The 90’s was Bollywood’s ultimate era. It was an era when audiences simply couldn’t get enough of over dramatic emotions, tacky dialogues, direction-less storylines and mediocre performances. With the exception of a select few, the above traits are what the predominant number of releases entailed. Now why are we talking about the 90’s in the review of a film released in 2009? Well, because director Puneet Sira is caught in the past. As if time travel with Love Story 2050 was not painful enough, Mr Sira decided to do it in real life whilst writing the script for Jai Veeru. Sadly, one thing the 90’s often got right were the emotions and Jai Veeru fails to even achieve that much with a title promising to be a tale of best friends. Read on to find out just how miserably the film fails.
We’ll start at the beginning which is the title accompanied by the slogan ‘friends forever’. If anyone can show me a moment where the supposed friendship of Jai (Fardeen) and Veeru (Kunal) was heartfelt it will indeed be pleasant surprise. The film starts off with the two meeting for the first time and within minutes are friends and demanding the other to call them ‘bhai’. Tip number one for Mr Sira, the legendary Sholay and its even more legendary friendship based storyline still resides strongly in the hearts of audiences only because from the very first scene we saw the undying friendship between Jai and Veeru. There was no establishment to be argued about and no question of how deep their relationship was. In Jai Veeru you’re constantly questioning their friendship because as the audience you really have not been given enough evidence to believe in the relationship.
Now to a rough synopsis of the film so that you can get a vague idea of what to expect. Honestly speaking, you simply do not know where the story line is going. The makers themselves didn’t know what they wanted to encompass in the duration of the film. In an almost cracked nutshell it is the story of two friends, one of whom is a cheep thief (Kunal Khemu) and the other a friend he meets on one of his adventures (Fardeen Khan) who has a dark secret. How Jai’s secret is unveiled and how it effects the trust between the two friends forms the rest of the storyline of Jai Veeru.
Encompassed in this action drama are two very pathetic love stories which almost seem straight out of a 90’s film where the heroines are just present so that they can get kidnapped at the end by the villain and of course to prance around breathtaking locations with her leading guy. It’s sad to see that even in the 21st century, where female driven films like Fashion are taking the world by a storm, films like this are made where the heroine is merely a beautiful object to expose the soft side of the action hero!
In addition to a storyline that simply cannot hold a viewer’s attention span for more than five minutes, at the least, there are songs placed every five minutes in the first half! As sensational as the picturisation of ‘Sufi’ is, one simply cannot appreciate it to the fullest extent when it has been so amateurishly incorporated. Bappi Lehri’s music is average with two tracks demanding extra attention which are ‘Sufi’ and ‘Tenu Leke’, but as mentioned earlier it becomes a challenge to appreciate the best of unwanted tracks in a storyline that already seems grim.
The main painful aspect of Jai Veeru is its dialogues. Even the 90’s had great dialogues in the form of dramatic ones but Jai Veeru has simply tacky ones. Ones that make you cringe and ask ‘Fardeen what were you thinking when you were asked to recite these?’. To accompany the tacky dialogues is the even tackier production value that even a laymen could say is below average.
Performances are strictly average by all. The girls, Anjana Sukhani and Dia Mirza, have barely anything to do and one wonders why they wasted their time on such a film. However, the same goes for Kunal Khemu and Fardeen Khan. The former we know is a talented star since a young age because even as a child artist his performances attracted quite acclaim in films like Zakhm, and just last week his release Dhoondte Reh Jaoge made it quite apparent the actor can even pull of a comic character. However, sadly, Jai Veeru is one film that Kunal would surely want to disappear from his filmography. Fardeen Khan, on the other hand, leaves a bit of an impression in some sequences but that too barely. The actor, also like Kunal, has it in him to deliver an above average performance like we saw in Dev, however we still are eagerly waiting to be reminded that acting is something he still can do.
Is there a plus point to this film, you ask? Well yes, thankfully for its makers it’s not all bad news. Allan Amin is the man who makes this film proud because the action is simply marvelous.
The verdict of Jai Veeru has been evident from the very first paragraph of this review. It’s a film that not only Indian cinema will want to forget but so will all those involved in it. It’ll be very rare that anyone will enjoy this film as in recent times Indian cinema thankfully has accustomed us to watch quite meaningful cinema that is of a high caliber. However, if you do that kudus to you for getting you money’s worth. Although if you’re one who was ‘umming’ and ‘aaring’ about this one, then let us tell you that definitely go and spend both your time and money elsewhere!