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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) – Movie Review

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani poster

Written by: Hussain Dalal, based on a story by Ayan Mukerji
Directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Starring: Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kalki Koechlin

The magnum opus–the much talked about, much hyped presentation from producer Karan Johar–starring ex-flames Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone as the leads finally hits the screen! With its songs already becoming chart-busters and sizzling chemistry between the leads being the high point of its trailer, it is surely one of the must-watch movies releasing post-the IPL (Indian Premier League). It is the second movie of director Ayan Mukerji, after the extremely well made Wake up Sid. Now with all the high expectations and the people involved with this we certainly expect nothing short of a master class. Does it deliver? Well…unfortunately, it falters and how!

The story revolves around three friends: Kabir (Ranbir Kapoor), the determined and focused man waiting to be one of the world’s best journalists; Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur), who considers Kabir his best friend and is always looking to score; and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin), who is in love with Avi.

[ad#longpost]The three of them are joined on a Manali Expedition unexpectedly by their school friend, the book-worm Naina (Deepika Padukone). Right through the trip Naina realizes she’s been missing all-the-fun which the supposedly-happy-go-lucky threesome have been having all their lives. As the trip progresses, Naina is drawn towards Kabir, however Kabir does not believe in the institution of marriage and is more career-oriented. This dissuades Naina from putting forward her proposal. The expedition ends and a series of events result in the friends going out of touch for over eight years. They reunite during Aditi’s marriage and what follows deals wiith their maturation over a period of time and how they get drawn back towards each other. Does Naina get lucky the second time? All this, plus what happens to Aditi and Avi forms the remaining part of the story.

Focusing on the few positives first: the acting from everyone involved in the movie, even those with the smallest screen presence (with the exception of Rana Duggabati, who performs badly even in a blink and miss it scene) is spot-on. Ranbir Kapoor has shown why he is one of superstars of the Hindi Film Industry–he acts, emotes, and dances amazingly well. It is very difficult to think of any of his contemporaries who could have pulled this off. Deepika sizzles on-screen and gives an excellent performance. This is sure to be ranked among her better ones. Aditya Roy Kapur does justice to his character, though it appears he seems to have walked off right from where he left in his other movie (Aashiqui 2,where he plays a chronic alcoholic). Kalki too gives a neat performance and has some of the best scenes in the first half of the movie. Given the performances of all the people involved, I would surely say Ayan Mukerji has done his job as a director pretty well. There are around six songs in the movie–one of them gets played around three times–so we have around nine songs in all. “Balam Pichkari,” “Badtameez Dil” and “Dilli-wali Girlfriend” are all very well choreographed and are already chart-busters. Hats off to Ranbir for his amazing energy displayed in both “Badtameez” and “Girlfriend.”

Coming to the drawbacks: the script simply lacks punch. There are a whole lot of scenes/dialogues which pay homage/are inspired from some of the romantic blockbusters of the last two decades. There are several sequences where the movie tries hard to be emotional, but lacks the depth: for some examples, the talks between Kabir and his father, the scene where Kabir and Avi fight, and the scene where they get back–the list actually is endless! The movie feels really long at two hours and forty-five minutes-plus. There are several scenes which seem forced and illogical. For example, the fight which happens in Manali tries extremely hard to be funny (the background score even reminds one of Home Alone). And yes, the background score as a whole is a sore point as well. The movie drags on post-interval, and it feels ages before it drags to a This basically shows how important a good script and screenplay is, because in spite of the acting, songs and direction being good, the movie still falls flat on its face!

Overall, the movie gives one a déjà-vu feel since it’s borrowing from several blockbusters. The acting, music, and choreography are all excellent, but the story lacks punch and the movie hopelessly drags on forever. There is nothing new to offer story-wise and is a colossal disappointment for someone who was expecting something different!