REVIEW: OK JAANU
The first feeling that crosses one’s mind when one comes across a phrase like OK JAANU is whether this is one of those phrases painted on the rear of the trucks in India. If it is meant to be an endearment, the first part OK doesn’t actually sound OK! The Tamil original on which this remake (produced by Mani Ratnam and Karan Johar) was called O KADHAL KANMANI, but shortened to OK KANMANI, for reasons I am not aware of. And just as the remake of Mani Ratnam’s ALAY PAYUTHEY was very differently titled SAATHIYA, this remake could have been just titled JAANU. But would it have made any difference?
The Tamil originals in both these cases were created and crafted by Mani Ratnam and there was a magical romantic touch which pervaded both these movies. And whereas, director SHAAD ALI did a wonderful job in recreating those moods in SAATHIYA, something seems to be missing in OK JAANU. In all fairness, the actors get their act right. Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor, who play the young leads who initially are not sold on the concept of marriage, bring that spirit well on the screen, although Dulqer Salman’s and Nithya Menon’s act in the original looked more appealing; and Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson are good as well as the elderly couple. AR Rahman’s compositions sound good and Gulzar’s lyrics fit well. But put together, the effect doesn’t truly deliver. Perhaps the scripting didn’t allow the romantic portions of the elderly couple to linger on longer; the transformation of the young couple’s thoughts looks very sudden. On second thoughts, these flaws were there even in OK KANMANI, but somehow, one didn’t mind it as much then.
Therefore, one is not quibbling on any one scene or scenes in particular, but on what more could have been done to craft a romantic tale worthy of being remembered and recalled. To begin with, there could have been screen footage devoted to the love story of the elderly couple, with their present situation being seen as a fallout of their long loving relationship. Secondly, the blossoming of the relationship between the youngsters to a live-in status also happens rather quickly and the build-up of their decision in the end could have been shown a little more elaborately. In such a case, we would have lovingly called the movie JAANU rather than saying that it is just OK!
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
January 14th, 2017