Nanu Ki Jaanu Movie Review
Suffice it to say, by the end of Nanu Ki Jaanu, pretty much everyone in my theatre (me included) were essentially laughing at the film, rather than with it.
Nanu Ki Jaanu
U/A: Comedy Drama
Dir: Faraz Haider
Cast: Abhay Deol, Manu Rishi, Patralekhaa
Well, the audience will do what it wants to - watch this film (or any other), or not. One doesn't feel terribly bad for them (this reviewer, included). You do feel worse for actor Abhay Deol, starring in this, given it was only about a decade ago, he was probably the 'king of critical acclaim', given a string of choices he made, working with relatively young/untested directors back then - Imtiaz Ali (Socha Na Tha), Navdeep Singh (Manorama Six Feet Under), Reema Kagti (Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd), etc - altogether defying the Bollywood norm.
One such indisputable gem of his was Dibakar Bannerjee's Oye Lucky Lucky Oye (2008), which at least on paper, this film seems to be a natural extension of. It's set in the gullies and bylanes of Delhi. The screenplay is credited to Manu Rishi, who'd also similarly worked on Oye Lucky (as dialogue writer). As had the first-time filmmaker here (from Oye Lucky's directorial team, I'm told).
I suspect that's the only paper Deol may have read or been enticed by, or perhaps the first few pages of the script, which, much like another Bannerjee masterpiece, Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006), deals with a goon who grabs properties for a living, although that fact is quite unrelated to the film itself.
This Haryanvi-ish bloke gets involved in a road accident that leads to a young girl's death, even as he tries to save her. She returns to haunt him through a bunch of scenes that's meant to make you laugh, supposedly looking at a rough, tough, gruff Jat, who transforms into someone Deol is more like-a 'softy', to use the popular boarding-school pejorative.
So is this some sort a horror-comedy? Like, maybe, a subversive take on slick-looking horror, mixed with a bit of sex and Sufiana numbers, that the Bhatts' had cracked the mainstream scene with for a decade and some? You wish. In fact if you were to grant me a wish, I'd sincerely ask for superpowers to make sense of what this movie-that meanders through a mystery, romance, besides failing at both comedy and horror-is really about.
Suffice it to say, by the end of it, pretty much everyone in my theatre (me included) were essentially laughing at the film, rather than with it, being treated to a series of sequences, thought up pretty much on-the-go, since the filmmakers had no clue what to do beyond a point, so they just keeping adding characters, while adding to the corniness. Sad. Very sad-chiefly for the super-fine, and now ironically an under-rated actor, at the centre of it all.
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Movie Review: Beyond the Clouds and Nanu Ki Jaanu