Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) - Review

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a welcome mix of the contemporary and the conventional.

There are the needless, yet enjoyable, song-and-dance sequences reminiscent of the 80s and 90s, with Madhuri, for instance, dancing away to the foot-tapping ghagra even as you wonder how and why that happened. And then there's batameez dil thrown in strictly for RK fans, which does nothing to take the film further, like most other songs (read: Balam Pichkari) And the film packs all this in a story that's very relatable, very today.

Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor) and Naina (Deepika Padukone) are not your Hindi pichchar hero heroin. Naina likes him and thinks of a future with him. But she is aware of their differences. They even talk it out. So unfilmy! But that's what I like about YJHD. Also, that she never makes her love for him blatantly apparent. [Ref: there is no melodrama when they meet after an 8 year long gap at their friend's wedding]

Yes, the film takes you back to a lot of popular romcoms: DDLJ - love blooming on a trip (ok, for a change, this time it's in India - Gulmarg, one of the most breathtaking places I've ever seen!) to Kal Ho Na Ho's geeky, chashmish Naina (naam toh badal dete!) to Ayan Mukherji's first Wake Up Sid ('live your dreams' rhetoric), to Hum Aapke Hai Koun - with songs thrown in on every occasion whether needed or not ;) But even as it does so, it does not fail to strike a chord. Here's why:

1) Ayan's portrayal of characters. They are not perfect. They are real people, with their flaws and strengths -- from the adventurous, daring, perennially flirt Kabir (Ranbir) who shoulders the film through and through, to the blaringly contrasting Naina (Deepika) who doesn't instantly get along with people, to the vivacious, carefree Kalki (you take time to warm up to her character, her first of sorts) to the dapper, coquettish, good-hearted Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor). 

2) The dynamics of Kabir's relationship with his father. It reminds you of WUS but is dealt here so much more realistically. Farooq Shaikh (father) is brilliant. The awkward complications that build up between them get a beautiful closure towards the end. Tanvi Azmi played the mother fittingly well.

3) There's a love story to be told but the director lets it unfold at its own pace. He's in no rush. The director handles every element -- be it the friendship Kabir, Avi and Aditi (Kalki) share, or Kabir's relationship with his father, or the equation Kabir and Naina share before falling in love -- with as much care as the love story which is at the very core of the film.

It would be more interesting, however, to see, if and how Kabir and Naina actually end up together. How about a sequel? Shaadi ke side effects ;-) There's already a film with that title releasing this year, starring Farhan Akhtar and Vidya Balan. That might just have some clues ;-)

How did you like YJHD? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

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