Director: Howard Rosemeyer
Cast: Richa Chadha, Kalki Koechlin, Arsalan Goni and Zarina Wahab
Chick flick, road trip drama, slice of life, 'Jia Aur Jia' is anything but any of these. With the most misleading trailer ever, this film has nothing much to offer. Director Howard Rosemeyer takes you on a bad trip of marijuana for no reason. With stock shots, grainy scenes, tacky makeup and awful dialogues, 'Jia Aur Jia' is an absolute yawn fest.
Jia Garewal (Kalki Koechlin), a brash and flamboyant girl meets Jia Venkatraman (Richa Chadha), a reserve banker on a joint tour to Sweden for a vacation. Putting aside their opposite behaviours, the two bond when Jia Garewal rescues Jia Venkatraman from a road mishap. What next? The latter melts for the former one and even more when she gets to know that Jia Garewal is dying of liver cancer (in the most cliched way as she is in the last stage).
What happens next is the most predictable thing in our Bollywood films. Lead character dying of some major disease followed by an organ donation is more like a ritual. 'Katti Batti', 'Sanam Re', 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' are few of the examples that dealt with this ritual. Exceptionally, 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' was a great attempt back then in 2004.
Touted as a fun road trip that looked more or less like 'Bachelorette' it turns out to be a sobbing tale of one girl dying and other saving her for her friendship's sake. The film is entirely shot in Sweden, so it will get a travel subsidy (brownie points to the makers) and yes, the length of the film is just 92 minutes, so that's bearable.
Kalki Koechlin fits the bill with the 'I give a damn to life' kind of attitude on her face. She is refreshing, quirky and throws silly one-liners that suits her, but her character become slightly irksome due to a stretched narrative. She is probably the saving grace who tries to infuse some fun in this unpleasant trip.
This is by far the worst performance of Richa Chadha. She is a misfit as a suave banker who speaks awful English, dons blingy makeup and wears a swimsuit with the strangers. Arsalan Goni has nothing much to do in the film and is forgettable. He is an encyclopaedia of overacting!
If you enjoy frequent loo breaks and the intermission, watch 'Jia Aur Jia', else missing this trip won't make much difference to your weekend schedules....