Jawaani Jaaneman

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

It is funny, but not enough. It is a good one-line plot but stays just about that. It tries very hard to tug at your heart but eventually is a collection of carefully laid out tropes.

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Director: Nitin Kakkar
Running time: 120 minutes
More Movie Info

Jawaani Jaaneman - Preview

We have not seen enough of Tabu. Period. And anything that changes that is more than welcome. We have seen Saif Ali Khan play the ‘too cool to commit to one woman’ man before. We have seen him romance women much younger than him. But seeing him play all of this while also playing his age, and father of a 20+-year-old is going to be so refreshing.

Sure, it is not like we are seeing a child from outside a marriage seeking approval for the first time. Masoom did it years ago. But, then the tone was serious and, the acceptance required was different because the child was out of an extra-marital affair and not from a fling. The lighter tone and performances that look top-notch make me really look forward to this one.

Jawaani Jaaneman releases on 31 January 2020.

- meeta, a part of the audience

"It's all about loving your family" with modern value systems, that's exactly what Jawaani Jaaneman is. Clearly, the jab is at "men who want to always be men"—uncommitted, lone lion, self-centred, uncaring and generally "free". They know not what they are missing out on because you know, they have shots instead of having emotions. So, the film is in trying to make these opposites meet—or rather the man is tamed because now he "knows better". This overall one-tone approach is cumbersome despite the occasional laugh-out-loud lines.

There is always something heartening about the “stars” playing their age.

Sure, the liberal attitude associated with this genre is taken a step further. Not one character bats an eye when they find out that a middle-aged man has a daughter he didn't know about, let alone when a very young, unmarried, Indian woman is pregnant. Having it set in London makes that bit somewhat believable.

They even have a hippy mother who we have seen a lot of in English films. The kind who lets her child raise itself, who meditates in a caricaturish way while talking abstractly about energies. Letting her be normal would have become "too" liberal, I guess.

Sure, this character is played by Tabu, so that gives her some credibility. But, Tabu is barely challenged. Oh why have Farida Jalal if you are not going to allow her to do what she does best—exude cuteness?

Saif Ali Khan pulls off the urban, 40+-old man with an ease that doesn't surprise anyone, and is yet charming. There is always something heartening about the "stars" playing their age. Alaya F looks extremely comfortable in her skin, so much so that her act becomes monotonous in a bit. Together though their interactions have a reasonable amount of chemistry to keep us engaged.

The mask over this modern tale of an independent young woman looking for her father is some hogwash about a property business and emotions attached to old times. This setting is only a tool to assert the importance of one character and show the shallowness of another. The disconnect in these two elements—the father-daughter story and the property-business story makes the film disjointed. The tugs don't work.

Similarly, tropes in the form of lines and little moments repeated during the film make you feel like you were cheated. It wasn't a real moment, it existed in the script only so that emotion could be manufactured later. Similarly, Saif Ali Khan jerkily breaking into songs from his past films remind you you are watching a movie. You are not allowed to get too involved, making it even more difficult to accept his transformation and growing up.

...they have shots instead of having emotions

These contrived bits, unfortunately, are not made up for by the occasional hilarious and/or insightful lines and the breezy yet calming pace of the film. And it is not for want of opportunity. A character who wants to be accepted by her parent is suddenly faced with a situation where she might have to reject an unborn child. This is such a potent moment and could have been pivotal in making the film a lot more than it eventually ends up being. Instead, it falls in the regular trap of romanticising nappy changes and glorifying the value of not living your life alone.

- meeta, a part of the audience

36 reviewers(?) - 15 yays 19 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Don’t let the surface prettiness of Jawani Jaaneman fool you into believing that this is a film awed by its own glamour and gloss. This is actually a much more thoughtful and relevant film than it would appear to be at first sight. Like its frivolous protagonist, the film hides a huge heaving heart. All you need to do is look for it.... full review

Thumbs up, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...It’s great to see Hindi cinema giving its audience what they have been asking for — some real characters who are all out to have fun. And yes, that includes leading a debauched adult life too!... full review

