Cast: Abhay Deol, Manu Rishi, Patralekha, Rajesh Sharma, Sapna Chaudhary, Manoj Pahwa
Director: Faraz Haider
Some films are so annoying and loathsome that they don’t deserve a review.
They deserve our collective vomitting — projectile style, on the screen, on everyone on the screen, on those who came up with the plot and the screenplay, and on the director.
Nanu ki Jaanu is that kind of film.
In fact we should reserve the last, big burst for Abhay Deol because it’s his goodwill that will draw a few people to the hall who would otherwise have been stayed away from this unbearable atrocity.
In the beginning, with some laughs and banter, NKJ deceives us into thinking that it might be a dumb film, but it is earnestly trying its best to make us laugh.
Any hope that we had about it being a bearable film gets smashed soon.
In Delhi, a black Scorpio regurgitates five humans — three of them middle-aged, burly men, one Nanu (Abhay Deol), and a woman who is constantly on her phone.
Nanu kicks open a door and they make one sweet old sardarji sit down before threatening him with dire consequences — rape charge, hurting his grandson — if he doesn’t sign off his house to them, the one they have been living in.
That’s their business, and they are rather proud of it.
They also seem to have the business model down pat — they rent a place, then they buy it after threatening the owners and paying them the minimum, basic.
After one such outing the four men walk into what looks like a shaadi.
We don’t know who Santosh and Ankita — the couple getting married — are, how they may be related to the film, or to its characters, or its plot, its director, or to us.
They are not. It’s just a shoddy way of bunging in an item number — it pops up for no reason so that the hero can walk in slo-mo, do some cheepad dance steps before returning to his film.
Aside: The girl who Nanu was dancing with was quite good. If he had stayed with Santosh and Ankita, and the item girl had accompanied us, Nanu Ki Jaanu would have been a better film.
Equally unexplained is the next event which sets off the rest of the stupidity in the film which, with each scene, keeps getting stupider and stupider till you actually want to scream at the screen, very loudly, “Just shut up!” And then puke.
An accident takes place and Nanu rushes to rescue the girl though she just has a mild scratch on her shoulder and is blinking slowly while smiling at him.
But at the hospital, she gestures for him, grabs his hand, says “Pa” and goes off.
Her daddy-distraught arrives screaming, “Siddhi, Siddhi”.
Nanu is so affected, so shaken to the core by her death that he can no longer threaten and get the jobs assigned to him done.
This bit — where a gun-wielding goonda is now a gurgling lallu is made funny by the chiding and advice of his compatriots. It’s also a fun concept — a strongman gone soft and weepy, who, instead of ghasund (a Punjabi masculine mukka) and rapta (a unisex Punjabi tight-slap), now requests people and says sorry.
This manhoosiyat of his threatens not just the career of his colleagues, but also the entire film.
And then strange things start happening in Nanu’s house when he tries to have some beer to chill.
If you care, a connect could be made to the dead girl whose father recalls how she would try to stop him from smoking.
If you care, that is. I didn’t, because here on we have a neighbourhood girl who is called Phantom playing with a ball and making very strange faces while the kitchen chimney has become haunted, yielding, at random, long, unconditioned hair or blue hands.
Some of the scenes are funny in a slapstick way, like when people get hung upside down, or grown men start shaking at the shenanigans of a bhootni.
But the nonsense that the film doles towards the end is like making a half-decent meal and then crapping on it.
This blue bhootni is anti-smoking, anti-booze, and anti-anything that hurts Nanu or his mummy. She is excellent wife material as she likes to clean, except when it comes to beer bottles, which she likes to smash.
So, obvio, Nanu falls in love with her. I mean, who wouldn’t with an invisible person who cleans your house and doesn’t ask for a raise!
Apart from slap therapy from the bhootni that the abusive husband in the building receives, she subjects us to many things bizarre and bloody boring.
They are so bad that they need to be told.
Blue bhootni and Nanu go on dates. Like real ones, in a park, in the rain with a chhata, have coffee together, chat.
And because her father has kept her as a large ice cube, she bursts out of it to hug him and deliver a very long lecture on the bad things that people do.
She begins her harangue by talking about how the guy who was supposed to die, didn’t die, and Yamraj instead took her because that man’s wife was doing full power se puja in a mandir.
“Pa, Nanu, Pa, Nanu” talking to each one about their bad habits — about being distracted by mobile phones, not wearing helmets, smoking... and more.
I was scared that Yamraj himself may drop dead out of boredom and leave us with this lecturing bhootni.
Manu Rishi, who has written the film, has his heart in the right place, but seems to have misplaced his brain.
We get a brief scene about a Muslim man not stopping to rescue a girl who has met with an accident since he had mutton in his car which he thought would get him lynched.
When daddy is stopped from smoking, he lights up and we watch him enjoying it for a while.
I sat through Nanu ki Jaanu because it’s my job. It was a trip to hell and back.
You have no reason to suffer it. So don’t....