'Nanu Ki Jaanu': An amusing redemption tale (Review By Troy Ribeiro ;
Presented as a frothy dark comedy, "Nanu Ki Jaanu", is an amusing, romantic, redemption film that is predictable, yet engrossing.
Nanu (Abhay Deol) is a scamster who usurps people's property. His ploy is simple. He first rents the property and then forcibly makes the landlord part away with it by making them sign on the required documents, fraudulently. He is brash and unemotional.
One day while driving back home after nearly crashing into a biker, he chances upon an accident victim Siddhi (Patralekha) lying injured on the road. For a change he becomes a Samaritan and though he rushes her to the hospital, she does not survive.
Her spirit follows him home and haunts him.
Inadvertently Nanu's personality changes from a tough man to a softie and he embarks upon a journey to find the culprit who caused the accident that took Jaanu's life.
Couched in robust humour, we are made privy to a romance between Nanu and the spirit and there are several life's lessons learnt about cautious driving - especially about not speaking over the phone while driving and wearing a helmet while riding a bike.
The film's director, Faraz Haider, understands that real laughter grows from characters and he establishes them with comical demeanour and enriches them with funny lines. He has a rich start with Nanu and his click of goons, prominent among them are Dabbu (Manu Rishi Chaddha) and Promilla (Reshma Khan), they are established as characters with funny traits. But what keeps the plot engrossing is the slapstick and situational comedy and comedy derived from stereotypes. The paranormal activities add to the light vein of the narration.
The first half trudges along with comic notes but the second half which steers in a whodunit, is interesting despite alternating between silly and funny. But the denouement definitely seems forced and ridiculously obtuse.
Abhay Deol as Nanu delivers his chops with panache. His exasperation and romance is genuinely palpable. But it is Manu Rishi Chaddha as his friend Dabbu who keeps you in splits with his spontaneous reaction trying to convince Nanu that there are no ghosts and that he is just hallucinating.
Patralekha as Siddhi, though an integral part of the narrative, hardly has much of screen time and thus has nothing much to offer.
Himani Shivpuri and Rajesh Sharma as Abhay's mother and Siddhi's father are earnest and so are the actors who play Nanu's neighbours.
With moderate production values, the film, initially seems like a tacky B grade entertainer especially when Sapna Chaudhary dances with gay abandon to the item number, "Tere Thumke".
Cinematographer S.R. Sathish Kumar's tight close-ups and static frames add to the feeling. But then over a period of time, the film sustains and raises the bar.
Overall, this quirky film has its moments of brilliance which keeps you riveted.
Nanu Ki Jaanu': Cute, Harmless & Original ( Review By Subhash K Jha ;
One moment can change your life. So says the film regarding our nasty habit of attending to the cellphone while driving. Oh well, read the bold italicized writing on the wall.
The lessons of life flow like toothpaste from an uncapped tube, luckily without hampering the flow of some refined farce in this innocuous, cute, if at times grating, confection blending humour with the supernatural element.
For those who have been missing him, Abhay Deol gets to be in nearly every frame of the film. It's called making up for lost time. And that (time wasted time gone) is one of the underlying themes of this fair little concoction of farce and fear... It could have been much better if only it didn't set out to wag fingers at the imbalances in life.
Actually the fear factor is just a hazy notion, as Deol, putting all his energy into the part, steps into the role of a man who loses his mafia mojo after an accident.
The film has some lovely ideas on redemption and salvation that it throws forward willy-nilly. The humour specially related to a bully who loses his aggression to a road accident, is well-aimed. Abhay Deol's deadpan drollery (which makes him look like a cousin to Ajay Devgn rather than Sunny Deol) serves the plot well.
Deol infuses intelligence in potentially fatuous sequences. And he gets reliable support in redoubtable co-actors like Manu Rishi, Himani Shivpuri, Rajesh Sharma and Bajendra Kala, all of whom work laboriously towards making us overlook the gaping holes in the narrative. But the ham-handed treatment of the theme occasionally disrupts the rather endearing story of a man who falls in love with the ghost of a road accident.
Patralekha makes a likeable spirit. But playing ghost also keeps her invisible for a large part of the film. You wish there was more of her. Come to think of it, you wish there more of a lot of things in this ghostly satire.
You also wish the film didn't labour so strenuously to throw forward the lessons of life which wouldn't need to be served on a platter if the story had been written with more sensitivity.
Nonetheless "Nanu Ki Jaanu" compensates for its pale notions of redemption with lots of voluptuous Punjabi-styled humour, that includes a female ghostbuster in a hip-hugging saree and with a designer handbag, that never lapses into vulgarity. It is a fun to watch while it lasts, though you would find yourself wondering why it couldn't have been better assembled and packaged.
Busy promoting his forthcoming film "Nanu Ki Jaanu", actor Abhay Deol believes India has enough audience numbers to sustain four to five films releasing on the same day."Nanu Ki Jaanu", releasing on April 20, is clashing with movies like "Omerta", "Daas Dev", "High Jack" and "Beyond the Clouds".Asked if this clash will affect his film, Abhay told media persons: "I hope all films do well, and I think it is possible. We have audience numbers.Read MoreAbhay Deol hopes there's a 'Zindagi Na...' sequel
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