They say that as you age, you tend to realize that it is not those monumental milestones that you remember vividly for years to come. Instead, it is those small, yet intimate and profoundly important moments that somehow stick with you. I’m not going to blabber on and on and give you a philosophy lesson, I’m simply going to cut to the chase and say that Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na captures those everlasting moments with a streak of wicked brilliance that makes you grin throughout.
With an Aamir Khan Productions’ film, a certain set of expectations are almost set in stone.
1. The film will boast of extremely well-crafted performances. Check.
2. The music will keep in perfect sync with the mood of the film. Check.
3. The script will be top-notch and dialogues will be natural to the core. Check.
4. Throughout the film, a certain sense of creativity and originality will be apparent. Check.
5. Perhaps the most important of all, the film will be welcomingly fresh. Big, fat check!
Taking care of these five factors, director Abbas Tyrewala is the hero behind this film, as his stamp is clearly visible throughout. From the tongue-in-cheek dialogues that hardly seem filmy to the creative inserts including a symbolic dream and a talking portrait, Abbas has gone all out not only to make his first film entertaining, but to make it an admirable creative endeavour.
He brings to life a quintessential college clique comprising of Rotlu (Karan Makhija), Shaleen (Sugandha Garg), Bombs (Alishka Varde), Jiggy (Nirav Mehta) and of course the title characters Meow and Rats. That’s Aditi (Genelia D’Souza) and Jai (Imran Khan) to you. For ages, Jai and Aditi have been virtually inseperable to the point where everyone believes that the two are madly in love—except the duo themselves, that is. We witness the group going through their final days at college and eventually arriving at a transition that is exciting, yet often painful. As college comes to an end, Jai and Aditi find themselves drifting apart as Meghna (Manjari) comes into Jai’s life and Aditi struggles to come to terms with the conflicting emotions she is feeling. A film about self-discovery and realization, through the eyes of Jai and Aditi we understand how truly complex an emotion like love can be. After all, when do you know it’s love?
On the surface, Jaane Tu‘s plot is extremely simple—boy and girl have been friends forever and their feelings eventually turn into love. But if you look deeper, you see several youngsters struggling to truly understand and cope with foreign feelings that one often discovers during their college years. It also portrays their difficult transition into maturity as they realize that life is a lot more than joking around and laughing (though it is important!).
There is no true winner of the film, as it doesn’t rest on anyone’s shoulders in particular, not even the director or its two main leads. What makes it so enjoyable is the fact that you can clearly see that it is a team effort—from the director to the actors to the technicians behind the camera (cinematography, costumes, lighting, etc.), everyone involved in this film has made it with a lot of heart and really had fun with it. Perhaps what makes a film most enjoyable to watch is when you can really see that the team enjoyed making it, and in this case it’s completely obvious.
Abbas Tyrewala wrote the story and dialogues in addition to directing the film, and I personally felt like his dialogues are what really make the film stand out. Because let’s face it, college love stories have been done to death in Bollywood. Whether it’s Ishq Vishk or Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Bollywood has been there and done that. But what really makes this movie so fresh is the fact that its dialogues look like they’ve come out of real life rather than having been contrived by a bunch of emotionally hyper and filmy crazy writers.
Immense anticipation has accompanied the debut of Imran Khan, as he bears the weighty title of being ‘Aamir Khan’s nephew’. He certainly impresses, and you can tell he’s worked hard to make his performance work. His facial expressions and body language is fantastic, he looks the part completely. For the most part he’s wonderful, but there are a few sequences in which you wish he’d try to get into the skin of the character more. Sometimes, and I mean only during a few lines here and there, his acting was slightly superficial. Nevertheless, the man has a long and extremely promising future ahead of him. It doesn’t matter what he does next or how many films he signs, ‘Rats’ will always be an iconic character for him.
Genelia D’Souza is pure dynamite. She sizzles, she pops, she explodes and she conveys so much intense energy that you can’t help but want more. The naughty streak in her eyes and smile is infectious and not once does it look like she’s acting. In fact, it all seems so spontaneous to the point where it’s shockingly real. Let’s face it, women are far more complex creatures than men. And with all the insane mood swings and hormones that come with a college girl, Genelia actually had an extremely complicated character to play. She had to convey the mischief, the jealousy, the insecurity, the confusion and the light-hearted spirit all in one go. But damn, the girl kicks major butt.
In addition to the two main characters, the supporting cast is extremely important when it comes to making the film work. There is actually quite an ensemble of actors, and none falter when it comes to playing their part well. Manjari Phandis (Meghna) portrays the naivet