A dynamic or a sedentary life? The daily dal-chawal or the scrumptious tangri kabab? Chasing dreams or letting go of them?
Director Ayan Mukerji’s second outing at the Box Office, after ‘Wake Up Sid’, is light, frothy at the primary level – and delves somewhat into the deeper recesses of human emotions at the secondary level. However, one thing emerges tall – ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ is an extremely pleasant watch.
Kabir aka Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) is a youngster who craves for speed and craziness in his life. In his trajectory, he is occasionally aided along by his father (Farooq Sheikh) and mildly chided by step-mother (Tanvi Azmi) at others. Bunny, along with Abhi (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin), his best friends, plans a trekking trip to Manali.
Naina (Deepika Padukone) – a medical student who doesn’t know the meaning of ‘fun’ in the conventional sense of the term, runs out of home and hops on to the train that’s on its way to Manali – and meets Kabir on the same. All of them, meanwhile, were classmates in school.
The trip to Manali turns out to be a frisky, lovable one and all of them part ways and go off to pursue their own dreams. Eight years later, destiny places four of these youngsters in each others’ paths yet again. Several lessons are learnt, many moments are lived up to the hilt and all of these are what ‘Yeh Jaawani Hai Deewani’ consists of.
V Maniknandan’s cinematography deserves a standing ovation. He captures Manali in all its brilliance and more; with shots of the snow-capped mountains being the icing on the cake (the mountains, maybe)!
As far as the story is concerned, Ayan Mukerji’s second attempt is a decent enough one. ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ is brilliant in its moments – disjointed ones, at that. The one, for example, when Bunny and Naina shout from the top of the ‘haunted peak’ deserves a pat on the back. The candid father-son moments between Farooq Sheikh and Ranbir Kapoor, too, melt the heart. However, the screenplay takes a turn towards being predictable in the latter half of the film. There aren’t many twists – not any, for that matter – and one might feel one’s attention swaying after a point of time. Somewhat crisper editing could have saved the film from lagging in the bits where it does.
Whatever technical drawbacks there might have been, are all aptly overshadowed by the brilliant cast. Ranbir Kapoor clinches it – this time too! While his last at the BO saw him as the deaf and mute ‘Barfi!’, Kapoor makes up for the minutes spent not talking in this one – he is funny, focused, flirtatious and miles away from what he had been in Mukherji’s last film – ‘Wake Up Sid’. Deepika Padukone – apart from her style of dialogue delivery (which, by now, we’ve learnt to live with) – plays a commendable part as Naina. The leggy lass ably pulls off the transformation from the geeky girl-next-door to the sexy saree-clad, waist-baring woman.
Aditya Roy Kapur, after ‘Aashiqui 2’, proves his prowess yet again. However, I sincerely wish he wouldn’t be seen drowning in alcohol in his next film! Jokes apart, as Abhi, Aditya performs really well. Kalki Koechlin infuses ample amount of life into her ditzy, bubbly role as Aditi. The supporting cast – Farooq Sheikh, Tanvi Azmi, Kunal Roy Kapur, Dolly Ahluwalia – all seem suited to play their parts.
Pritam’s music is peppy and melodious. The songs all do their bit of fighting for that space in your long-term memory – and one is expected to hum ‘Balam Pichkari’ on their way to the exit gates – I daresay! The graceful Madhuri Dixit charms with her ‘Ghagra’ and leaves people applauding her dancing skills yet again!
In a nutshell, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ is no heavy or preachy business. It is meant to be enjoyed and it does its job well. Apart from a few parts where the pace of the film drops badly, Ayan Mukherji’s handiwork is a breezy, enjoyable one. Three stars for this!