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Jaane Tu … Ya Jaane Na – Movie Review

July 9, 2008

In this romantic comedy – Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na (whether you know it or not), it was refreshing to see collegians behave like collegians. The same feeling I got when I saw Taare Zameen Par where it was refreshing to see a child act like a child. And this is what Poonam has mentioned in her review too – that “College kids finally look like college kids.”

The director, Abbas Tyrewala, has portrayed the characters in this film like normal college kids without a care in the world, with only love on their minds and only a vague idea of what the future held for them. I couldn’t help remembering Rang de Basanti where the collegians are shown to be vengeful and resort to murder and violence. All in a good cause, but it’s rare in real life.

In Jaane Tu, the youngsters laugh at each other’s jokes, chatter incessantly and generally chill out. It’s all so natural that one forgets that one is watching a movie. One could be simply a bystander, watching these people have a great time from the next table.

The movie brought back some memories from my own college days. We too had our group and we used to generally hang out. And yeah, we’ve taken a ride in a truck too…only it wasn’t when our car broke down, but when our bus broke down!

The movie is funny almost throughout. Everyone has their comic parts, and the situations are funny too. Worth mentioning are two stalwarts who play comic roles – Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal. Shah plays a dead character stuck in a portrait who manages to make us laugh with his repartee with his wife. Paresh Rawal plays the typical comic Bollywood cop, and as usual his acting is superb. Two other characters Bhaloo and Baghera (Arbaaz and Sohail Khan) also have their comic place and make us laugh whenever they appear on the screen.

What the movie is about
The movie is about love. We realise this right at the start because the movie opens with scenes of couples and families along with the titles and the music. The movie is about love between friends. Love between married people. Love between lovers. I didn’t know that the movie would be a comedy as well, and was pleasantly surprised.

The film revolves around the relationship between Jai, called Rats by friends (played by Imran Khan) and Aditi, called Meow by friends (played by Genelia Dsouza). These two are best friends who don’t know they are in love. Circumstances light the fire…and well, that is what the movie is about.

The title is an apt one. Who doesn’t know about the importance of that one song between a couple? All those who have ever been in love know the significance of that one song. A song that becomes associated with the romance, a song that brings forth a rush of memories. Jaane Tu…ya jaane na is the song of the couple in the film. And the song has a haunting ring to it.

The music

I enjoyed the music (A R Rahman ) a lot, particularly the song Pappu can’t dance. You can read the music review of the film here.

The acting and characterisation
Everyone looks their part, starting from the hero, Imran Khan. He plays a nice guy who doesn’t like to take panga with anyone and he fits that role perfectly. When it comes to characterisation, I guess the character that Imran plays (Jai or Rats) is believable, down to the nightmares he has about his dead father. Aditi was less believable as a character. Well, I guess a certain amount of exaggeration is required in any movie, but I think the director went a wee bit overboard in showing her wild side. Also I think Genelia comes across as an amateur in some scenes but well, it is her debut. Overall she was okay and so is Imran. Both have shown that they have screen presence and that is a great start to their careers.

Ratna Pathak, who plays Jai’s mother does an excellent job. She plays the cool mother who is not so cool when it comes to her work. And it was wonderful to see a mentally balanced mother for a change. A mother who doesn’t get into a fit when she realises that her son likes a girl. The same with Aditi’s parents. They don’t become hysterical because their daughter hangs around with a guy, that too a poor one!

The character of Meghna, a girl who Jai is attracted to, is seems sketchily drawn. Even by end of the movie one can’t quite figure out what she is really like, or what it is about her that Jai likes.

The story
There isn’t a strong story-line or suspense. The movie is about relationships. What I didn’t quite like about the story was the way the characters start thinking about marriage the minute they realise they are in love. I wonder if the director was playing to the gallery here. I guess there are parents who want to see their daughters married off at 20 and that is the audience the directors was trying to reach out to! Marriage at 20! Yucks! I don’t think there was any need for this because the audience for this film is the young college-going crowd.

But you don’t have to be 18 or 20 to enjoy this movie. You can be any age, as long as you haven’t become an old fogey. If you have a sense of humour you’ll enjoy the movie although the editing is pretty loose in places.

Overall, the film is original, charming, and a delight to watch. And I am not the only one who thought that. I saw this movie on a Tuesday night and even then just barely managed to get tickets. The cinema hall was packed and full of young people enjoying every minute of the movie. They laughed at all the jokes and were absolutely engrossed in every scene.

(Photograph is from Sify)

Related Reading: Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic review

Hancock Review

Aamir Review

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Sarkar Raj Review

Other Movie Reviews (English and Hindi movies)

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2008 6:47 am

    aha looks like a nice movie..

  2. July 9, 2008 8:45 am

    //Also I think Genelia comes across as an amateur in some scenes but well, it is her debut.//
    Its not Genelia’s debut movie. Her first Hindi film was Tujhe Meri Kasam opposite Ritesh Desmukh. Her second hindi movie was Masti and was also opposite Ritesh. She has also appeared in Mere Baap Pehle Aap.

