Ten Years to Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

It wasn't just a movie, it was a zest fest to celebrate youth! Fresh out of college, the graduates are delirously weaving dreams, making tremulous promises, dancing to reggae and swigging shots by the quarts.  And yeah, they have to get serious, quit being delirious and all that pop-rock-fusion jazz.



Writer-director Abbas Tyrewala’s Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Na – the title’s inspired by a song from Manmohan Desai’s Aa Gale Lag Jaa – is refreshingly young, never mind if at several points it’s as repetitive as a cranky child and the smart writing chops and zany zip to keep you smiling. Say cheese, people! 

When you're in college, you're devoid of biases. You make friendships based on connections, likes and dislikes. You don't make much of income groups, status or caste, you just forge a bond. It is a fantasy world, however, its believable. Adoringly, nostalgic! 

Here are two ways that the movie connected with us and left an indelible mark: 

Firstly, the scripting. The story revolves around meow and rats. Two characters of the story that are the protagonists. It plays out as a predictable Bollywood love story, sticking faithfully to old formulas, even culminating in that obligatory airport climax. As far as the film’s plot is concerned, there’s very little that’s original. Jaane Tu isn't your traditional plot-driven film. It is, in fact, a film propelled by its characters and their motivations, much like Dil Chahta Hai in a sense, but without the emotional depth of that film. The characters in Jaane Tu are all cool, light and easy. So cool in fact, that they sometimes come off looking silly. The half a dozen characters in the film provide a great range of emotions from geeky to cute.  All the parents are the type you’d meet next door, especially the tongue-in-cheek social activist (Ratna Pathak-Shah, impressive). Vignettes are woven in seamlessly – featuring Paresh Rawal as a creepy-cum-comic cop and Naseeruddin Shah’s dead-man portrait jigging into life spoofily. And surprise surprise, Arbaaz-Sohail Khan pop up as two wacko cowboys disrupting the discos with their frantic antics.

Secondly, the message behind the film. Coming to the story Jai and Aditi are very good friends and the journey in which they find love for each other is the gist of the movie. Its like comfort food on a platter, really. The message is of that new “sensitive” hero that the multiplex-era cinema keeps promising to deliver, but rarely does, with the odd exception of an Abhay Deol in Socha Na Tha. Jai doesn’t need a six-pack or even a stubble, and he’s content to be introduced to us in as understated a manner as is possible in the context of a first film: he’s asleep at his desk, the phone rings, he dashes off to help Aditi with an emergency. With his big black caterpillar brows and his gawky, post-adolescent frame – it’s like someone who’s shot up too fast and is still learning how to negotiate the extra height – Imran is perfectly cast as Jai. Characters are real, emotions are real, dreams can be real and love is the only reality of life. The dreaded airport climax, but the cleverness of the handling and the sweetly sentimental culmination of the romance leaves you with moist eyes as well as a big silly grin.