It wasn't hard for me to like Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na!.
There was so much good stuff in this film. Imran. Genelia. The cameos. The music. The "young love" factor. How could I resist?
There's been a lot of great reviews on JTYJN lately; I struggled for awhile, trying to come up with something fresh and interesting to say. But what it boils down to is this: Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na isn't going to knock your socks off with its originality or depth (at least not for someone that's seen so many similar things in commercial Hollywood). It's just plain ol' puppy love fun, and its strength lies in its abilty to be so good at being so simple.
Ahh, I've said it before, but there's something about "teen love"...it just takes me back! JTYJN takes place immediately following college graduation, so the characters technically aren't teenagers at all, but it has that whole youthful vibe nonetheless. And the hero, cutie pie Imran Khan, actually reminded me of my own high school crush...sigh!
The film follows a group of friends that includes best buds Jai (Imran Khan) and Aditi (Genelia). From the beginning, its implied that the two are in love, but as the film unfolds, we discover they're "just friends". However, after being questioned by Aditi's parents, they start to date other people, and their true feelings begin to surface.
Like I said, the story's not hard to predict, nor does it get much more complicated than that. But the performances and characters were so well developed that nothing else seemed to matter. As Ajnabi said in her review, the dialouges are so good you feel like you're actually there, sitting in on the conversations. And that's what I love about "feel good" films, something JTYJN undoubtedly is--You can watch again and again just to relive the moments with the characters, to spend time in "their world". Those are the films I tend to repeat, the timeless classics I pop in whenever I want to smile.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell that Imran and Genelia are here to stay--and I'm all for seeing more of them! Imran has all the qualities of a chocolate filmi hero: Good looks, connections in the industry, and acting chops to boot (Okay, not all filmi heros have that last one, but Imran thankfully does). Like Ranbir Kapoor, he's a natural, though in a more understated way. As Filmigirl would say, its time for the current Bollywood "hero-uncles" to make room!
In my Bommarillu post, I said I prefered Genelia's performance here as Aditi to her character as Hasini in that film. I'm not sure about that now--I truly loved them both. But I will say this--I appreciated Genelia's ability to add a different spin in JTYJN to a character that was, in some ways, similar to Hasini. Both were of similar age, and both required the cutesy spunk that Genelia plays so well. She could have easily slipped into "Hasini-mode" several times during JTYJN--and consequently, would have put herself at risk of being typecast. While that still may happen considering Genelia does have some distinct characteristics, I admired her for playing Aditi as differently as she did. Here, she was much more quiet, less fidgety, and even a bit spoiled--quite the opposite of the lovable, content Hasini. To add to her appeal, Genelia has an exotic look that makes her beauty unique. I'm guessing this can only help secure her spot in the industry--I can't think of any of the present-day heroines that look anything like her, can you?
The supporting cast was loads of fun, including cameos galore! My favorite?Naseeruddin Shah's role as Imran's deceased father, of course! He appeared only to bicker with Imran's mother, speaking to her through the framed portrait that hung on the living room wall. What made this cameo even better was the fact that Imran's mother was played by Naseer's real-life wife, Ratna Pathak Shah!!!
Seriously, I wish I had a photograph like this one of Naseeruddin Shah that talked to me...It would make life a lot more interesting, wouldn't it?:)
But wait, it gets even better...Pratheek Babbar, the son of Smita Patil and Raj Babbar, also had a cameo as Aditi's younger brother, Amit--And he definitely inherited his mother's good looks!
Not to mention the fact that he was perfectly cast as Genelia's brother--and did a fine job in his small role. Hope to see more of him!
While I didn't recognize Aditi's parents, their screen names were "Peachy" and "Pumpkin". Now why couldn't those be my parents' names?
As I'm sure you've guessed, Aditi and Jai both find potential love interests early on in the film. Jai's girlfriend, Meghna (played by Manjari Phandis) was an angelic beauty that almost made me root for her and Jai, despite the whole Aditi factor (almost). But Aditi's boyfriend, Sushant (Ayaz Khan) was a beast...so many times in the film I just wanted to give him a good kick in the pants!
The rest of Jai's and Aditi's friends were funloving and added to the delight of the film. I especially liked Sugandha Garg as Shaleen, one of the most spunky, colorful characters I've seen a female get to play in Bollywood. Shaleen was feisty when necessary, played the guitar, and even danced provocatively with another female...Even though Sungandha had a small role, this has got to be a sign that female roles in Indian cinema are progressively getting more interesting, doesn't it?
Other cameos include Kitu Gadwani, Sohail Khan, Rajat Kapoor, and Paresh Rawal. I'm sure there were some that I didn't catch, but you get the point, right? JTYJN was such a good time!
The music was composed by A.R. Rahman, so of course that was a no brainer. I knew I was going to fall in love with the soundtrack before the film even began! With titles like "Pappu Can't Dance", the music matched the vivacity of the movie perfectly. How does Rahman do it? He can create a sweeping melody fit for an epic (like most of the songs in the Jodhaa-Akbar soundtrack), and then turn around and give us something as hip and contemporary as the music of JTYJN. This guy rocks--no wonder he had such a great year!
Producer Aamir Khan adds another gold star to his list of filmi acheivements. What amazes me most about this one is it's the exact opposite of something I would have expected him to produce--I always see Aamir as being associated with films that make a political or social comment of some sort. But the Amazing Aamir proves that he can do good, clean fun just as well(if not better) as, say, Dharma Productions can. Bravo!
And, finally, as most of you know, Imran Khan also happens to be Aamir's nephew. As if he wasn't adorable enough in Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na!, I stumbled upon this little Kodak moment online one day and couldn't wait to share it with you all...
Aww!Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks?