Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na: Review and initial reaction

[If you have not yet seen Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, this post should serve as good preview material. If you've seen it already, what did you think?]

Happy fourth of July, everyone! Just returned from the cinema having seen Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. I say, go watch it as soon as you get a chance! For fear of disclosing too much, I'll table a formal movie review for a few days. However, here are some things to look out for:

1. Imran Khan and Genelia D'Souza are excellent! Never should have doubted Genelia's talent -- her acting is perfect for the film (I've hopped onto the Genelia bandwagon). Imran makes a memorable debut indeed. Expect both to be sought after, after their performances in this.

2. Their group of friends really reminds me of my groups of friends, and will likely remind you of yours too. The chemistry between the cast works in superb fashion.

3. We knew the songs were excellent. But after seeing the film and how a couple songs (including my favorite) were split across scenes, it's even better. This is coupled with an excellent background score, which I hope they release as a separate album some day.

4. The entertainment quotient is very, very high, and the dialogue very, very good. There are guest appearances by some very well known names: Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak (Naseeruddin Shah's wife -- in the film and in real life), Paresh Rawal, Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan, Rajat Kapoor, and others. They are all very, very good.

5. Several parts of the film remind me of some of Aamir Khan's roles and scenes. Once done with this post, I'll scramble to document them. There is even a song that reminded me of a Shammi Kapoor song (what in a red saree and all), but we knew that from the trailers.

6. I loved (LOVED) that Bombay was such a centerpiece for all the action. One of the first frames showed the Queen's Necklace (it's the most talked-about filming location on this blog, for sentimental value carried over from the years I spent living in Bombay), and it showed up at least another four times. St. Xavier's alumni, I do envy you, for your school made it yet again. And Fort, the site of my school, made it yet again too! This has to be one of the most Bombay-centric movies in recent times (from the opening credits to the climax). Excellent!

7. Remember during the last 15 minutes of the film that it is a piece of fiction, and you will not be disappointed with the end result at all.

I was fortunate to be a college sophomore when Dil Chahta Hai (2001) released, and in grad school when Rang De Basanti (2006) released. While Jaane Tu might not have Aamir Khan, it does have the flavor of two of his several most well-liked films. I reckon college students and groups of friends (I miss mine in South Florida, and shall be calling them this weekend) will look back at this film in a similar light a few years down the road. Spoke to several members of the audience during intermission and after the film, and the reaction mirrored the reaction of the audience at this link.

My rating: 4.25/5 (Excellent!)

My classification: PG-13 (for language)

Well, well, worth the wait, and a film that exceeded my expectations (and that is quite difficult to do, given how wild my peak of inflated expectations can be). It excels in never ceasing to be entertaining, and for that, deserves to be categorized as one of the best films this year (the other being Jodhaa Akbar, but comparing the two would not be fair)!

Image source: This IndiaFM link


bollyviewer said...

Yippee! Now I can safely plan to watch. :-)

Anonymous said...

Go on! Compare the two! If you're life was on the line, which one entertained you more?

Joseph Gonsalves said...

O.K so I watched ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’ last night! The first 45 Mins are painful, but the movie got much better very quickly and by the end I’d smiled so much my jaw actually hurt! The songs were even more awesome in Dolby Movie sound.Did you notice that the brooding Sukhwinder track didn't show up in the film?

Queen Dido said...

I didn't know Genelia had acted in other films before this. I thought she looks very comfortable in front of the camera, and I wasn't sure as to why.
I'd really like to rent Boys to see how she performs in other roles.

I think my favorite thing about the film is it's ease. It seems like a cameraman just started filiming all these people in their everyday lives. I really want to see the film again.

ajnabi said...

Yay! I'm so glad to hear it's getting great reviews and great word-of-mouth too. So far this year I haven't been overly impressed with most of the 2008 BW offerings I've come across, so this is exciting!

theBollywoodFan said...

Bollyviewer: Sounds like a plan! It really is a fun movie, I think you'll enjoy it.

Anonymous: Thank you for the encouragement. Jaane Tu is by far the most entertaining film so far this year, there's no question about it!

Joesph: Agree on the quality of the music in Dolby surround. Now that I think of it, that Sukhwinder Singh track might well have been included to mislead some of us (in a good way). Going in, I was seriously concerned about this film ending the way Aamir's debut film Qayaamat Se Qayaamat Tak (1988) ended. The Sukhwinder track would have been a perfect complement to that end.

Queen Dido: Genelia has some good past works (especially away from Bollywood) that are worth checking out. I didn't like her first Bollywood film, Masti. But it wasn't because of her -- I wouldn't have liked the film, period. She seems to have done an excellent job in Bommarillu (Sita-ji recently discussed it at this post over at the Bollywood Food Club).

You're right about the flow of the film coming across as so natural. Not much seemed forced, which was very well done. I liked how Amitabh Bachchan put it (discussed in this post):

"There simply is no effort that can be noticed on any actor in trying to project that they are acting."

Ajnabi: It really is the best entertainer of the year so far. And we should all be very excited, as Bollywood fans, to have Imran and Genelia in the mainstream now. Bollywood needs them!

Anonymous said...

Good job discussing the film, from the start. People like you truly need to celebrate the film's success. You will probably say you knew it from the beginning, but JTYJN exceeded my expectations too, and I agree that it is the best entertainer of the year.

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Anonymous: Thank you for your comment. You're right, of course, Aamir Khan fans will say that we knew JTYJN would be good! ;) Seriously speaking, any doubts I had about the film's quality were dismissed when the friends are shown singing along to the classic song, 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na'.

Could so relate to Mala (the one being narrated to) at the outset. And that is when the story-telling took over the film, and its audience.

I really think Aamir bhai has mastered the art of understanding his audience. When he talks of the difference between an aashiq (lover) and a maashooq (the loved one), we better believe he subscribes to being the former!

Mind you, this one belongs to Abbas Tyrewala and Nasir Hussain as much as it does to Aamir. In Aamir's words, all he did was approve the script and suggest a few changes. The execution was entirely up to the cast and crew, and he was part of neither.

bollyviewer said...

Saw it today and looooved it. Especially liked the story-within-a-story format - adds extra layers to the narration. Story, songs, dialogues, cinematography were all awesome. Thought Genelia's role could have done with a bit of subtlety, but in such a great movie such small imperfections dont really make a difference!

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi Bollyviewer: Thank you for writing. Very, very glad you liked it!

That story-within-a-story format worked wonders -- completely agree. The elements all worked so well, it truly is a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

One of my favorite bits from the film with Genelia D'Souza was when the song Kahin To Hogi appeared. I thought she did so well.


eMa said...

For all of u who hv watched this movie, I M SO JEALOUS!!! LOL.. I hope to catch it real soon. Anyways, nice review bollywoodfan. And thanks for all the song translations. Keep up the great work! :D

theBollywoodFan said...

Hi eMa: Thanks for your comment and kind words. Do share your thoughts on the film.


PS: There's more viewer reaction in comments to this post.

Anonymous said...

I went to India this summer, and on my second day, I was lucky enough to catch this spectacular flick! I saw it and fell totally in love with it! Everything about it is just simply amazing! I actually saw it another two times, once in drive-in. That was an amazing experience. There's a little bit of everything in this movie..romance, friendship, villains, crime, and even horse riding! This is a must watch!

theBollywoodFan said...

Anonymous: You're lucky to have seen this in theaters in India!!! That's fantastic! It did have quite a bit integrated within, but the approach to combining the elements was done rather refreshingly, for which I agree it is a must-watch!

Thanks again for stopping by...cheers!