We’ve had loads of Bollywood movies which highlight the importance of friendship – the trend being revived with the likes of Dil Chahta Hai a decade back. In that aspect, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani offers nothing new – funfare, flirting, heartbreaks, songs, dances – you get a dose of all that and more. Throw in a nerdy lead character who turns into a bombshell, and you know you’ve seen this movie many times before.
The movie opens up with Naina (Deepika Padukone) reminiscing about the past – a trekking expedition, run-in with locals and noisy Holi celebrations is all that it takes to get her from glum to glam. Forging friendships, falling in love, getting heartbroken, and the likes – the first half is the story of four 20-somethings on the threshold of adulthood. Fast forwarding 8 years, the story picks up again to the present where the characters Naina, Kabir a.k.a. Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), Avi (Aditya Roy Kapoor) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin), who had gone their separate ways, reunite at the latter’s wedding. Clarifications are made, friendships are sealed and love blossoms again by the expected end of the movie.
Director Ayan Mukherjee seems to have found his winning formula in coming-of-age stories after the successs of his last hit, Wake Up Sid. Ranbir is effortlessly charming and lights up the screen with his presence, sharing amazing onscreen chemistry with Deepika. There are moments when during the movie you wonder “Why aren’t these two together in real life?” Deepika, as the lost bookworm who turns into the life of the party, traverses the transition with dimpled ease. Right from the out-of-character quipping of “Arre tu boli thi” to complete the song Jumma Chumma De De to her acceptance that love is not meant to be, she does complete justice to her character. Aditya Roy Kapoor seems to have reprised his drunken role in Aashiqui 2 for most of the second half. But what comes as a total surprise is Kalki. Loud, vivacious, abusive and bindaas, she completely gets into the skin of the character. It is a pleasant change how the tomboy transforms into a petite girl who loves being in love.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a tale of friendships, love, aspirations, hopes and choices. What sets the movie apart from the rest of the crowd are the dialogues. Though seemingly light-hearted, newbie Hussain Dalal’s penmanship manages to touch a chord without being preachy. Bunny and Naina’s friendly banter about living the life of a nomad versus being a family person is a very well-crafted scene. As they come to the end of their discussion, Bunny says, “Tum right nahi ho Naina,bas mujhse bahot alag ho.” Just a simple line to show us how we all are just different from each other and yet are entitled to our opinions, without anyone being necessarily right or wrong.
Pritam, fresh from his success of Cocktail and Barfi, does not strike a memorable note with his music. The album has the typical collection of hummable, pacy, reflective, sufi tracks. Not to say the music is bad, but we’ve just heard something like that before. Amitabh Bhattacharya packs some crazy lyrics in the thoroughly enjoyable “Badtameez Dil”.
All-in-all the film is definitely watchable despite its conventional story angle. If light-hearted mush is what you are looking for, then Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is definitely for you.