Jia Aur Jia

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

A premise that could’ve been full of life. Alas, doesn’t make you laugh, think or connect with the characters because it stays superficial.

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Director: Howard Rosemeyer
Running time: 90 minutes
Genres: Philosophy
More Movie Info

I admit that I start out with wanting to give smaller films a benefit of doubt. I settle in my seat with a strong urge to like the film. Jia Aur Jia saw my urge die with every passing minute. Just because a film philosophizes about life and death, just because it has two women who don’t know each other take a road-trip together, just because it is a small film – does not make it a good film. Unfortunately, brooding doesn’t equal insightful philosophy. A road-trip isn’t automatically fun. A small film still has to either engage, entertain or enlighten.

The actors sounded like they were talking in a dream sequence.

A lot in Jia Aur Jia is ‘for effect’. There is very little that feels organic to the story. The two lead ladies are diametrically opposite personalities as if they were written in a tabular format. Jia1’s column listed ‘chirpy’, so the Jia2 column had to be morose. Jia2 has businesswoman-like mannerisms and dresses accordingly. Therefore, Jia1 has to be nomadic from head to toe and within. One smokes, thus the other won’t. And so on.

Similarly, the situations in this road-trip story are ‘for effect’ too. The crazy Jia has to do the standard crazy things. Not so crazy, is she then? The sane Jia is the insane one who is looking out for different ways to commit suicide. Her thoughtful expression is truly irritating. Pensive characters who are reflecting into space are annoying, not mystical. Characters who steal for fun come across as silly, not zany.

The only redeeming feature is Kalki Koechlin’s performance as the supposedly fun Jia. The Jia who is overtly shallow but is sorted. It feels like she is earnestly performing CPR for a film that is on its deathbed. It is difficult to say if Richa Chadda is emotionless or if she comes across as such because her character is ruminating through the film. In effect, her Jia is annoying. Again, her character is overtly thoughtful but has no real depth.

Even so, the film would have worked as is, if there was some chemistry between the two. There is none. In fact, it seems like they are in some sort-of a competition with each other, but that too is half-baked. Arslan Goni’s character spouts philosophies like an irksome, all-knowing, full-of-himself youngster. His act comes across as an effort. In fact, all three seem pretentious in their own way.

Through the film, all three characters carry enormous emotional baggage. This could have been explored, sliced and diced. But, it is just narrated off as a back-story without adding much to the character they are in present time.

Even at 90 minutes, Jia Aur Jia feels a little too long. The dance number, where all three actors seem extremely uncomfortable, is force-fitted. Similarly, the montage of Jia1 moments that Jia2 has seem like a last-ditch effort to lengthen the film. All those scenes were less than an hour ago in the film, the audience certainly didn’t need a reminder. All those moments were about a week ago in the story, Jia2 certainly didn’t need a flashback. Another montage with alternating shots of the three characters jumping into water and baking in the sauna seemed like a mindless addition.

Pensive characters who are reflecting into space are annoying, not mystical. Characters who steal for fun come across as silly, not zany.

The dubbing too had an echo. So, through the film the actors sounded like they were talking in a dream sequence. And just in case you thought pretty places like Sweden don’t need an effort from the cinematographer, you’d be mistaken. They have managed to make Sweden look drab here.

How I wish that were the only shame. Jia Aur Jia is full of things that ought to have been done better for hardly any of those elements have anything to do with the budget – most of it is a lack of heart in the writing.

- meeta, a part of the audience

18 reviewers(?) - 1 yays 1 so-so 16 nays

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

Thumbs up, by IANS, Sify Movies : ...See the film for the Kalki-Richa jugal-bonding and yes, for the way the film uses the evergreen Shankar-Jaikishan/Lata Mangeshkar/Mohd Rafi song "Jiya oh jiya kuch bol do" to reiterate life's most valuable lessons. ... full review

Thumbs down, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, JIA AUR JIA is a poor show all the way laced with a very bad script and poor direction. At the box office, it will be a failure. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Deccan Chronicle : ...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. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Smita Vyas Kumar , Desi Martini : ...The concluding parts of the movie are totally ridiculous and make no sense. I guess the Director was smoking up the left -over cigarette from one of the scenes where the girls are acting all liberated and all. This movie has made me sleepy on a Friday afternoon. I guess I’ll have to go and see Golmaal again. Avoid. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...The music makes the opening scenes memorable, but when the entire remix of the song is sung along with the closing credits, the effect is completely ruined: Nisschal Zaveri’s Jiya o jiya reprise – performed by Jyotica Tangri and Rashid Ali – is flat in comparison with the original. Jia Aur Jia is flat, full stop.... full review

