Opposites attract! He's charismatic, gregarious and passionate with an indomitable spirit to explore places. She's the archetypical seedhi-saadhi girl, Plain Jane actually, an academician who's focused on attaining what she's zeroed for herself as a career. Add two more characters who cross their paths in this beautiful journey called life. Now place these four straight-out-of-life characters in a bottle, shake with a swizzle stick and presto, a love story is ready to be served.
Come to think of it, Ayan Mukerji's second outing YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is akin to his accomplished directorial debut WAKE UP SID. Yet diverse! The characters in both, WAKE UP SID and YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI, undergo a metamorphosis and transform into mature individuals with the passage of time. Life is a great teacher after all. At the same time, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is dissimilar from films of its ilk -- and conventional love stories too -- because Ayan's characters never embark upon the run of the mill, mundane route to express feelings towards each other.
Like all rom-coms, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI sparkles with romance, merriment and heartache, is brightly glossy and boasts of crackling chemistry between its lead actors, but Ayan makes sure the heady concoction never waters down. The best part is, he never borrows from romantic cliches that most love stories depend upon and that, in my opinion, is this film's biggest strength. Expect no unwanted melodrama, no unwelcome characters, no earsplitting background music to accentuate the proceedings... the best thing about YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is that it's refreshingly unique within the conventional Hindi film format.
YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI narrates the story of four characters -- Bunny [Ranbir Kapoor], Naina [Deepika Padukone], Aditi [Kalki Koechlin] and Avi [Aditya Roy Kapur] -- as they navigate through their youth... from their carefree laughter as they set off on a holiday together in their colleges days, until their bittersweet tears as they watch the first of their bunch get married.
It's pretty evident that Ayan wants to offer that something extra beyond a love story. The conflict in this plot has nothing to do with parental pressures or social disagreements. The issue that the characters face is very real, extremely relevant and reflects the mindset of those living in a metropolis. But scratch the exterior -- beneath the fun quotient, the song and dance routine -- Ayan takes up some serious issues, albeit in a subtle way, that envelope the human emotions brilliantly.
Ayan exhibits immense growth as a raconteur. His understanding of life, the characters, the road blocks they encounter, the resolution... radiates tremendous maturity. He nurtures his characters well, garnishing the narrative with episodes that have a lot of heart and which capture the energy and silence astoundingly. The message that Ayan attempts to convey is wonderfully real: There's more to life than conquering peaks and achieving targets. Sharing the precious moments with your loved one is what matters eventually. Although the film is targeted at youth, the film speaks a universal language and holds appeal for people of all age-groups.
Although the narrative congregates vigor, melodrama and gloss dexterously, the only time it totters is when the pacing slows intermittently. Besides, the narrative is stretched towards the middle of the second half. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the trivial blemish, the writing manages to hit the high notes for most parts of the enterprise. Also, it never goes overboard with the drama. The strings tie up really well towards the resolution and the conclusion is sure to leave you buoyant, grinning from ear to ear.
YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is embellished with a youthful and crazy score, with Pritam belting out popular, energetic numbers. 'Badtameez Dil', 'Balam Pichkari' and 'Ghagra' are high-on-energy tracks that have already hit the popularity charts. 'Kabira' oozes melody and has rich lyrical value. The choreography of 'Badtameez Dil' in particular is super, with Ranbir gyrating to the tunes with delight. Madhuri's presence in the 'Ghagra' track adds credence too.
V. Manikandan's cinematography is pure art in motion. Every frame is simply spectacular, with the DoP capturing the varied colors and landscapes with brilliance. Dialogue [Hussain Dalal] are unusual, but fascinating and have a lot of clever hilarity entwined in them.
The writing is enhanced by the performances! Ranbir is the show-stopper, the film's major muscle, the jewel in the crown, no two opinions on that. He is pitch-perfect, managing to be maddening, exasperating, childish and endearing in a flash. He captivates you with his gaze, his tone of voice, his chuckle and those itsy-bitsy gestures that make Bunny so so so lovable. Post COCKTAIL, Deepika nails her part yet again. The actress makes her character distinctive, blending grit, courage, compassion, sensuality and buoyancy with flourish.
Aditya continues to climb the ladder. Post AASHIQUI 2, here's yet another act that gives ample evidence of his fine talent. Kalki infuses poise in her part, holding her own despite the film clearly belonging to Ranbir and Deepika. Farooq Shaikh, as Ranbir's father, is simply outstanding, more so towards the final stages of the film. Kunal Roy Kapur is competent, as always.
Dolly Ahluwalia and Tanvi Azmi are perfect. Evelyn Sharma is charming. Navin Kaushik is good. Rana Daggubati sparkles in his cameo.
On the whole, YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is a revitalizing take on romance and relationships. A wonderful cinematic experience, this one should strike a chord with not just the youth, but cineastes of all age-groups. Watch this celebration of love and get mesmerized!