Thumbs up, by Riddhima Kanetkar, DNA : ...Watch it for Saif Ali Khan's performance, it is sure to give all the 90s kids major nostalgia, an actor who ages like fine wine and is capable of playing himself in his biopic someday. Also, watch it for Alaya F and Tabu, there are no two other actors who could have played their roles with such ease.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Summing up, the well-acted and well-crafted Jawaani Jaaneman is a light-hearted treatise on owning up to life’s responsibilities. This frothy comedy is total paisa vasool indeed.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty Saha, Free Press Journal : ...The dialogues by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal keeps us entertained throughout except for a few stray dull moments in between. Watch this film because it is pure, unadulterated fun and also you won’t want to miss it if you are a Saif Ali Khan fan.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...JAWAANI JAANEMAN is charmingly cool & poignantly emotional family entertainer, it has a winning spirit that celebrates the swag of Saif Ali Khan and while doing so introduces a sweet charmer in Alaya F. Do watch this JAWAANI with your JAANEMAN.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Jawaani Jaaneman not only ensures making you laugh but also is backed by some heartwarming moments. An easy recommendation, go in without any expectation & you’ll like it more.... full review

Thumbs up, by Shalini Sur, Movie Talkies : ...Nitin Kakkar has done a brilliant job in executing the script with his able direction, else a light-hearted film like this, with confusing relationships, could have been messed up easily. Few songs from the film like the remixed version of Ole Ole and Gallan Kardi will make you want to groove. Especially Saif's swanky avatar in the remixed version of his own song Ole Ole right in the beginning, sets your mood for the rest of the film. This light-hearted family entertainer has all the elements of a perfect entertainer, which you can enjoy with your family this weekend... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...This is a film that will make one Google its director Nitin Read more at: https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/entertainment/movie-review/jawaani-jaaneman-movie-review-playing-saif/articleshow/73783921.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The brightest spark in Jawaani Jaaneman is Alaya Furniturewalla. When you watch a young actress having fun before the camera rather than striving to prove herself, you instantly know that she's one confident performer. She has the chops.... full review

Thumbs up, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, News18.com : ...Given its Modern Familyesque tilt, Kakkar’s latest offering seems poised to score well with the old-in-the-tooth as well as the young at heart city slickers!... full review

Thumbs up, by Vinayak Chakravorty, Outlook India : ...You won''t mind those flaws, though. "Jawaani Jaaneman" is a fun option at the ''plexes this weekend, packing in some hearty humour, a suitably controlled stock of melodrama and mush, and some fine acting. Overall, a jolly good show.... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...Subtle – Well, this is how the overall entertainment quotient of Jawaani Jaaneman too turns out to be. There are no over the top moments but then no boredom seeps in either, as a result of which this one keeps you engaged for its playing time.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...A sub-plot concerning a housing redevelopment project doesn’t quite fit as snugly, and appears to exist only to create false tensions between reluctant father and eager daughter and give Jazz a stab at redemption. It’s a blip in an otherwise smooth and smartly directed movie that is a family drama pretending to be a romcom. We told you it was clever.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...The film is highly entertaining in the first half when the narrative is light and breezy. The pace drops in the second half as it meanders towards predictable and slightly preachy parts. Especially, for single men who want to fly solo all their life. But in the end, 'Jawaani Jaaneman' comes out a winner with its non-judgmental approach and a contemporary story that showcases complex human relationships with all its quirks, firmly in place.... full review

So-So, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, JAWAANI JAANEMAN boasts of fine performances by Saif Ali Khan and newcomer Alaya F. But the direction is weak and emotionally, the film doesn’t work. At the box office, it will be a tough ride for the flick considering the lack of buzz.... full review

So-So, by Russel D'silva, Bollywood Life : ...Jawaani Jaaneman gets most things in its second half, doing just about enough for you to walk away feeling good about the film. The climax, in particular, spins a refreshing twist on an age-old trope in romantic Bollywood films, leaving you in smiles at the outcome. I'm going with 3 out of 5 stars.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, Deepa Gahlot : ...Anyway, while watching a film as silly as Jawaani Janeeman, thinking about gender politics is a waste of time. It’s quite enough to watch Saif Ali Khan hit his groove again, after a string of missteps in choice of roles. Only he can dance wearing a candy striped bathrobe and not make the audience cringe.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...And yet, Jawaani Jaaneman doesn’t become more than the sum of its parts. I’m a big admirer of Nitin’s first film Filmistaan, in which he combined humor, pathos and depth with a skillful lightness. I wish Jawaani Jaaneman had delivered more.... full review

So-So, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...Just like its name Jawaani Jaaneman, this Saif Ali Khan-Alaya F-Tabu starrer has a young vibe and its heart in the right place. Superlative performances coupled with some breezy entertainment give you enough reasons to go 'Ole Ole' over this coming-of-age family drama.... full review

