Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: OK Jaanu

Jaani! Jaanu Ko Maar Daalo!

Rating: Average film hai yeh. Razai mein ghus ke so jaao instead.

Mini Review:

Aditya Roy Kapoor's Adi and Shraddha Kapoor's Tara decide to live-in. Seriously, folks! Young people should be saying, 'Whatevs!' and not watching a movie about this. But sorry, middle aged uncles: the director, the production house, and the original old man of the movies think this idea is worth 137 minutes of your life. And they keep repeating 'Ok Jaanu!' as if they had collectively discovered hashtags.

Main Review:

Dekho boss, Aditya Roy Kapoor has played the drunk lad, a boy who kills himself for lou and that's what you remember him. So when he plays shrimaan aashiq in this movie too, you feel cheated when he doesn't even attempt to drink himself to oblivion here, let alone killing himself. That is left for the audience: Each time they say, 'Ok, Jaanu!' people should take a swig from their hip flask, and diabetics should give themselves an insulin shot. It is not just smarmy to hear them say that, it is positively puke-worthy.

So why did I fall in love with O Kaadhal Kanmani? It's the same story, and it is made by the same old man of the movies? Why did it not feel icky? (Many people hated it!)

Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen were not acting. They were not aware of the camera in the room, in the train, in the coffee shop, in the office. So where complete credit goes to Mani Ratnam for figuring out how to deal with actors, in Ok Jaanu you are not allowed to forget the presence of a camera at all. It's omnipresent and even when Shraddha bites Aditya's ear playfully, his reaction is studied, his wince is fake. Plus for some reason you as audience want to tell her to go to your room and change those Gujarati mirrorwork wala shorts and wear salwaar kameez! Wont the mirrors on the butt crack and hurt her as soon as she sits down? Nithya, on the other hand came across as a girl who knows her mind.

So the two young lovers don't want to get married because they are serious about their careers. They claim that a couple of times, at least. And we see them do not a single days worth of work ever! She saunters off from her office because he calls, and he never seems to go back to the office after telling his idea of a video game to his boss. 

While you're mad at them for wasting time, guess what do they do? He picks her up on his bike, and then they're riding taxis (not one cabbie refuses them) and buses (empty ones too!) and trains (strangely empty always!). Now riding in double-decker buses is cute and all, but where did he park the bike? It is never there at home either? And what's with the strange weather? Monsoon in Mumbai is grey, not bright sunshine at all! 

Their love is so bland, their chemistry is less than what we would see between 'cousin brotther from the Delhi', you start looking at geographical liberties the movie takes: they get off a double decker bus on Marine Drive and are seen eating ice cream at the Birdsong cafe in Bandra. Leela Samson lives on Malabar hill, but she's lost in Mohammed Ali Road and then rescued near what looks like Radio Club in Colaba. What a waste...

They live-in at Naseeruddin Shah's home as paying guests. Here too, Naseeruddin Shah behaves like he's in La La Land. No Mumbai landlord is going to allow one rent for a room if two people are going to stay! 

Jokes apart, the one saving grace of the film is the elegant Leela Samson, who plays the same role in OK Kanmani. Her confusion because of her disease, her gentle conversation is wonderful. Although Naseeruddin Shah cannot help ham his role, the moment where he hears Shraddha sing, that reaction is pure genius. I wish their story were the film, and not the silly love story of live-ins. It would have been real had Shraddha Instagrammed his wet towel instead of cleaning up the room, and slapped him when he calls the Ahmedabadi architect 'budhau!'. That's a rather insulting epithet from a new boyfriend who does not how much she respects him. The two young lovers are doing what Mani Ratnam/Shaad Ali/Karan Johar think young people do.

What made us weary was the effort the writer has put in, squeezing out any and every chance of saying, 'Ok Jaanu!' Imagine this conversation between the love birds: 
'These are our last ten days together!'
'Yes they are!' 
'So we should spend them together, okay?!'
'Yes we shall!'
'Okay naa?'
'Okay Jaanu!'

Sigh. It's like this with every conversation they have, every decision they take, and then they rub noses and bring a little bit of Maori culture to Bombay. You are reminded again, that these are not kisses from Notorious. And you wish the audience would do an All Blacks Haka and stop them from saying 'Okay Jaanu!' to each other.

P.S. Rajkumar's 'Jaani' will always be > Ok Jaanu!

(I also write for nowrunning dot com. this review is different)

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