Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani – A Film Review

By Sakshi Bhalla (Editor)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cast – Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padkone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapoor

Director – Ayan Mukherji

Quick Take – A Karan Johar flavoured romance by Ayan Mukherji

TSL Rates – 3/5

The man behind Wake Up, Sid! Ayan Mukherji is back with a bang – or, soft thud, more like – with Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, which had managed to create waves much before its release, thanks to its illustrious star cast (read: Ranbir Kapoor) and stellar music; and given the collections of Day 1 (nearly 20 crore), nothing can possibly hold it back.

YJHD is the story of Kabir Thapar a.k.a. Bunny and his friends Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor), Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and Naina (Deepika Padukone) – their friendship, dreams and priorities; and how they change over time. It opens with ‘Scholar Naina’, timid and studious, falling for the much-spirited Bunny (who dreams of traveling the world and isn’t one for commitment), over the course of a trekking trip. They part only to cross paths again to see the first of them, Aditi, get married.  YJHD essentially is a tale of falling in love, falling out of love, moving on and falling in love again – all leading to a happy ending.

Expectations obviously ran high, awaiting the return of the man who gave us Wake Up, Sid! right in his first attempt at film-making. But sadly, they remain unfulfilled. The smoothness in transition that one saw in Wake Up, Sid! is missing from YJHD, which, especially in the first half, seems abrupt and forced, with the star cast, all with producer Karan Johar’s blessings, bursting into grand song-and-dance sequences at the drop of a hat.

Ranbir Kapoor is his usual flamboyant self – emoting effortlessly; although, I felt that Mukherji was trying almost too hard to characterize Bunny as ‘loving only himself’ and ‘being allergic to commitment’ – in a way that it was almost in your face. Aditya Roy Kapoor is convincing as Avi, who likes to take life one swig and one gamble at a time. Kalki as the blithe and crazy Aditi, the binding force of the group, has some fine moments too. But the biggest surprise of the lot was Deepika Padukone. She projects restrain and impulse, in the balance that strikes just right, and how. The story also runs an underscore of the themes of separation, reunion, relationship with one’s parents and values. While it all centers on Bunny, it eventually becomes Naina’s story, making you want to root for her. Was it because she narrates the story, or because she was enacted well – it’s hard to tell.

What’s good about the film is that it doesn’t fall apart, given the clichés it rests on, and that it is shot beautifully! Every frame is one to behold, be it Manali or Udaipur. While a couple of sequences (like the goon-chase) were longer than they should’ve been; some others were as endearing (like the Jumma sing-along). The crackling chemistry between Deepika and Ranbir is a dream to watch too. What’s not good is that it is very expectedly predictable. You’ve seen it all, possibly in more exotic locales and with bigger stars. Also, the ideology that the film seems to project doesn’t quite go down well with me – Naina did not have to have to throw away her glasses or turn into a glam doll, for the film to go on.

Kunal Roy Kapoor, Dolly Ahluwalia and Evelyn Sharma shine through their small roles. Pritam gives a package of an album with melodies balancing the foot-tapping numbers, making you want to sing along (and why not!).  The film does pick up after a slightly shaky start, when you almost want to believe that the best in the film is over and done with, with Madhuri’s dance.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani will make for a perfect Sunday matinee. Stay away if frivolous Bollywood romances are not your thing.

 

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