“Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”: mixed and matched conventions, often bungle up the most unpretentious of enterprises.

To be traditional Bollywood, or stay idiosyncratically new age; choices, choices…

The genetics of “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, the new romantic, coming of age drama, makes it as confused as its central youth, Bunny (aka. Kabir Thapar, aka Ranbir Kapoor) – a self-centered free-spirit whose chief inspirations in life are international cities and travel guides. Bunny, although a loveable lad, is immune to the feelings of others and eight years later – post the film’s interval – his self-importance is as much in bloom as it was when we last saw him (which was, maybe, minute before the interval).

The problem then, is one of two things: either Bunny hasn’t learned anything; or the screenplay didn’t transition enough to make a difference.

Let me summarize this: Bunny, Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and Avi (Aditiya Roy Kapur) are childhood friends who meet Naina (Deepika Padukone) – an old school acquaintance – on a getaway trip, that’s more or less a full-on product placement job from MakeMyTrip.com.

Bunny is a flirt with the desire to travel, Aditi is a semi-punk-goth with a surprising sense of astute and un-confessed love for Avi. And Avi, well, Avi’s a borderline drunk with a serious tick to gamble. Naina, meanwhile, has been a nerdy recluse, who hides behind her spectacles. The trip turns into a growing (and at times, an undistinguished) experience, and eight years later, the film turns into a mellow version of its original promised premise: A semi-Bollywood wedding (including two impromptu dance routines), egoistic clashes and edgy moments of empathy.

Basically, it’s a Karan Johar movie (the film is, by the way, produced by Mr. Johar) with a deep-seated dash of director Ayan Mukherji’s directorial staple (Mr. Mukerji also wrote the screenplay, and last directed “Wake Up Sid”, also staring Ranbir Kapoor). The oscillation between Mr. Johar’s feel and Mr. Mukherji’s straight-laced poignancy creates imbalanced entropy, making the fluxes dastardly when they happen. And the song’s don’t help; much.

An early item-number by Madhuri Dixit – “Ghagara” – shows us why Ms. Dixit is who she is (re: insert wide-eyed fanboy expression here). “Badtameez Dil” works out fine, as does “Illahi”, “Kabira”, and “Subhan Allah”. “Dilli Wali Girlfriend” is somewhere between fine and dandy, with “Balam Pichkari” being the so-so number of the filmed soundtrack (the choreography is by Remo D'Souza, Ganesh Acharya, Farah Khan, with lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kumaar, and music by Pritam).

While Bunny is written well enough, Mr. Kapoor’s performance is an aimless affair; Mr. Kapoor, almost always great in any role, never seems to find the blatant extravagance of a cocky women charmer. Mr. Kapur, playing Avi, has his part chopped off in frames, thereby eliminating long passages of character connection with the audience. On the women front, Ms. Padukone handles Naina’s maturity with subdued panache, living her up with the right amount of sensitivity when scenes call for them. Meanwhile, Ms. Koechlin delivers a class-act, besting the entire on-screen talent of “Yeh Jawaani”, with a swipe of brilliantly performed balance of ruggedness and sagacity.

There’s a certain allure in the way Mr. Mukherji grounds people in his films; they work, but only when they’re left independent to their individuality. When they – and Mr. Mukherji’s screenplay – deviates to incorporate the cliché of the box-office formula, that’s when they really mess up. Big time.

“Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” is released by IMGC Global and UTV Motion Pictures, who Produces in association with Dharma Productions.

The film stars: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Evelyn Sharma, Farooq Sheikh, Tanvi Azmi, Dolly Ahluwalia, Poorna Jagannathan, Rana Daggubati, Madhuri Dixit.

Directed by Ayan Mukherji; Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar and Karan Johar; Music by Pritam; Lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya and Kumaar; Choreography by Remo D'Souza, Ganesh Acharya and Farah Khan; With Cinematography by V. Manikandan and Editing by Akiv Ali.

The film is rated U/A – there’s nothing offensive, unless you count the single-mindedness of the lead character.

Mohammad Kamran Jawaid has been professionally critiquing movies for a while now – say more or less ten years, exclusively for Dawn. About 400 reviews and features later (he stopped counting a long time ago), not being as young as he was before, he still feels the urge to write for another couple of centuries.

Despite living movies 24/7 (his company (http://kamranjawaid.com) helps filmmakers make movies), he is still truly, madly, deeply in love with cinema; the root cause of this anomaly requires further clinical trials. His twitter (http://twitter.com/kamranjawaid) reveals very little about him, other than him being the Senior Film Critic for Dawn.com.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (27)

amin
June 3, 2013 9:05 pm

awesome story and performance by Ranbir Kapoor. a must watch for every young guy.

AB
June 3, 2013 9:36 pm

The most accurate review of the movie so far...if you like colorful dance and song routines with nicely dressed beautiful people, this is for you. But if you are looking for a strong story, its not there. The story line does not even flow and after intermission, it leaves you completely confused as to why the characters behave the way they do because there is no development of the characters.

Noor
June 4, 2013 2:14 am

Love this movie..!! Best dialogues and Ranbir is brilliant..! Total success..!!