  3. July 9, 2008 8:51 am

    “Also I think Genelia comes across as an amateur in some scenes but well, it is her debut”. – Nita, this may be her “debut” in Hindi movies, but she is already a few movies old in Tamizh. So, that certainly can’t be an excuse.

    But, on the whole, sounds good – will try to watch!

  4. July 9, 2008 9:39 am

    Rambler, yep it’s nice!! :)

    Reema and Apu, I had no idea that she wasn’t an amateur. In that case my expectations of her have gone up! I need to be more careful though (about facts of the movie and the actors) and thanks for pointing it out.

  5. Sakhi permalink
    July 9, 2008 9:42 am

    Everything said and done, i simply loved the movie.. it is nothing great, just a simple lovesotry but its refreshing! :) and it also reminded me of my college days!

    Man, i am nostalgic! :) :)

  6. July 9, 2008 11:04 am

    Now that you mention the couple song, it was really funny that inspector reporting his activities on wireless with Imran singing and shouting Meow!

    And Naseeruddin Shah’s jig and those two cowboy whackos were funny. Audience too laughed with Imran when he remembered how false stories his ma had told about his father. So was Ratna Pathak Shah when she says. “who mere pati ka beta hai!”

    You are right director was playing to galley by showing that parents are wiling to marry off kids. Though in western countries it is norm to get married after college, study and earn together, it is yet to catch up in India.

    P.S: Thanks for the ping back! I discovered that I love bashing a bad movie, but don’t want to write too much about good ones, unless other people bash it up too. :)

  7. rajan pathania permalink
    July 9, 2008 11:47 am

    its a good movie not because of the storyline but the way its treated.
    its also one of those movies where leads are not actually have that big lead from the others.Its the ‘OTHERS’ that make this movie enjoyable.

    –Shah couple was the best.both ratna and nasir are great in movie.
    –Then Smita’s son, although have very samll role as aditi brother but the guy is really very very good.Have given most memorable sequences in the movie.would luv to see this guy more in movies.Look like has got the acting genes from his mom.

    It has repeat value becauase of its treatment.

  8. July 9, 2008 11:54 am

    I started watching it and then stopped it and slept !! dont know what’s wrong with me these days !!! :(

  9. Joss permalink
    July 9, 2008 3:31 pm

    Thanks for reviewing this movie, Nita. I was looking for some intelligent reviews yesterday because I’m wondering whether to organise a group of women friends to see it. They haven’t seen much Bollywood so I don’t want to put them off with a bad film. Now I have read your review I think I shall risk it. I’ve already given them the music to listen to and they liked that. I will let you know what they thought.

  10. July 9, 2008 4:49 pm

    Sakhi, I too loved the movie!

    Dinu, perhaps you are working too hard?

    Poonam, the movie starts of a comic note too, remember that funeral? And about reviews, well I don’t like bashing movies because I feel sorry for the actors and directors! :) But at the same time I do it unflinchingly if required!

    Rajan, I agree the treatment of the movie was everything. And I also liked Pratiek’s acting though his was a bit role.

    Joss, I hope your friends like the movie. There are some references which they might not get though. For example the family of Imran is a Rajput family, who are warriors where guys are supposed to “tough” and understanding this is very important. Perhaps I should have mentioned this in my review. However, the director makes fun of the traditions and I love irreverence! Also, the you must be aware of the typical possessive bolywood mother, but here we have a normal mother. the mother here may be normal by western standards, but very unusual in Indian cinema.

  11. July 9, 2008 5:14 pm

    Ok, finally found a nice..no, a great review about the movie. :) And looks like everybody is liking this movie especially the youngsters. Most of my friends also liked it.
    Yet to see the movie as I was planning it on for monday, and looks like its worth a watch.

    And one of my friend just told me that this movie is just a flash back of Chalte Chalte (2003)… Is it true?

    Joel, thanks. this movie is definitely worth seeing…but no it’s not like chalte chalte at all. If anything it’s like Kuch Kuch hota hai but KKHH was a serious movie, this isn’t. It isn’t even like Jab we met because JWM is a love story of two people not set in a college background and the characters are mostly alone. Here they together in a group most of the time. I would say that Jaane tu is a different sort of movie. – Nita.

  12. July 9, 2008 8:12 pm

    It’s long interested me that people can be in love without knowing it.

  13. July 10, 2008 3:10 am

    Aha! Nita, I was wondering when you will watch the movie and review it. We watched it on 4th of July here in the U.S.

    LOVED IT!!!

    There’s a freshness and innocence to it.

    So reminded me of QSQT and how we had this major crush on Aamir mamu :). My husband, who scoots every time I tell him I want to watch a romantic film, also loved it! [Don't blame him, though. Even I find most "romantic comedies/tragedies" unbearable.]

    I usually go by some reviewers that I share same tastes with. All reviews were fantastic and so I thought it would be a safe bet.

