Review - Jannat: Nice yet not good enough

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Jannat - An engrossing watch which raises some philosophical questions. A story well told but yet doesn't warrant a trip to the theaters.

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Wogma Review

A 'Materialism versus idealistic simplicity' theme runs heavily through Jannat. So, who wins? If only it were that easy to answer. Such a deep philosophical question cannot be answered in 2.5 hours, and isn't answered either. So, if you are looking for a conclusion, a closure, Jannat is not for you.

I'm sure you could easily replace the cricket-match-fixing backdrop with any dishonest activity and arrive at the same result. But, cricket feels fresh and the season is right, so why not? The dialogues spiced up with references to retired cricketers and some cricketing events in the recent past are good enough to keep you interested too.

The climax of the movie reminded me of a 5-6 pages long, Marathi essay I had written in school - "An autobiography of a soldier". In the end, my soldier who was taken in as a prisoner of war was released because the enemy got bored of him and his silence. My teacher appreciated the writing style but made a concluding remark, "did the enemy get bored, or did you get bored of writing?" I only smiled sheepishly at getting caught. Something similar seems to have happened with the writer here. A nicely developed plot got shot in the middle, absolutely abruptly.

Like many other movies out of the Bhatt camp, Jannat revolves around the romance between the lead pair. I really enjoy the way their relationship builds and the tumult it goes through. Important moments are given space and time to develop. There is a certain human element in these movies that clicks and you can sense the expected chemistry.

Emraan Hashmi's (Arjun) acting has begun growing on me over the last few movies. So much so that the unidentifiable thing about his looks that used to irritate me, does so a little less now. A fearless gambler who can woo and romance his lady love with the right dosage of style - all this falls flat when he is required to cry. Same goes for the pretty looking Sonal Chauhan's (Zoya's) performance too.

What I can't come to terms with however, are the shabby performances by the supporting cast, except maybe Samir Kochchar (Inspector/CBI official). Everyone else, from Javed Shaikh (Don in South Africa) to Vipin Sharma (Arjun's dad - isn't he getting tired of playing the dissatisfied dad, already?!), seem superficial and are just reading out their lines. There was no way to judge how well Arjun's friend was performing, because the bad dubbing was extremely distracting.

On the other hand, the tight close-ups worked really well, because they were used rarely when the facial expressions were important enough to deserve exclusive attention. I also particularly liked the use of handheld camera just for Arjun. in the scene just before the interval - sort-of hinting that his life might not be as good as it seems after all. Otherwise the calm camera movements have a soothing effect.

Like the softness in the narrative had a Vishesh Films stamp on it, the music had Pritam written all over it. In general, I enjoy this kind of music and enjoyed it as much as the other Bhatt-Pritam combinations that have been churned out earlier. Now, that it is him plagiarizing himself, who had earlier plagiarized some one else, is a different matter all together. And I didn't particularly like the way the title song was picturized though - a tad too artificial to go with the rest of the film.

There isn't too much that I didn't like about the movie, but yet, it leaves only an okay-ish feeling while walking out of the cinema hall. Can't really point a finger at what went wrong other than the scenes in which people were crying and weren't very good at it. It might seem a wee bit longer than it needed to be, but that is not really the reason for me to be harsh. So, as always, I'm just going to stick to the feeling I came out with.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Jannat - Movie Details

Jannat - Trailer

Comments (7)

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Rohit:

Hey meetu
This is not exactly a comment to Jannat review but something you'd like to see

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
http://www.kottke.org/08/05/1001-movies-you-must-see-before-you-die

Thought it might be of your INTEREST :)

meetu:

That's an interesting list there Rohit, I should check how many of them I've seen.

Vikram, I thought the point was that by dancing in a bar she wasn't doing any harm, but by betting and gambling, Emraan was making money that aided terrorism.

silvano dsouza:

dude the movie is a good movie, plz go and check out ur tashan review which sucks, u overrated that crap

silvano dsouza:

btw i like ur notepad
u write g8 facts

silvano dsouza:

well said there are some flaws in the film but yet it's a good film thanks to the writing
btw she was dancing in the club to earn money
and was forced but emraan was doing it purposely and cos of greed

silvano dsouza:

i mean writing, direction were good but there are some flaws i agree
emraan performed well while the girl sonal was good too,
the cop samir kochar seen last in ZEHER did a good job

Navin:

@silvano, what are you talking about in the 4th comment (with respect to Tashan). What do you mean by "you overrated [it]"? It's already been given the worst rating possible.

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