Onto the final release of the weekend and I still have another release remaining which I will cover tomorrow and with that I finished watching Jugjugg Jeeyo last evening. Bollywood lately has been in the doldrums with film after film sinking week after week. With only Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 bringing in the numbers, all hopes were pinned on this new Dharma venture which seemed promising right from the time its trailer was out. The industry trade experts were touting it as the next Big Hit and I wouldn’t blame them either. The film had a lot going in its favour. Firstly a stellar cast, secondly a banner like Dharma Productions and lastly a more than a reliable director like Raj Mehta who had tasted success with his previous feature film Good Newwz. And moreover it was the Bollywood family drama which we were familiar with. So then does Jugjugg Jeeyo manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Jugjugg Jeeyo follows the story of a couple contemplating a divorce until they get to know that the boy’s parents are also in the same situation. The story has all the right ingredients for a wholesome family entertainer. The screenplay too is decently well written but not without its share of flaws. Standing at two and a half hours, the screenplay is a tad too longer than I would have liked considering the subject at hand. A crisper edit would have ensured that the film does not drag at various junctures.
The drama opens on a good note with a song playing in the Background as the story of the two protagonists unfolds from their childhood up until they get married. Five years down the line, the mundane and depressing streets of Canada do give an impression that not all is well between the couple. The use of blues nicely captures the sentiments of the characters even as they walk with a fair amount of distance between them. Cut to the sequence in India where they travel for a marriage where things start to get even more complicated.
The humour in the first half is good but I will need to manage your expectations. I did read so many reviews initially with a few critics saying this is a hilarious joyride where they couldn’t stop laughing. Well that is not the case. The humour is a swing and a miss although the proceedings are entertaining. Some jokes land and some will make you eyeroll but still chuckle at times summimg up an entertaining first hour.
The issue starts in the second hour where the writing gets slightly melodramatic which is fine. But the writers seemed to be confused enough on how to balance out the humour. So you do get served some bizarre sequences where the humour is forced yet there are moments where your heart will melt. So while there are moments which shine, the humour falls flat. Secondly, the solution provided here is too simplistic and just about on the surface. The garbled solution ensures that the impact of the story is overall diluted. Yet, this doesn’t exactly derail the film. The screenplay overall is decently well penned although the final act is underwhelming.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well penned and the convey the underlying emotions more often than not. The music is alright but this film definitely deserved a better soundtrack. I also felt that the music was a bit overused particularly in the second hour with a song playing out every 10 minutes. The BGM is a bit of a letdown too but a “Balle Balle” playing in so many comedic sequences. The cinematography and production value is stunning and they give the film a fresh look. Director Raj Mehta has done a good job here, his direction definitely had many moments to look forward to. Probably some sharp writing coupled with a crisper edit would have enhanced the direction as well but nevertheless a good job done.
The performances are pretty good. Varun Sood has his moments to shine despite no lines given to him. Elnaaz Norouzi looks gorgeous and does a fabulous job in the dance number(as well as her little role post that). Shivangi Singh as Rimpy has done a good job. Tisca Chopra in an extended cameo as Meera is first rate. Prajakta Koli in her Big Bollywood debut as Ginny is confident onscreen and definitely makes a mark. Maniesh Paul as Gurpreet is hilarious with a good sense of comic timing. Neetu Kapoor returning after a long hiatus of probably 9 years is absolutely fantastic as Geeta. It seems she had never left and her performance is dignified and soulful. Anil Kapoor as Bheem is an absolute joy to watch. His infectious energy coupled with a commendable sense of comedy makes him an affable character despite him being a narssasist. Terrific job done. Kiara Advani as Naina looks very pretty and does a swell job. I think this is perhaps her best outing in recent times and she is outstanding. Varun Dhawan as Kuku seems to have come age finally. I was skeptical of him going overboard especially in emotional scenes but he went just the right distance and never crossed the line. This was a very matured performance and probably a start of things to come. Excellent job!
Jugjugg Jeeyo is a wholesome family entertainer despite its fair share of flaws which makes for a good one-time watch. Available in a theatre near you.