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Ok Jaanu  : A Thumping Okay
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Friday, January 13, 2017
Romance
Shaad Ali
Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor

After a very long time, a well-told love story has come to town. In the Hindi remake of Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani, directed by his longtime assistant Shaad Ali, you know where the story will ultimately go but the beauty lies in its straightforward, endearing narration.

 

A dramatic first glimpse at the railway station, some cute communication at a friend’s church wedding and a couple of dates later, the mutual attraction between Tara and Adi blossoms into a relationship. Career or lifelong commitment may be the dilemma of any working couple but Mani Ratnam’s writing handles it with feeling and not by outdated preaching. 

 

There have been umpteen films from Hollywood with the same theme of love-struck youngsters wanting a relationship with no strings attached. Read that as marriage. But Ok Jaanu has contemporary Indianness, a bit of wit and lots of freshness. And so there’s just that little bit of eyebrow-raising or a nudge from the elders to head for the altar. Layered with the reality of ageing romance that’s portrayed with warmth and efficiency by Leela Samson and Naseeruddin Shah, it gets the right touch of gravitas which stops it from getting frivolous.

 

Shraddha Kapoor with her lopsided smile, is lovely as Tara Agnihotri who got turned off by the idea of marriage after her parents’ separation and an unpleasant custody battle. Aditya Roy Kapur is effervescent as Adi and brings much charm to the romance. The reunion of the Aashiqui 2 lovers thus works well.

 

The writing stirs in a tad of classical music and with AR Rahman at the helm, you get a beautiful Rhim jhim in the background for the first bout of lovemaking. He also revisits Humma humma, giving a night out at a Majama lodge in Ahmedabad a likeable familiarity. You know there’s Gulzar’s pen at work when you hear lyrics like Nain kajra re in the music. And he gives you simple dialogues like Naseer advising nephew Adi not to miss the train even if you don’t have a ticket.

 

Naseeruddin Shah as the principled but emotionally malleable Judgesaab is brilliant. There are soft little touches in the direction like Shraddha’s hair blowing across her face and staying there.  And Ravi K Chandran’s cinematography is masterly.

 

Ok Jaanu is proof that for a contemporary love story to work, you don’t have to jump into bed at first sight or overdose on kissing and stripping.  

 

For a beautifully told love story, Ok Jaanu get a 3.5* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan
Columnist, Critic & Author

 

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