Ubaid Niaz
June 4, 2013 3:53 am

You know what's the beauty lies in? Simplicity, It would be nice if You would have simplified your opinion, infact you have messed up with the expression because of your love with the language jargon, I guess.

Sana Ali Wajad
June 4, 2013 5:02 am

This movie is light, charming and amazing! Ranbir acting was flawless. Please go find another job cause u surely don't love any type of movies.

AZEEZ
June 4, 2013 11:28 am

It's a mega hit in India,Europe,America and UAE......we don't need pakistani certificate.

Fan
June 4, 2013 12:48 pm

Dear MKJ. I have been a keen reader of all your reviews. I have a suggestion. After following your reviews i have noticed 2 things. One is the language you use is too complicated for an average reader to understand what you mean. Apart from the lines where you tell us about the stories and characters the rest of the review is a bit difficult to understand. Can you try using simple statements with clear meaning please. Second thing is it seems your focus is more on criticizing every movie instead of highlighting the good parts. Try to use statements like "if you like good music, dance and good looking actors this movie is a must go". This will help us really. Being critical of each and every movie and using extra complicated words and statements will not help an average reader who looks forward to your reference.

MAK
June 4, 2013 1:42 pm

@AZEEZ: All the stupidest of movies are mega hits in India no doubt. Khiladi 786, Singham, Rowdy Rathore to name a few.

sai kiran
June 4, 2013 3:03 pm

nice movie dude

Ishtiaq Soldier
June 4, 2013 4:12 pm

"The oscillation between Mr. Johar’s feel and Mr. Mukherji’s straight-laced poignancy creates imbalanced entropy, making the fluxes dastardly when they happen." Say whaaaaaT? Bhai jaan we are not all PhDs in literature or the english language.....how the hell am we supposed to make up our minds whether to watch a movie or not by reading "oscillation and imbalanced entropy" ??

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune
June 4, 2013 5:20 pm

One more Golden Hindi Movie, Pakistani fan missed due to political reason.

But don't Pakistani will definitely see it on the Pirated CDs, You tube or on Satellite channels as they have been watching another Hindi movies. However, they wouldn't get that much fun those usually get only in Theaters.

Jacob
June 4, 2013 6:14 pm

I actually enjoyed the film, there is no need for such criticism, It was a standerd Bollywood flick that I'm sure most people enjoy. There is no reason for you to explain each point like its a descriptive essay, keep it short, simple and sweet. That's what many bollywood fans like to read.

Also please stop using a thesauras when writing your reviews, placing unncessary adjectives will bore and irrtate readers.

AKhan
June 4, 2013 6:21 pm

Ranbir is well ahead of all other new generation actors.

shayar badnam
June 4, 2013 7:36 pm

62 crore(indian box office collection) in just three days?who needs reviews?

SS
June 4, 2013 9:41 pm

Excellent, excellent review! always drop by here to refresh opinions after the trailer. Love the new look of the website as well.

SS
June 4, 2013 9:44 pm

@Jacob: by short descriptive you mean k stuff you find written in bollywood trades? they are an insult to intelligence birader

SS
June 4, 2013 9:42 pm

@Ravi Ingale from University of Pune: Dear Ravi from Pune come to Pakistan. See if the film is playing or not?

SS
June 4, 2013 9:47 pm

@Ishtiaq Soldier: bhaijaan agar ek adh word search karlo to you will have learned something na?! :p

allow me to help you out: oscillation means to swing from side to side. remember physics from metric? imbalance means to be out of balance.

SalooBhai
June 5, 2013 10:44 am

@MAK: Khilari 786, an excellent comedy movie, brilliant sound track.

Osama
June 5, 2013 10:59 am

@AZEEZ: You don't need to bring about partial sentiments regarding a nation. If being hit is the only criterion of a good movie, then creeps like Debang2 and Wanted might be good movies for you!

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune
June 5, 2013 1:59 pm

@SS: Thanks for invitation but I don't want to give my shahadat for "Yeh Jawani hain Deewani"

Roshni
June 5, 2013 5:01 pm

Yeh jawani hai deewani rocks in the bollywood

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune
June 5, 2013 8:05 pm

Box office collection of Yeh Jawani Hai deewani is, 110 crore INR = 200 crore PKR in just 5-days.

Syed
June 6, 2013 12:56 am

You have destroyed your own film industry, representing our Pakistani culture, for those half naked Indian movies and now promoting their style. Shame will be shameful on our behaviour.

Kristen
June 6, 2013 9:57 am

I do not agree with your views!!

wangsa
June 6, 2013 12:12 pm

Bakwas movie. After 2nd half i was hell bored and couldnt understand whats the relationship of Ranbir with his friend .were they secret gays which the film didn't portray. 15 minutes before the end of film saved with some twist else it was hell bore predictable story like all the bollywood movies. Still waiting when will good film come out from this massive industry.

wangsa
June 6, 2013 12:15 pm

And the taste of Indian for such mediocre movie???? I am an indian but can sense what is good and bad movie.

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