30 Jan 2020 ● Hindi ● 1 hr 59 mins
Crew: Nitin Kakkar (Director), Manoj Kumar Khatoi (Director of Photography), Gaurav Kapur (Music Director), Prem Hardeep (Music Director), Roshan Singh (Music Director), Tanishk Bagchi (Music Director)
Rating: U/A (India), PG13 (Singapore), 18TC (United Arab Emirates), PG15 (United Arab Emirates), 12A (United Kingdom)
Release Dates: 31 Jan 2020 (India), 31 Jan 2020 (Singapore), 30 Jan 2020 (United Arab Emirates)
Hindi Name: जवानी जानेमन
Saif Ali Khan - the name synonymous with urban rom-coms - slips into the role of a trendy, uber-cool, suave and metrosexual guy with elegance. Films such as Kal Ho Naa Ho, Love Aaj Kal, Salaam Namaste and Dil Chahta Hai have already consolidated and cemented his status in this genre. That's the prime reason why Jawaani Jaaneman generates curiosity.
Youth-centric rom-com is deemed as the most dependable genre and Jawaani Jaaneman is no exception. The film is amusing, sharp, witty and contemporary. It does some serious talking as well. The efforts are worth it and the time, well spent. Director Nitin Kakkar handles the subject with utmost maturity and ensures that there are wild-whacky moments aplenty. Being an unconventionally innovative film, Jawaani Jaaneman explores new grounds in terms of story as well as execution. The fresh concept combined with ample twists and turns in the screenplay only ensure that it doesn't stagnate.
The marriage of realism with escapism as also form and content is quite evident in Jawaani Jaaneman. There are moments that offer tremendous entertainment. Hussain Dalal (Story) borrows incidents straight from life. Jawaani Jaaneman also works because the characters are so true to life and identifiable that you can't help but relate to the issue. The icing on the cake is, undoubtedly, the execution of the film and the shot compositions. At the onset, the screenplay may give you the feeling that it's all gloss and no soul but Jawaani Jaaneman catches you slowly, but firmly and doesn't leave you till the end. There’s so much happening in the film every minute. A few sequences are unconvincing here and there but the plusses outweigh the minuses in a huge way.
Director Nitin Kakkar executes the film with effortless ease, handling a number of sequences with dexterity. Come to think of it, Jawaani Jaaneman is a complex film, which reflects the complexity and intricacies of human relationships. The highpoint of the film is the three sharply defined characters, besides, of course, the styling and visuals. Also, Nitin Kakkar's style of storytelling caters more to the multiplex crowd/elite/big city junta/Overseas audience rather than the aam public/hoi polloi/masses/frontbenchers. The generous usage of English will also restrict its appeal to urban centres. The humour, thankfully, is not of the slapstick variety; it's more subtle and situational. The emotional moments are not heavy either; they percolate unpretentiously. Everything that writers (Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal) and director Nitin Kakkar attempt to convey through their characters looks credible and relevant. More significantly, all of this is presented in an entertaining format. But the curse of the second half, which plagues most Hindi films, troubles Jawaani Jaaneman as well. The pace drops and the film starts to meander towards predictability. The second hour is half as exciting as the first. Unmemorable songs, an over-stretched story and the lethargic pacing ail the film.
It would be blasphemous to ignore the styling of the characters in Jawaani Jaaneman. Graceful designs dictate the wardrobes of the lead actors, which not only seizes your attention but also takes fashion trends frontward. Ketan Sodha's background score is classy and effectual. Manoj Kumar Khatoi's cinematography gives the film the international feel. In fact, the film has several stunning visuals. The dialogue (Hussain Dalal, Abbas Dalal) seem straight out of real-life but are wicked at times too.
Priyata Dixit casting is inch-perfect. Saif Ali Khan has that knack for rom-coms. He fits into his character fluently and leaves a deep-seated impression. He is outstanding in both emotional and light moments. The actor has worked hard on his looks and physique and looks smashing all through. The real scene-stealer is, without doubt, Alaya F, who not only looks sizzling hot but pitches in a confident performance. She lets herself loose, surrenders to her character wholly and nails the performance. It's an incredibly noticeable act. Tabu is in terrific form, portraying the role with gusto but she barely has any screen time or real purpose in the narrative. Kubbra Sait appears very confident and performance-wise, she is spot on. In fact, her character is fleshed out very well and with her performance, she makes it even more special. This is yet another feather in her cap! Farida Jalal, Chunky Panday and Kumud Mishra contribute so much to their sequences. They are super-efficient, as always.
On the whole, Jawaani Jaaneman has a single-point plan of engaging and amusing the spectators. Although the second half is not as tempting or intoxicating as the first hour. It pales when compared to the attention-grabbing first hour. Yet, all said and done, Jawaani Jaaneman is an immensely likeable film that should appeal mainly its target audience -- the youth. Go for it!