Film: Jawaani Jaaneman
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Alaya F, Tabu, Farida Jalal, Chunky Panday, Kiku Sharda, Kumud Mishra and Rameet Sandhu
Director: Nitin Kakkar
Rating: 3.5 Moons
It’s been done by Hollywood before. This kind of romcom of a teenaged girl going in search of the swinging 40-something playboy who is her biological father and knows nothing about it. Remember Mamma Mia? But you’ve got to hand it to Saif Ali Khan, who plays this single, middle-aged, delightfully wild, sex-crazy, boozing party animal Jazz (Jaswinder Singh) in London and suddenly discovers one night that the SYT (sexy young thing) he’s trying to score on just might 33.3 per cent be his daughter Tia (Alaya F.) from a one night stand he had 21 years ago.
Jawaani Jaaneman takes off on this absolutely hilarious note. And the actors rocking the show for director Nitin Kakkar are Saif and Bollywood debutante Alaya. They are like fuel and fire, a highly combustible pairing, he being a veteran of this sort of character, she exhibiting great confidence in her raw vulnerability as a lost soul (who’s also pregnant!) seeking out a parent. Add to their fireworks another veteran like Tabu, who plays Ananya – the girl’s mother, a spiritual hippy leading a bohemian life zoned out on meditation, yoga and what seems like a drug high, and the film becomes a cracker of an entertainer with London beautifully unfolding in the background.
It all seems natural because the actors deliver performances that are so very believable in their light-heartedness and lack the drama characters such as theirs might be expected to create on screen. The film’s one minute short of two hours but it is so crazily packed with relatable funny scenes that for once you wish the screen time was longer. Saif is a scream as the rollicking, devil of a charmer whose ambition at the end of every day is to retire with a new conquest at night. Till Alaya, in all her lovely innocence, enters his life and hazy world of sex, booze and parties. Tabu, in limited time, shows that she is tailor made for any role that a director can trust her with. And in Jawaani Jaaneman, she could be the original ‘Dum Mar Dum’ girl.
The supporting cast are strong pillars for what would otherwise be a thin and flimsy script. They flit on and off the screen but have their moments. There’s Kubbra Sait as a young divorced woman searching for a mature relationship, Farida Jalal, Chunky Panday, Kumud Mishra, Rameet Sandhu and comedian Kiku Sharda as the DNA doctor who delivers the fatherhood bomb to Saif’s disbelieving character Jazz. You know what’s going to happen in the end but you can’t wait for it to happen. Jawaani Jaaneman is an entertainer. The film does not deliver any message or lecture on morals and fidelity and human relationships. Why should it when the players are carefree and lead heady lives that are as fizzy and sparkling as a bottle of champagne.
PeepingMoon gives Jawaani Jaaneman 3.5 Moons!