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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani  : Hai A Hit
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Friday, May 31, 2013
Ayan Mukerji
Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Poorna Jagannathan, Naveen Kaushik
The clichés are in place. Studious girls who never have fun wear specs. And when they let her hair down (also their necklines), the glasses get chucked out. Still, Ayan Mukerji’s second jab at writing and direction is packed with fun and is refreshing in most parts.

The plot: Naina Talwar (Deepika Padukone) has her nose in her medical tomes, Kabir alias Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) wants to roam the world with his camera. He’s even got a scrap book with all the places he wants to see and he’s commitment-phobic, can’t stand his stepmother (Tanvi Azmi) or the roohafza she keeps serving him and adores his dad (Farooque Shaikh), but globe-trot, he must. The one time Naina breaks free from her humdrum studying is when she dares to go trekking with Bunny, carefree Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and roving-eye Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur). But there’s a bit of a male bias here as both girls are in love but the guys have a different agenda and tread their own different paths. Bunny goes to conquer the world, Avi drinks, gambles, loses. Aditi finally does the unexpected – opts for a traditional wedding and ah, it’s time for lavish Karan Johar cinema with a grand destination wedding, great clothes and feisty dancing. The emotions kick in during the several-day celebrations with Aditi-Avi-fiancé Taran (Kunaal Roy Kapur) and Naina-Bunny sorting out an assortment of feelings. Naina is grounded, happy to be at one place with the people she loves. Bunny doesn’t even go home (dad’s dead by now) but when he eventually does, it’s time for rapprochement with understanding stepmom even if her roohafza continues to be terrible. And it’s worth the wait for Naina.           

The good: The packaging is just right with a sensuous ‘Ghagra’ number by Madhuri Dixit and Ranbir – fluid dancing coupled with raunchy moves – and Badtameez dil of course. That energetic Shammi Kapoor style dance sequence replete with in-your-face pelvic thrusts is a repeat audience winner.  Both Farah Khan for ‘Ghagra’ and Remo for Ranbir’s ‘Badtameez’ may take a bow.
And the lead pair works well. Ranbir, as always, is nearly flawless and Deepika (who goes from nerdy to sexy a la Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) is at ease too. Ayan gets the fun part right as the foursome bond and have a crazy time. And the wedding celebrations provide a visually colourful backdrop for the myriad emotions floating around.
Photography (V. Manikandan) is consistently pleasing whether they’re up in snow-class peaks for a trek or down in Rajasthan for a wedding. Manish Malhotra comes up with a gorgeous wardrobe for Deepika, especially a stunningly brief pink blouse with a lavish ghagra for one of the many celebrations. 

The bad:
Firstly, it is far too stretched at 2hrs 41 mins. Secondly, haven’t we already seen the ‘girl in love, boy globe-trotting till he returns to claim his love at home’, a tad too often in films like Love Aaj Kal? Surely, Ayan must ‘wake up’ to a newer theme the next time around. Thirdly, Ayan whips up curiosity in certain scenes but strangely, he leaves it unfulfilled. For example, when Bunny and Naina set off for the temple that’s haunted, nothing really happens after all the build-up. Certainly not enough to bring them closer or spark intimate chemistry. Fourthly, Aditya Roy Kapur, so promising in Aashiqui 2, is a letdown especially in emotionally-charged scenes that require restrained histrionics. And the music (Pritam), clobber me if you want, may be chartbusting at the moment, but they get a boost more because of the choreography and some great moves by Ranbir (in all his numbers) and Madhuri (in her randy ghagra outing).

The dances are your ticket’s worth for any young audience. Add Ranbir, Deepika and a pleasant, tension-free narration and it totes up to a good time-pass experience.
– Bharathi S Pradhan

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