When your first project, Wake Up Sid, becomes a critically acclaimed one and paves way into the tinsel town, you can’t wait to ride the ‘formula’ train. A time tested storyline always puts you in a safe net. So, Ayan Mukherjee in his second outing, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, does no mistake in treading an old path, but puts all his effort to make this film stand out from the rest. It is interesting to note how the present film is a far cry from the previous one. In this odyssey, he’s successful in delivering a breezy film that’s high on the emotional quotient.
Farhan Akthar in his film Dil Chahtaa Hai introduced the tale of three friends, their friendship, bromance, romance and delving into their inner selves. All this happened on an exotic trip. He again reprised this story along with Zoya Akthar in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Both were classics in their own right, and gave fodder to many films to come. Ayan Mukherjee embarks on the same journey and his characters know more about themselves and about life in the due course of their journey. The story moves from present to past and then present, and with these flashbacks, the four friends and their lives intertwine and the long forgotten love blossoms again.
Ranbir Kapoor effortlessly delivered the right expressions and emotions. His character Bunny wants to live his dream and doesn’t want to fall into the vortex of family and relationships. But he struggles when it comes to fixing priorities. So he falters and realizes what is important in life. He puts a magnetic presence through out the film.
Deepika Padukone pulls off a class act. She maintains the fragility in her character and the slow transition of her from a nerd to a smiling beauty is heart-warming. The different shades of her character Naina and the way Deepika portrays it on screen are the wow moments of the film.
Kalki Koechlin’s Aditi is rash and impetuous. Aditya Roy Kapur’s Avi is cute and appealing. They have an understated presence in the film. Their characters are restrained to give way for the lead ones. And whenever they are on screen, they are a treat to watch.
Madhuri Dixit sizzles in a cameo with her description of ladka and mard, and shakes a leg with Ranbir in the song Subhanallah. Farooq Sheik and Tanvi Azmi are endearing in their limited role. And when it comes for doses of laughter, Kunal Roy Kapoor is always there for rescue.
Pritam is another asset for the film. His background score is immersive and the songs are already chartbusters. He manages to strike the right chord with a good mix of dance numbers and melodies. His music traverses both the ends of the spectrum – on one side Ilahi makes you smile and on the other the haunting Kabira makes you cry. The foot-tapping number Battameez Dil leaves you asking for more.
V. Manikandan handled the cinematography and used plenty of soft lighting to create a signature glossy template that’s archetypal of all high budget romantic comedies coming from the stable of Dharma Productions. Karan Johar who produced the film took utmost care to fluff the production with heavy dose of candy floss.
Bottom-line: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a well executed film. Albeit the movie is a mishmash of many Bollywood romcoms, Ayan Mukherjee’s honest storytelling makes it refreshing and believable. The film is lavish with all the ingredients of a commercial entertainer. There is a wedding, a trek to the snow-capped mountains of Manali, wonderfully choreographed dances, tear jerking moments, and a lead pair with crackerjack on-screen chemistry. What else can you ask for?
My Rating: Expectation – 8/10; Reality – 6/10