Cast: Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Leela Samson
Director: Shaad Ali
A boy shifts his base to Mumbai to pursue his dreams of making it big someday. Another girl too moves to Mumbai to follow her dreams. And as expected, their chance meeting sparks a heady romance while their respective careers demand that they go in for their individual goals. Matters of the heart have always been Mani Ratnam’s forte, and his Tamil film O Kaadhal Kanmani that released in 2015, was a simple breezy romance that amassed profits instantly.
One would have imagined a similar response to its Hindi remake Ok Jaanu helmed by Shaad Ali, but only if Ali had infused this Mumbai production set against the backdrop of contemporary Mumbai, with some newness to start with, it would have worked in his favour. Instead, he does not even make the effort of adding his own bit of local flavour. One wonders what Mr Ali had on his mind while calling the shots this time. Or is it that the job of the creative team was to simply duplicate scenes from the original? Coming from the director of Saathiya and Bunty Aur Babli, it was a major disappointment for me. None of the players exhibits much personality, but it’s hard to fault them, given how thinly the characters have been imagined by screenwriters.
Friendship plays a vital role in the film. Aditya (Aditya Roy Kapur) comes to Mumbai and stays with his father’s best friend (Naseeruddin Shah) and his wife (Leela Samson). He makes his presence felt right in the early days as a videogame developer at workplace. He later finds out that Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) next door, is planning to pursue her studies in Paris. Both seem to gel as two individuals, and fall in love. They also agree that marriage is not meant for them, and even decide to have a live-in relationship with the approval of his uncle (Shah), of course.
The film does not probe the heart the way one would expect it to. Aditya seems focused on his job, but behaves as if he would go bonkers if he doesn’t get what he wishes: love. Tara too is studying architecture and has all the makings of a great architect. The only thing is: she gets distracted as soon as she encounters Aditya anywhere.
What the original did very well was to voice the unpredictability of life and the modern day perspective on taking life as it comes. Here, interactions would have benefited overall engagement, had the romance of the elderly (Shah and Samson) been a little more underlined. The young couple unlearning, and then learning about romance from the two thespians would have added the much-needed zing.