for a while and subsequently understands his priority(which is the girl, of course) right -reminded of Love Aaj Kal? With an insipid title, even more insipid trailer and with the plot points generously borrowed from the usual Hindi romantic film suspects, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani makes you dread whileentering into the film hall. The good news is despite all of this,it somewhat manages to find its own feet and  is entertaining. The bad news is it just remains a passable fare, despite a potential to be much more.

Naina (Deepika Padukone) joins a trekking trip to Manali almost instinctively and meets her old schoolmates Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin). Chemistry almost instantly strikes between Naina and Bunny, despite being poles apart. He is charming, flirtatious, fun loving and wants to have a globe trotting life. She is shy, wary of strangers, likes a protected environment and loves home.  The treking trip changes her life and she falls in love with him. But Bunny is unaware of her love and departs to lead his own life. After 8 years, he takes a trip to attend his friend’s wedding and things are not the same anymore.  He meets Naina in this trip once again and she makes him understand his priorities.

YJHD has some smart lines and intelligently structured sequences. Take the scene in which Bunny’s friends come to know that he is leaving for US in 3 weeks. Bunny and Naina take a walk, Bunny says he does not want the night to end at all. Naina gets ready to share her feelings for Bunny with him. And the friends discover that he is leaving for US in 3 weeks and the scene shifts its focus from Bunny and Naina to Bunny and friends.  Almost immediately all of them realize that their lives will not be the same anymore (Kalki is outstanding here). They bid cold good byes and the scene shifts its focus back to Bunny and Naina. And Naina informs him that the night has ended, after all – when the first peek of sunrays start shining! There is almost a kind of mirror scene in the second half where Naina sits with her legs in the pool, Bunny comes and sits next to her but finds the water too cold. This is the time that Bunny could feel that the relationship he shares with his friends is not the same anymore – there is a cold distance to it now. Naina asks him to give it some time and things will get better – of course, what she means about is the cold water, but the metaphor is hard to miss . Mukherjee makes an effort to be individualistic in these scenes. And he is helped by his cast.

Mukherjee is also adamant that he will not put his characters in any contrived situations; so there is no situation where Bunny or Naina finds the other to be engaged to be married to someone, when they meet after 8 years. There are also little touches which makes the watching less burdensome and even quite enjoyable at places. When Bunny volunteers to help Avi get over his financial mess, Avi tells him not to throw his dollar weight around to buy his friendship back, instead he says, “Just share a drink with me, it is enough”. Yet he has no qualms to accept Aditi’s fiancee paying up two lakhs to clear his dues in the poker game! When Bunny eventually makes his peace with his step mother, he says the juice she makes still remains terrible! And you remember the earlier scene where Bunny’s father drinks the juice and says “nice!”. Or the earlier scene where Bunny tells Naina to ask politely if she wants him to carry her bags, as he is not a “coolie”. But later in the wedding, some of the members of the groom’s side ask him to bring their bag- though he gets annoyed, he does not disobey. And in the scene leading to the climax, Bunny sits in the airport waiting to board his flight to Paris and he remembers the excitement he had during his his first trip to Chicago eight years back and the lack of excitement now and evaluates his priorities again.  These are touches that are handled in a matter of fact manner that makes one hopeful of Mukherjee’s next venture.

But as far this this film is concerned, it remains a passable fare at best. It suffers the same fate as the second film of another promising director – Homi Adajania -Cocktail. The characters appear pretty, the locations are picturesque, the cinematography is bright and lit up, there are situation songs that appear at the right moment and are pleasing to the ear and also an item song that features a superb dance by Madhuri Dixit. And of course, like KKHH, all characters that appear in Manali in the first half, make an appearance in Udaipur in the second half too. These Hindi film formulaic tools reminds you consistently that you are watching a Hindi film and thereby making you invest less and less in characters.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is NOT a bad film, it will make for a nice family outing,but it is a pity as it could have been so much more.  The fault lies with all of us viewers, the Hindi film industry and the media who celebrate mediocrity!



By: Anand
Posted: June 1, 2013, 10:35 am


0/5 (0 votes)
0/5 (0 votes)