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15 Years Of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Love Story 2050



On July 4,2008 two star kids were launched. One of them Imran Khan became  a star, the other Harman Baweja  couldn’t quite make it  although he  displayed ample skills in every department  of  camera  seduction. Baweja  recently made a comeback  in Hansal Mehta’s webseries Scoop whereas Khan has  pretty much withdrawn  into oblivion.

Abbas Tyrewala’s   directorial debut Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na  had a certain  sparkling  spirit , a  zest for living life  quirk-sized  and   a certain zing thing  about the way  the characters look at  life  and love.It’s not only about the way  the  characters’ exuberant  yearnings connect with  the  audience. It’s also about the  casual  free-flowing  downloading  of  events and dialogues in the  narrative  that give the characters an edge over  other urbane  youngsters  who have come and  gone  in the past creating   a  spirit of lingering joie de vivre.

The   bunch of collegians here take their cues from Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai, Rakeysh Mehra’s Rang De Basanti and even  Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Echoes from these iconic youth -films fill out  the outer edges   of the  ‘cool’ canvas creating for  the characters  at-hand a  sense  of  wondrous and informal  perpetuity as they go from  humorous heartbreak  to  sober selfrealization in a plot that accommodates both impulse and  pre-meditated  thought  in a mix that is engaging endearing and fairly  original  in spite of  the derivative echoes.

While  the supporting  cast of  friends are  both  real and tangible  ,  at the core  of  this romantic musical  are Jai(Irfan  Khan)  and Aditi(Genelia) who  are “best friends” in  the coolest sense of the term. Bantering bum-chums at the surface  but sharing  a  much deeper  bond underneath , all their  friends  can see that the twosome  is made for each other.

But they can’t.It’s  an  exceedingly  old formula  for a  romantic comedy  given  a  fresh new spin  by  a  storyteller who picks on moments from  ordinary  lives and  converts them  into a  celebration of life and  love.

Old songs(R.D Burman mainly) and new original music(A .R  Rahman)  coalesce  with  the minum fuss while  Jai and Aditi’s love story goes  through  several turns and twists  until they arrive at  that traditional end-game  for romantic  films:  the  grand reunion  at  the airport  seconds before the  girl is scheduled to take off for good.

The flurry is charming ,though   a  little to selfconsciously designed  at times.Peep underneath . And   you  see  the narration  covering a lot of   familiar ground.The  freshness lies  in  the  way the  characters  respond  to  the  familiar material often exceeding  the domain created by the  script.Every  actor pitches  in at  just  the right volume of  vivacity. There are stand-out  supporting  performances  by   Naseeruddin Shah(playing the hero  Jai’s dead father in  a portrait), Ratna Pathak(superbly skilled as Jai’s mom), Paresh Rawal( flawless  as a boorish  cop) and Arbaaz and Sohail Khan(as a couple of outlandish cowboys they  supplant the  believably urbane love story with a  touch  of   the surreal).

Then there’s Manjari Phadnis as the hero’s could-be  love interest.  Living in perpetual denial  she  thinks  her  embittered parents(Rajat  Kapoor and Kitu Gidwani) actually love each other under  the acrimony.The   characters never  claim  to be  extraordinary in  their desires.  It’s their ordinary dreams and down-to-earth  desires  which  give the  narration   a spirited spin.

And then there are protagonists. Not  just  young Imran Khan and Genelia. But their friends. Each one played as  though the  wall dividing the actor from the characters had disappeared.While Genelia  is  a  natural in most scenes, Imran’s unassuming  boy-next-door  personality  lends  itself with  picture-perfect precision to  the  mood and tenor  of the narration.

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na  exudes an  urbane cool. It’s not really  trying  to be  anything. It doesn’t have an  earthshattering message for  the masses.

What it has  is  an  honest  story about a  bunch of  credible characters told  in  a fashion that’s casually trendy  and warm. Manoj Lobo’s  cinematography and Shan Mohamed’s  editing assist  the director in  making this  a  film that you’d  probably like to watch again just to see  if you missed  out a  vital  bit  of  the characters’ lives while they were looking  for love.

Significantly director Abbas Tyrewallah directed another  film Jhoota Hi Sahi which flopped miserably.

After watching Harman Baweja sing, dance, emote and entertain in Love Story 2015 directed by his father Harry Baweja,  for a full three hours, one wondered if there is anything that this Baweja boy from Bollywood can’t do.

Yes, maybe there is something Harman can’t do. He can’t make us forget for even a minute that he knows every component of the camera although he has never acted before. The confidence level stops just short of being cocky and overdone. He is never short of a positive and productive attitude.

It is clear that producer-director Harry Baweja  made “Love Story 2050” as a showcase for his son’s aptitudes. To that extent, the film works wonderfully, creating repeated opportunities for the debutant to shine.

The script – sprawling across two time phases and three hours of playing time – is a simple love story of two very good looking people coming together in the svelte, sweltering, simmering climes of Sydney, moving apart and then going into a futuristic mode without alienating themselves from the romantic genre that this uniquely-designed film inhabits.

Harry Baweja happily avoids the pitfalls of pedestrianism even when the boy-meets-girl plot gets into a trite and repeatedly-tested mode.The protagonists share a precious, fragile and tender chemistry. A butterfly perches itself on the girl’s trembling hands and manoeuvres her heart into places where there’re no tell-tale signs. The butterfly becomes a likeable leitmotif in the plot. The courtship and romance is done in shades and words that leave us smiling. The initial scenes are actually far more interesting than they appear.

The boy tells the girl to do something that she has never done before. How about shop-lifting? He suggests. She suggests he recite some poetry for her. Javed Akhtar does the rest.

By the time Harman and Priyanka sing their first two duets we’re convinced that they care deeply for each other. It’s in their eyes. No kisses and cuddles needed. Only cuddly robots. For the first time in a Hindi film, two robots serving as the protagonists’ companions are given prominent places in the plot. And they aren’t just props. They are entities with a mind and personality of their own.

The entire courtship game stretching into two time zones is played out with an endearing innocence, and a focus and finesse that re-define the boy-girl formula in a language that’s sassy and trendy without ever lumbering into the lurid.Towards the second-half, when Harman flies into a futuristic Mumbai to retrieve lost love, the flying cars, the humane robots and the psychedelic dance numbers tend to overpower the basic romantic structure of the plot.

Harry Baweja could have avoided the extravagant excesses in the sky. How long can you watch flying cars and talking robots? After a while you restlessly begin to search for that romantic core which, blessedly, is never too far away from the narrative’s range of interests.The second half, when a zany scientist (Boman Irani in a weird wig and silly smirk) transports the lovers and the audience into the future, has been done with an élan and flamboyance that leave us enthralled.

Vijay Arora’s camera work is extraordinarily rich in colours and style. The same goes for Priyanka’s sartorial grace. Her two characters  are brilliantly defined by their clothes. Fortunately, Priyanka goes deeper in search of her characters’ core. The repressed poetic persona in the first half and the brassy red-haired rock star in the second-half are two different entities.

But make no mistake. “Love Story 2050” belongs to debutant Harman from first frame to the last. And all his co-stars know it. They all sort of move back to let the Baweja boy take centrestage.

Harman demonstrates an endearing all-purpose showmanship. He dances like a dream and gets gooey-eyed and sentimental in love scenes. A star was (still)born.



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