So-So, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, FirstPost : ...A side-plot about a housing redevelopment project does not fit in smoothly but otherwise, Kakkar steers clear of chest-thumping melodrama and old-school moralising. The content is mostly flippant with a few meaningful moments punctuating an easy-breezy coming-of-age story about a modern Indian family.... full review

So-So, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...So overall, Kakkar’s film is funny and fairly watchable. It’s just not as woke as it thinks it is.... full review

So-So, by Vidha Maru, india today : ...Apart from these few glitches Jawaani Jaaneman makes for a decent one-time watch. Saif's fans, it's a must for you guys though.... full review

So-So, by Sonal Gera, India TV : ...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.... full review

So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...A little more consistency with the writing, and a re-upping of the fun-meter would have made Jawaani Jaaneman super. As it is, it is fun while it lasts.... full review

So-So, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...Watch Jawaani Jaaneman only if you are a huge fan of Saif or enjoy time-pass movies with some erratic laughs at the theatre.... full review

So-So, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...I’ll end with a plea. It’s time for Indian film directors to stop inserting musical stings before punchlines. If it’s funny, they’ll laugh. The music is a sign you think they won’t.... full review

So-So, by Vinamra Mathur, MiD DAY : ...Jawaani Jaaneman oscillates between cliched and charming, but once you enter into the world of its characters, you begin to care for them, especially Tia and Rhea. Some lovely scenes and inspired moments save the day for this family-comedy that never stoops to melodrama. But as you exit the cinemas, before you can smile at what you saw, you wonder why they didn't give a longer role to Tabu!... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...Besides, this is a true-blue NRI, Bollywood rom-com. And while Saif has indeed experimented with films/parts for far longer, and far more than some of his contemporaries, the fact is the metro-sexual hero, with a roving eye coupled with romantic charm, is the sort of role he was born to do, and kill with. As he does here.... full review

So-So, by Vaibhavi V Risbood, Pinkvilla : ...The supporting cast such as Farida Jalal, Chunky Pandey, Kiku Sharda and Kumud Mishra do their bit but are restricted by weak writing. Kubbra Sait looks pleasant on-screen and handles her part effortlessly. Watch the film if you get easily entertained with one-liners, jokes and a decent acting attempt by the lead characters.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...For a movie that seems to have swallowed a chill pill (along with a magic one), its last-minute turnaround as a cautionary tale for single folk and T-shirt lovers is unexpected and disappointing. Is it not enough that Saif settles down, his wardrobe must too?... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...The most cringing is throwing the “who will look after you when you are old and ill” question at Jazz and, in turn, the audience. I took that personally and wanted to tell the makers that children are no guarantee for being looked after in old age and that in the changing social fabric and relationship dynamics, you could be left to fend for yourself even within institutions like marriage and family. In times of medical emergencies, people in general — singles included — need health insurance policies to fall back on than kids of their own. So states practical wisdom, explicitly and accurately.... full review

So-So, by Priyanka Roy, The Telegraph : ...Nitin Kakkar, working from an adapted screenplay and dialogues by Hussain Dalal and Abbas Dalal, gets the beats more or less right, though the film does trip a little when it traverses emotional terrain.... full review

So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...‘Jawaani Jaaneman’ is a short and sweet comedy that had the potential to be much more. A more thoughtful script and better character development could have really lifted the narrative. It still scores for keeping the melodrama to the minimum and introducing Alaya to us. Here’s hoping she picks her future projects wisely.... full review

Thumbs down, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Summing up, this can easily be rated as a film that one will certainly not mind watching it on an online portal, but spending Rs.250-300, watching it in the theatre making an extra effort might not be worth for many as it wasn’t for me. The subject surely had the potential pointing towards parenting, middle age crisis and youngsters’ unsure affairs, but the makers missed the opportunity of converting it into a worth recommending film.... full review

Thumbs down, by Prathyush Parasuraman, Film Companion : ...This film, by no stretch of the imagination, is bad in the conventional sense. It’s lazy. It doesn’t make you groan, it just doesn’t make you laugh. It is full of promise, but such a fragile, experimental promise that it cracks easily under the weight of a script that wasn’t given enough time to brew.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None.
  • Language: A couple of innuendoes.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: The central theme is a child out of a marriage. Lots of mention of sex. Some scenes allude to making out/having sex. Skimpily clad women. Bare-chested men.
  • Concept: A promiscuous man meets a girl. Who could be his daughter.
  • General Look and Feel: Bright, peepy, young.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Jawaani Jaaneman - Cast, crew, links

Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
120 minutes

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