Movie Review: YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI (2013)
It`s getting harder and harder to reinvent the modern Bollywood movie, namely, `the love story`. YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI (YJHD) however, does tread a different path, one that respects the audience and it`s main characters during its anti-love story formula. Here is my Movie Review…
4 out of 5 Stars
Director Ayan Mukherjee dares to try something different in his depiction of a typical Bollywood love story, that is, by focusing on the main characters personalities and motivations, rather then homogenizing them and making their sole reason to exist, the love story itself.
Ranbir Kapoor plays Bunny, a fun loving, adventurous guy whose ambitions literally include being a drifter and travelling the world in whatever capacity he is able to unearth. Then you`ve got Deepika Padukone`s Naina, a shy bookworm who has had little to no life experience beyond studying to fulfil her parents `ambitions. They meet during a group trip trekking a beautiful snowy locale and breathtaking mountain tops. Now, despite this clichéd beginning, YJHD does break away from the formula and does something that is rare in Bollywood.
The movie belongs to Bunny, who has obvious commitment issues, but not just from a romantic perspective, but even socially. The man cannot stay in one place, always preferring to leave behind his friends, family and see the world, in a perpetual search for adventure. What makes this different from other stories, is that this characterization isn`t used as a plot point, but stays pretty consistent throughout the film.
The story is told in flashbacks, as we see how the two leads met, along with their friends Aditi played by the amazing Kalki Koechlin & Avi played by Aditya Roy Kapur. Cut to 8 years later, and we`re treated to a Bunny who is happy and living life to the fullest, only to be brought back to India by Aditi`s wedding. Tensions rise, attraction is re kindled when these 4 come together.
The entire conflict within the story is created by the internal obstacles of Bunny`s dreams, which directly comes between a potential relationship with Naina. This is essentially what the movie becomes about, having to choose between love and one`s own grandiose idea of how to live life and not compromising on your ideals to do so. Where YJHD excels is by providing a great story where neither character is undermined and practicality & logic isn`t thrown out the window under the annoying premise of `love conquers all`.
One of the better points of YJHD also has to be how the supporting characters aren`t just present as plot points to further allow the lead pair to interact, as most of these “guy / girl meet at family wedding” scenarios usually work. In those instances, that sister or best friend, or whosoever`s wedding it is, gets maybe 10 minutes of screen time, and are never heard from ever again, despite their apparent importance in the main character`s life. YJHD emphasizes the relationship between the friends, their resentful attitudes, years of bitter-ness, hurt feelings, etc… And allows time in the story for it to be resolved.
YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI is a very original movie that breaks Bollywood Love Story conventions, and creates a commercially successful and critically satisfying movie, while avoiding all the typical pitfalls of such a genre in the industry.
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What did you think about the unique love story in ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’?
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