    And it was :)

    [SPOILER ALERT! YOU MIGHT WANT TO AVOID READING THE REST OF MY COMMENT IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE MOVIE]

    I loved Genelia too. Yes, her dialogue delivery was a bit hesitant, but I liked the innocence of it all. I am sick and tired of the manicured or over-sexual look of our heroines. This was refreshing.
    [She is an award-winning actress down south. Her recent Telugu flick, Bommaralu, won her a Filfmfare, I think. But she is born and raised in Mumbai, so she shouldn't have an accent issue, no?]

    There were a couple inconsistencies, but they can be overlooked, I guess.

    About Jai liking Meghna: I think she is supposed to be hot, and he the knight-in-shining-armour who saves her from the two crazies on horses :) You know guys that age want to hang out with a hottie just because she is a hottie ;)

    Yes, the marriage at 21 was a bit odd — I think they kinda explained it off by showing Meow’s parents discuss how the kids should be engaged because they have been together for years and other family members may start talking about this.
    Also, later she tells her fiance she is only 21, to shaadi ki kya jaldi hai, remember?

    Anyhow, fun watch. Music was so refreshing and peppy :)

  14. July 10, 2008 5:24 pm

    Paul, something to ponder about eh! Well, I guess it happens because one partner is not ready or perhaps there is somethign about the loved one that is not his/her idea of the ideal mate! I certainly think that its better not to know one is in love than to imagine one is in love!!

    Snigdha, thanks. I agree the movie was refreshing and wonderful entertainment! I had no idea about that actress or that she was an acclaimed one. But you really thought Meghna was a hottie? I found her very ordinary as compared to Aditi! But I guess she was putting it all out and well, Rats was in that game too! :)
    The director tried to explain the marriage, but not convincingly. there was no reason for her to get engaged the second time! but anyway, these are minor inconsistencies and overall the film was one of the most enjoyable films I have seen for a long time.

  15. July 11, 2008 2:28 am

    full time passs
    if david dhavan and govinda is to lower class entertainment
    abbas is focussing uber /middle class entertainment .
    the plot though cliche d has worked because of very good direction, great casting of mumbai theater/movie artists and decent attempt at portraying todays teen culture
    ts been inspired by so many things
    from zees serial hum panch to disney movies and jungle book characters
    but good thing is that they have shot a lot in mumbai from bandra bandstand fort to xaviers college to fountain and the veritable airport – not Switzerland

  16. July 11, 2008 8:24 am

    “Why do Indian boys think about marriage on the third date”… was a question someone asked me. (Not me per se…lol.. but told me they asked someone else). Anyway, this should be a fun watch :)

  17. Ravi permalink
    July 11, 2008 1:20 pm

    Im so glad to see this movie. Its new and refreshing. Music is simply awesome and complimented the freshness of the movie in every aspect. By the way I didnt get back pain cause its only for 2 and half hour….lol. Good screenplay, comedy, background score made this movie watchable. I had a good time watching this movie. Loved it.

  18. Ravi permalink
    July 11, 2008 1:22 pm

    Abbas used some of the scenes from this telugu movie “gudumba shankar” which he worked as a script writer.

  19. July 12, 2008 2:39 am

    oh i so wish it was being played here somewhere. i guess i’d have to wait for the dvd. thanks for the review. :)

    and yes, this is not genelia’s debut. she has been in 2-3 hindi films already and she is also in a few south indian films. :)

  20. July 12, 2008 7:39 am

    Prax, true, about the various target audiences. however there is the additional aspect of good film and bad film!

    Priyank, its entertaining alright. A well made film.

    Ravi, glad to know you liked it.

    Roop, dont miss it! :)

  21. July 12, 2008 10:42 pm

    The music of this movie is awesome.

    Though, I haven’t seen the movie, yet. Your review motivates me to watch it.

    “But you don’t have to be 18 or 20 to enjoy this movie.”-That was a nice gesture.

  22. July 13, 2008 4:11 am

    Nita, thanks for your visit to my blog and the wishes. I liked your review for this movie and that is what made me watch it. I also watched Aamir after reading your review and have to say it was a very good movie indeed.

  23. compulsivewriter permalink
    July 13, 2008 11:18 am

    Hey Nita,
    I am considerably late in watching the movie, but after seeing it one thing i realised was that nothing matters if you have good story to tell and the knack to tell it.
    The story has been told a million times before, but the characters are so real, that you say ‘that happened to me!’ several times in the film.
    Thats the plus point of the film. Imraan isnt a brilliant performer nor is Genelia.
    But yes, i agree with you when you say that college students have acted like college students in this film…
    I love reading through your blog… Its so informative. Keep it up!

  24. July 14, 2008 4:01 pm

    I watched it…finally! It was great Fun.

    This is a wonderfully refreshing piece of cinema, nothing extravagant ……just a simple story told in an entertaining way.

    The entourage of friends and their interactions made for some very enjoyable moments.

    Abbas Tyrewala is someone to watch out for & he proves once again that cinema is all about good story telling.

    4.5 * out of 5.

    Rahul, yeah, its a great movie. I loved it! :) – Nita.

  25. July 15, 2008 9:15 pm

    BAD MOVIE! Save your money people! Imran and genelia look good. Thats all!

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