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Nanu Ki Jaanu  : A Ghostly Mess
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Friday, April 20, 2018
Comedy
Faraz Haider
Abhay Deol, Patralekha

Is it a comedy? Is it a horror film? A love story or a social film scripted to emit messages? While it won’t be easy to answer any of that, it certainly is 132 minutes of strained entertainment.

 

Nanu and his toughies have their act perfected. They flex muscle, threaten and grab other people’s property and make videos of the owner willingly sealing the deal. This is the real estate mafia which includes a girl who’ll wail and accuse the owner of molesting her if he doesn’t sign over his property. It works as an opening scene.

 

All the machismo suddenly evaporates after Nanu rushes an accident victim to hospital and she dies on the stretcher.

 

That’s Siddhi, the girl on a yellow scooter.

 

Nanu turns inexplicably emotional. It is funny when his buddy Dabboo laments the loss of his aggro by describing how he was such a sterling goonda, like he’s reeling off a list of virtues. But soon, his tough-talking buddies also lose their swagger when Siddhi’s ghost takes residence in his apartment.

 

Then Nanu’s mother turns up, Siddhi’s father can’t get over the loss of his daughter, a guy next door hides his liquor from his wife, and there’s a wife-beater in another apartment.

 

In the midst of all this, Nanu has to track down why Siddhi’s turning his life upside down when all he did was to help get her to hospital.

 

Nanu’s investigations take him to a Muslim man and harassment over his carrying meat in his car. He discovers corruption in the police, some home truths about the mobile phone menace while driving and the importance of wearing a helmet when riding on a two-wheeler. Like a school teacher imparting lessons, director Faraz Haider also touches upon wife-abuse and comeuppance for the husband. And Siddhi the ghost gives a mini-lecture on meeting Yama, the God of Death.

 

Writer Manu Rishi Chadha gives himself a rather lengthy role as Nanu’s friend Dabboo. But most of it is neither comic nor horrific. And definitely not terrific.

 

There’s even an attempt at a love story between Nanu and the ghost which has nothing romantic in it. 

 

Abhay Deol as Nanu and Patralekhaa who has blue make-up as the ghost are easy with their characters. 

 

Verdict: For a film that doesn’t scare, amuse or engage the viewer, Nanu Ki Jaanu gets a 2* rating.

 

Direction: 2.5/5

Screenplay: 2.5/5

Story: 2/5

Dialogues: 2/5

Music: 2/5

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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