262898 Taran Adarsh

Jodi No.1 Review by Taran Adarsh

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Time Films International's JODI NO. 1, edited-directed by David Dhawan, tells the story of two friends, Jai (Sanjay Dutt) and Veeru (Govinda), who are basically conmen. While gambling in a club, Jai picks up a fight with Tiger (Rajat Bedi), the younger brother of a don (Ashish Vidyarthi), who gets killed due to his undoing. To avenge the death of his brother, the don goes in search of the duo.

In order to escape the wrath of the don, Jai and Veeru flee the city and board the train for Goa. Once inside, they bump into an N.R.I., Vikramjeet (Aasif Sheikh), who is visiting his uncle, Rai Sahab (Anupam Kher), for business reasons. Jai and Veeru rob Vikramjeet of his belongings and have him arrested for travelling without a ticket.

Jai pretends to be Vikram and Veeru, his secretary, when they meet Rai Sahab (Anupam Kher) at his mansion in Goa. But after settling down, they realise that Rai Sahab's wealthy status is a mirage, for the creditors have attached his property. What's worse, his family plans to move court for their share in the property.

Rai Sahab suffers a heart attack when he hears of these developments. But before being admitted to the I.C.U., he entrusts the responsibility of his company to Jai and Veeru. He is convinced that only they can save him from this mess.

Jai and Veeru are at crossroads, for Rai Sahab has asked them to safeguard the same wealth that they had been eyeing. Under the circumstances, they decide to live up to his faith and ensure the safety of his property.

Their cheating tricks and street-smart attitude helps them in fulfilling this responsibility. But their identity gets exposed when their faces are flashed in 'India's Most Wanted' show on TV. Prior to that, the don learns of their whereabouts and lands up in Goa. What happens next?

David Dhawan, the monarch of double meaning entendres, is back with yet another flick that gives more importance to gags and less to a coherent plot. Non-stop entertainment has always been the hallmark of DD's films, while logic is always relegated to the background. JODI NO. 1 also falls in this category!

David Dhawan along with his team of writers spins yet another yarn that bears a striking resemblance to DO AUR DO PAANCH and his own HASEENA MAAN JAAYEGI. The first half of this enterprise moves at a breakneck speed, with the viewer enjoying the joy ride.

But in the post-interval portions, DD and his team of writers give the impression that they have run out of steam. The moment the don lands up in Goa, soon after the interval, the story comes to a screeching halt. What follows thereafter are individual incidents/sequences that try to move the story ahead.

The screenplay is of convenience and that is one big drawback. The heroes accomplish the most impossible task at the drop of a hat, which gets unpalatable after a point. Even the pre-climax ? in the church ? looks far from convincing, while the climax is long drawn and clich?idden.

Not that JODI NO. 1 abounds in negative points only! The film boasts of several entertaining moments that tickle your funny bone. In fact, David Dhawan is in his element in certain scenes, mainly in the first half. In the second half, the one involving the two heroes and Shakti Kapoor at Anupam's mansion and the scene when Tiku Talsania refuses to accept Sanju as his son, can be singled out.

One of the assets of the film is Rumi Jaffry's dialogue. Laced with wit and humour, the one-liners are thoroughly enjoyable and strengthen the comedy scenes considerably.

As a director, David Dhawan has cushioned the film with light moments, but the drama is sidelined in the process. For instance, Anupam Kher's brothers (Ajit Vachhani, Anil Dhawan) turning a new leaf after the cheque incident, looks contrived. Even the scenes involving Anupam's mill look puerile. The romance between the two pairs (Sanju-Monica and Govinda-Twinkle) is also in short supply.

Musically, the film has two decent numbers ? 'Anda' (which would appeal to the front-benchers mainly!) and 'Lal Chunariyawali'. But, again, the two numbers that crop up in the second half ? the title track and 'Teri Bindiya Uda Ke Le Gayee' ? come up without any valid situation.

If JODI NO. 1 belongs to anyone, it is to Govinda who delivers a flawless performance with minimal effort. His timing for comedy is unparalleled and this film proves yet again that he is most comfortable in roles that are aimed at the front-benchers. Sanjay Dutt excels in a couple of sequences.

Twinkle Khanna oozes oomph, while Monica Bedi adds glamour to the proceedings. Amongst character artistes, Anupam Kher and Ashish Vidyarthi are decent. Ashok Saraf is alright.

On the whole, JODI NO. 1 has two strong points ? the impressive names in its cast and crew and some rib-tickling moments. But it falters in that one significant department ? script ? that is so vital to magnetise the audience. The bumper publicity has helped the film take an encouraging start all over, but after the initial euphoria diminishes, it will settle to the average category.

Jodi No.1 2 Taran Adarsh 20010413