- Movie Name:Jawaani Jaaneman
- Critics Rating: 2.5 / 5
- Release Date: Jan 31, 2020
- Director: Nitin Kakkar
- Genre: Comedy
Saif Ali Khan has played the commitment-phobic, club-hopping, suave urban young man several times. In 'Cocktail', he was Gautam who did not know what he wanted until he met the one, and in 'Hum Tum', he was the flamboyant Karan who over the course of a decade fell in love with a diametrically opposite Rhea.
In 'Jawaani Jaaneman', however, Saif is the age-appropriate playboy -- Jazz or Jassi, short for Jasvinder Singh -- who has been blind to the biology of aging, and the psychology of loneliness. So he masks them both -- aging by wearing sunglasses in the night and regular salon sessions, and loneliness by more than frequent one-night stands.
It's all jazzy (pun intended) and fun until he finds out he has a grown up daughter -- who also happens to be pregnant. The 'la la' land shifts within seconds, and reality strikes. Jazz reconciles with the fact, and falls in love for the first time -- with his daughter -- albeit over the course of nine months.
Saif, by virtue of his repertoire of his effervescent roles, exudes an innate boyish charm as Jazz. He is equally good in emotional scenes, especially with the debutante Alaya F. Jazz is a role tailor-made for him, and he plays it with a studied dedication never letting the momentum and energy slip.
And complementing him in every frame is Alaya F. What a debut! She is expressive, attractive, bold, beautiful, and a fireball of energy. 'Jawaani Jaaneman' does not look like it's her debut movie, and that's where she scores.
Alaya's body language is an exemplar of how brilliant actresses have been in their debut films -- be it Deepika Padukone in 'Om Shanti Om', or Alia Bhatt in 'Student Of The Year'. She is exceptionally brilliant in a few scenes, snatching away the best 'debut in recent times' title from Sara Ali Khan. That Saif -- Sara's father -- is the biggest contributor to her panache is serendipity of the highest order.
There's a scene during the climactic sequence of 'Jawaani Jaaneman' where Alaya has to let her eyes speak -- in order to make Jazz realise the importance of emotions. And if eyes could actually speak, Alaya would be singing ballads right there and then. Cutting the praises short, she can easily be termed as the next big thing.
The surprise package in 'Jawaani Jaaneman', however, is Kubbra Sait. She plays a friend to Jazz, and his moral compass. Her Rhea wants a serious relationship and old-school love, and Kubbra does not falter even at a single moment. I so wish to see her more, and in meatier roles.
Chunky Panday, Farida Jalal, Kumud Mishra, and Tabu in their respective extended cameos make casting the USP of the film.
'Jawaani Jaaneman', in its entirety, is a good watch -- but it could have been much better. Best known for 'Filmistaan', Nitin Kakkar has handled a big star cast well in the movie, except for Tabu. Her Ananya is a stereotype, and not cool at all.
The narrative lacks the grip to hold the viewer's attention for long. Several scenes look too forced, and so do a few characters. It's quite understandable that Kakkar wanted to make a comedy movie with a strong emotional message at its core -- that nobody likes loneliness, and that the family matters the most. But along the runtime of 119 minutes, 'Jawaani Jaaneman' loses the plot several times. Nitin Kakkar does a good job in presenting the extent of vanity and virility in men, but overdoes in parts.
'Jawaani Jaaneman' shows children being born out of wedlock with an offhand indifference -- which is a development, but overdone. Singledom can be exciting, but the movie -- in order to totally negate the concept -- stereotypes it even more.
The film doesn't take itself too seriously -- even in the emotional scenes -- and that pinches. It's only during the course of climax that the film regains, and recounts its message -- maybe because emotions take over, and comedy is given a backseat. But too little too late does not seem to save the movie from falling flat on its face. Had it not been for its casting, 'Jawaani Jaaneman' would not be even a quarter of what it is.
Watch 'Jawaani Jaaneman' for an alarmingly charming Saif Ali Khan, the lovely Kubbra Sait and the bundle of energy that Alaya F is. (**what a debut!**)
IndiaTVNews.com verdict: 2.5 stars