Thumbs down, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The dialogues appear forced, the bonding doesn’t feel organic and the tragedy seems entirely contrived. Instead of feeling empathetic to their individual situations you feel annoyed and frequently irritated by their over indulgences. There’s really nothing to feel good about here other than the short runtime.... full review

Thumbs down, by T J Reddy, fullhyd.com : ...But then again, as a community, we need to ask ourselves - why is it that female-led movies suffer such a fate? Many hero-centric action, comedy, drama and horror movies tank every year but their funding rarely ceases. Maybe female-centric cinema is still a niche market, and so quality becomes key to recoup investments. And maybe the amount of thought I've put into the acceptance of this brand of cinema in this 900-word review is more than the filmmakers put into a 120-page script. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times : ...The film remains an utter bore, bordering on torture. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...You can give it watch if you really want to watch any film, but my personal suggestion will be to save some bucks as the next two months are filled with pretty exciting films. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sonil Dedhia, MiD DAY : ...The old theory 'so bad, it's good' also doesn't work for this one. Give it a miss.... full review

Thumbs down, by Jaidev Hemmady, Movie Talkies : ...The climax is predictable and clichéd enough to make you cringe and we seriously wish director Howard Rosemeyer would have stuck to making a fun film instead of attempting to tug at the heart-strings of viewers by introducing the whole ‘terminal illness’ angle, which doesn’t work at all. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...Responsible for story and dialogue, Mudassar Aziz should be penalised for this trite travelogue. Specifically, for drawing a forced analogy between 'life' and the title of this film — Jia: lived, he should be removed away from a pen for some time. Stand-up comic and choreographer of films such as Parineeta and Rustom, director Howard Rosemeyer barely manages to make much of Aziz's mediocre and dated writing. But for a debutant forced to work with substandard material, he can barely be pinned. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Watch Jia Aur Jia only if a road that goes nowhere appeals to you. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...At a mere 92 minutes Jia Aur Jia still feels overlong and also unmistakably boring. A holiday in Sweden has never felt like such a slog. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Manisha Lakhe, Now Running.com : ...You watch with horror as they utterly disregard logic and show us the 2017 version of Anand's famous 'Babumoshai' speech... By the time the credits roll, you have thrown all the popcorn at the screen and are ready to murder the people who resurrected this film from the cans (it was shot four years ago and did not find a release!) to vomit it all across our screens.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Add to that heaps of blah humour, contrived sentiment and dummy imagination. This journey ends long before it even starts.... full review

Thumbs down, by Renuka Vyavahare, Times of India : ...Nonetheless, it's not about the actors, this one lacks humour, heart and a story. Watch Kangana and Lisa Haydon in Queen instead. ... full review

9 tweeters(?) - 2 yays 0 so-so 7 nays

SultanSarmad: Jia aur jia best road film ive ever watched ...! @RichaChadha And @kalkikanmani Are fab in the film...!

Deepak842328213: Jia aur jia jabardast movie

VagaTweets: A must-not watch: Jia Aur Jia may just be the worst film of the year 2017 https://t.co/Tr2kSVWtYQ https://t.co/h6ZB2qfeT7

pappufarishta5: ‘Jia Aur Jia’ Movie Review: कुछ दिलचस्प नहीं है कल्कि और ऋचा की रोड ट्रिप https://t.co/UZT5kbeRAa

MayurGu07070953: A female buddy film that makes you wish for no more like its kind. https://t.co/ABH3VybvbQ

KhabarNwi: कल्कि के कमबैक ने लोगों को किया निराश, 'जिया और जिया' की कहानी में दम नहीं #JiaAurJia https://t.co/RTv2uA8jyE https://t.co/Q8gdPbPwEb

farhaadaarif: Jia Aur Jia Review: Richa-Kalki's Road Trip Is Unworthy Of Your Time, Money https://t.co/jfPhta8WIO

Celebz777: #MovieIndustryNews - Jia Aur Jia movie review: An absolute yawn fest https://t.co/t7oj7J1PIC

10PTTSWN: https://t.co/urTmmYrKtJ : Jia Aur Jia movie review: Kalki Koechlin's verve is wasted in a flimsy girl bonding flick #screenwriting

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

Plot Summary

Two women who don't know each other take on a road-trip together. A philosophical take on life and death.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The Shah Rukh and Amitabh Bachchan reference seemed to imply that Jia and Jia were in Switzerland. But, they were in Sweden.
  • Richa Chadda’s eye makeup when her eyes are supposedly swollen due to some allergy.
  • Not that it is a crime but there were one too many Gin bottles in Vodka Island.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: One character is constantly trying to commit suicide.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One making out scene.
  • Concept: A philosophical take on life and death
  • General Look and Feel: A low budget trip to Sweden

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Jia Aur Jia - Cast, crew, links

Action Choreography:
Running time:
90 minutes

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