Masala tea served Karan Johar style
13 October, 2013
If ‘serious’ and ‘meaningful’ are the adjectives you usually resort to while describing your favourite kind of cinema, Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani is as wrong for you as it can get. If on the other hand, you are like me, who likes to bask in all the glamour that gives Bollywood its reputation, is a sucker for youthful romance (and doesn’t mind if it is recycled and remixed) and who basically likes to pretend for 180 minutes that the real world is as glitzy, this might just be your cup of masala tea, served signature Karan Johar style.
There is nothing in this Ayan Mukherjee movie to keep you on the edge of your seat, nothing to make you bite your nails, not even anything to keep you guessing. It doesn’t have a moral, no surprises, no ‘message’. It doesn’t try to tell you anything. At least not anything that you haven’t heard a million times before. The movie is comfortingly predictable, and as you watch, you can simply lean back and lazily lick off the cheese – from your fingertips as you dig into the tub of popcorn and from the screen as well! The movie doesn’t experiment, doesn’t for a second even pretend to deviate from the tried and tested path of sure-fire popularity, cashing in on gorgeous locales, friendship, love and commitment phobia. Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani sets out to entertain. And does. Nothing less, nothing more.
The story starts with a chance meeting at a supermarket between ex-classmates Naina (Deepika Padukone) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin). The hep, feisty Aditi mentions she is leaving for a Manali trek the next day with her two best friends from school – Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) and Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor). In a burst of defiance, the geeky medical student Naina runs away from home to join them. Initially, she sticks out like a sore thumb among the carefree, ‘cool’ people, but before the trip is over, she loses her nerdy glasses and does perfect thumkas to Balam Pichkari. She has also formed a close friendship with Bunny, who never noticed her throughout school. And surprise, surprise, she has also fallen in love with him – the ballsy, footloose ‘free bird’ whose dream it is to set foot in every corner of the world, as different from the demure, sedate, home-bound Naina as it is possible to get. The first half of the movie ends with the premise that Bunny is leaving for the States to pursue a Journalism course.
Eight years later, Aditi has decided to tie the knot with a bespectacled nerdy engineer Taran (Kunal Roy Kapoor) and a huge crowd of family and friends gather for a super-grand Indian wedding at a palatial hotel in Udaipur. This is where Naina – now sassy and incredibly sexy, apart from being a doctor – meets Bunny (a travel show host and globetrotter, who hasn’t quite grown up yet) again. This time, the attraction is palpable. But this time Naina guards her heart against breaking a second time and Bunny resists his mounting feelings on the grounds of getting tied down; after all, there are nooks of the globe yet to be explored. But then, when has anyone in the world been able to rule over the heart?
Ranbir and Deepika make a fetching onscreen pair. They are undeniably gorgeous and theiir chemistry is sizzling enough to glam up a rather flat storyline. I couldn’t help wishing they would get back together off-screen as well.
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