First, let's agree on this: 'jaanu' is not a word. It's a weapon of mass patience destruction. Usually, my head responds to 'jaanu' the same way it reacts to a lone mosquito buzzing over my nose when I'm trying to sleep. Yet, 30 minutes into Shaad Ali's OK Jaanu, I actually wished I could summon a tear or two to wipe for the sake of nostalgia. Because watching Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor play romance-romance is pretty much like playing party-party with Ken and Barbie. In fact, they have exactly the kind of chemistry that existed between Barbie and your homework.
Now, tell me why should you want to watch OK Jaanu? It couldn't possibly be because it's a remake of OK Kanmani, a film whose scriptwriter must have snoozed midway.
This is pretty much OK Kanmani's, and consequently Ok Jaanu's, story: boy and girl meet, fall in love, have sex and then wonder if happily-ever-afters exist. What holds Ok Kanmani together is how Adi (played by Dulquer Salman) and Tara (played by Nithya Menon) make the relationship the kind that makes you mutter 'aww' to yourself. Or turn to your bestie and whine, "I want!"
After all, the best filmi romances are basically great works of sorcery that fool you into thinking, "Haye, mera number kab ayega?" It is perfectly possible that many women, and even some men, must have watched Dulquer -- with his goofy grin, his boxy, ordinary clothes and general earthiness -- and felt their hearts go a little 'humma humma' (NOT the snotty Bombay pub version, please). And Nithya's Tara, in her printed kurtas and disdain for pretence, was the person who successfully kept you distracted from relentlessly feeling how flimsy the screenplay was.
But OK Jaanu's Adi and Tara, seem to be in the midst of a Vogue photoshoot, not a great romance. All you want to take home of them is their wardrobe.
Adi is a gamer-cum-video-game-creator. Tara is an architect. They meet at a friend's wedding and fall in lust. Soon, they want to move in together for a while, before they both fly abroad to study. So they move into the Fab India showroom that is apparently Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson's home in Bombay.
We are told Gulzar has written the film's dialogues, yet they sound like Tinder matches trying too hard to sound cool. Example:
Tara: "Main Paris jaa rahi hoon, architect banne."
Adi: "Main US jaa raha hoon. Zuckerburg ko competition dene."
Me: "Isko dump karo, please?"
There are references to 'doobna' (drowning) in the girl's eyes, sex as 'paap' and 'Humma Humma' with Badshah in it. In all fairness, OK Jaanu's music isn't bad, once you have recovered from the blasphemy that is the Badshah version of Humma Humma. In fact, Rahman's music does serve as the much-needed distraction from the listless narrative of the film.
That apart, Shaad Ali's sets, with all the finesse of Bandra cupcake shops, contributes in making the film feel foreign and aloof. Everything from a seedy hotel room in Ahmedabad to a south Bombay PG screams, "Stop being a miser, man. Go sell a kidney and buy some fancy curtains and vases please."
That said, one must watch OK Jaanu. Arey, shaadi season is coming up, don't want fusion ethnic wear ideas?
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