I was in splits watching the trailer of Jawaani Jaaneman. Kudos to the marketing team of the movie for making such a succinct and hilarious cut of the film. After what felt like ages, it seemed like Saif Ali Khan was returning to one of his most fan-favourite genres — Romantic comedies. But the film isn’t as funny as you’d expect from such a quirky plotline.
The film revolves around Jaswinder Singh aka Jazz (played by Saif) who is a 40-something, Punjabi, playboy who takes pride in his single status and pretty much says everything that’s typical of a single Punjabi munda to say. He lives a life of partying hard and sleeping around up until a 20-something girl called Tia (Alaya Furniturewala) comes into his life claiming that there’s a 33% chance that he’s her father. Lo Behold! It turns out to be true. The movie is essentially a rom-com featuring a father-daughter love story. Don’t worry, not the Game Of Thrones kind. Replace the usual boy meets girl storyline with father meets daughter who also happens to be pregnant. A coming of age story of a 40-year-old who refuses to take responsibilities in his personal or professional life.
Alaya stands out in what’s otherwise an average rom-com thanks to the ease with which she portrays Tia. In a lot of scenes, she breezes through even better than Saif, who seemed to be hamming a bit too much to get the Punjabi out of him. But even then, Jawaani Jaaneman is a homecoming for Saif who believably plays a YOLO character just as easily as he did in Hum Tum or Salaam Namaste. Saif is undoubtedly an impeccable actor whose expressive face is enough to make you LOL way more than the dialogues written for his character. But the best scenes and lines are reserved for Tabu who makes an extended cameo as Tia’s hippie, chakra aligning, hashish-smoking mother, Ananya. Her straight-faced dialogue delivery is what extracted most laughs. Kubbra Sait gives a noteworthy performance as Saif’s voice-of-reason hairstylist friend. Farida Jalal and Kumud Mishra are cute and funny additions to the cast as Jassi‘s mother and brother.
From Saif’s graphic Tees and leather jackets to Tabu and Alaya’s all-out bohemian looks, the costumes in this movie are phenomenal. Definitely trying out some of Alaya and Tabu’s looks.
But at the end of the day, the story is just a modern adaptation of the age-old question that parents have been throwing at their children who are hesitant to tie the knot— Who will look after you when you are old? (A sour reminder of the conversation I have with my parents every day.) To add to these are cheesy lines and scenes like a cycle chase to the train station and the mandatory happy family picture. Having said that, it still remains a simple and sweet, father-daughter love story. It’s a fun, feel-good movie for a night in.
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Alaya F, Tabu, Kubbra Sait
Director: Nitin Kakkar