May 31, 2013

Movie Review-Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani-Youthful Entertainer

Film: Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Kalki, Farooq Sheikh
Director: Ayan Mukerji
Rating: ***

There is no denying, however, that Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is gorgeously filmed, the locations are eye-popping, and the guys and dolls that people the tale are a bunch of attractive people.

The two lead actors, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, do make a fetching onscreen pair. And they are well complemented by Aditya Roy Kapur and Kalki Koechlin.

The song and dance routines, no matter how foot-tapping they are, do not quite possess the kind of infectious energy that can offset the clich├ęs around which they are wrapped and turn the film into something more than just superficially enjoyable.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a bright, breezy and brassy film designed for easy consumption. What it certainly is not is ballsy. For all the big ideas about life and the dilemmas of youth that it tosses up in the air over a runtime that’s 20 minutes shy of three hours, it always opts to play safe, vacillating between thoughts of rebellion and acts of conformity.

The characters spout familiar platitudes to each other: live your dream, get a life and move on, stop pitying yourself and learn to love thyself…We have seen and heard it all before.

In the first half of the film, four happy-go-lucky school buddies with superficially defined traits reunite to go on a trekking trip to Manali and beyond.

Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) is footloose and dreams of exploring the world. Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) is wild and fancy-free. Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur) is a drifter happy to blow up his cash on cricket bets.

Naina (Deepika Padukone) is the odd one out. She is a bespectacled and sedate medical student. She joins the gang in an act of impulsive defiance but cannot break away from her neuro-immunology textbook even as the rest of the traveling party live it up on the road.

By the end of the adventure-filled sojourn through the ups and downs of the undulating landscape, each of the four is transformed a little, but only to go his/her way.

Eight years later, one of the two girls in the group, Aditi, decides to marry a straight-laced engineer (Kunaal Roy Kapur) and her old friends descend on a resort in Udaipur for the grand betrothal.

And like they did the first time around, they come and go talking about love, friendship and the need to grow up even as they consume a whole lot of liquor.

Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a mix of Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, with dollops of 3 Idiots thrown in for good measure. It is all served up in a Karan Johar-style concoction where the backdrops – both indoors and the locations – are infinitely more expressive than the inner worlds of the young characters.

The impulses of the quartet of friends, who predictably include one couple that is on the verge of a lifelong relationship but are either unable or not keen enough to express their love for each other, are hardly explained in logical and convincing terms. As a result, the fragmented storyline hurtles forward only in fits and starts.

The heroine is head over heels in love. The boy she is smitten with is averse to making a commitment. The girl is unable to communicate her true feelings. So you know exactly what the outcome is going to be. They will keep crossing each other’s path until true love is found.

Director Ayan Mukherji, who gave an impressive account of himself in his debut film, Wake Up Sid, appears to have allowed the skills that he displayed the first time around to go into deep slumber.

Not that Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a sleeping pill. It is not. But it could certainly have done with a little more narrative verve.

Do make it a point to get into your seat before the show begins. Madhuri Dixit’s item song plays out ten minutes into the film. Watch Ranbir Kapoor match steps with the still-lustrous diva and you know why this guy is special. Watch Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani for him. 

Gsv Films recommends you to watch with your Girl Friend

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