A subject like this may've worked in the 1970s and 1980s, but with television attempting almost all issues pertaining to families, a film like JANANI comes too late in the day. Another factor that goes against the film is that the execution of the subject is also old-fashioned.
Urmila [Ayesha Julka], an enterprising woman who runs a toy company, is married to Raj [Mohnish Bahl], a businessman with interest in real estate. However, when their young son Rahul [Vineet Raina] falls in love with Neha [Sonica Handa] and the young lovers decide to marry, Urmila and Raj initially agree but unanimously put their foot down against the marriage when they know about Neha's parents.
Who are Neha's parents? What prompted this couple to deny their only son's wish?
Akanksha [Bhagyashree], who lives with husband Tarun [Aman Verma], son Rahul [Master Smith Shah] and mother-in-law [Anjana Mumtaz], had been more of a friend than just an assistant to Urmila. So, when Rahul was diagnosed with brain tumor and an expensive operation seemed the only cure, Raj and Urmila pay for the operation.
Later, when Akanksha goes to thank Raj and Urmila, she overhears the silent moans of the couple that cannot bear a child because of certain medical disorders with Urmila. Akanksha decides to gift the couple what they desire most; as a payback for saving her child but later disappear from the city with her family.
Twenty years later, Rahul and Neha's undying love has renewed old and forgotten wounds. Their relationship has cropped up innumerable unanswerable questions and put everyone's life into jeopardy, including their own.
The problem with JANANI clearly lies in its scripting. The screenplay raises a few points, but doesn't answer all of them. Also, it lacks the power to keep your attention arrested all through, partly because of ineffective screenplay and also because the emotions don't strike a chord.
Chander Behl's direction has its limitations due to a half-convincing script. Dialogues too seem straight out of yesteryear films. Musically [Nirmal Pawar], a mediocre score.
JANANI has two powerful performances in the form of Bhagyashree and Mohnish Bahl. Both seasoned actors, they infuse life in their roles with solid portrayals. Ayesha Julka goes overboard at times. Aman Verma is passable. Vineet and Sonica are able in their debut film.
On the whole, JANANI has nothing to lure the family audiences, its target audience. At the box-office, this one's a non-starter!