Directed by: Ayan Mukerji
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Aditya Roy Kapur
All images courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com
There is a lot to be said for a film that is classed as light entertainment; when it is done poorly, it is forgotten before one has left the cinema hall but when done well, not only is it a pleasure to watch but that crucial connection between audience and film is forged. For me, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani falls firmly in the latter category – whether it was the Dharma style soul searching in the most picturesque of locations or the emotional high points which hinted at darker themes that could easily be further delved into (such as Bunny’s relationship with his stepmother), there really is something for everyone here.
For me, it was the four main characters who stood out above everything else – not only did I recognise these characters but I felt I knew them quite well and was genuinely interested to see what happened to them. I also liked how the four interacted with one another – we may start the journey through Naina’s perspective but Bunny, Avi and Aditi’s point of view is just as important. Though there are some weird moments in the screenplay as well as Bunny urinating on screen (STOP PRESS: Dharma hero in toilet shocker!), the feelgood vibe of the film meant I was prepared to suspend my disbelief accordingly.
Performance wise, there was never any doubt that Ranbir was going to bring it to the table and he does so with a freshness and enthusiasm that is wonderful to watch. Deepika also gives a very good account of herself; a few years ago, this role would have overwhelmed her but this time, she makes it her own. Aditya makes sure Avi doesn’t get lost in the fray with a earnest and carefully underplayed turn that really works well. I also loved Kalki who seems to have the most amount of fun with her role giving an uninhibited and very honest performance that really endears and entertains.
I really enjoyed YHJD which I feel is best viewed as a companion piece of sorts to Wake Up Sid! rather than as a basis for comparison. I am also looking forward to seeing the film again as not only do I want to see how the film stands up to repeat viewings away from the hype but this is exactly what I want from an entertainer – great music, fantastic production values and a bit of food for thought. Recommended.