Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani (2013)

The film opens with wedding invitations being sent out – who’s wedding is it? Wait till the second half to know.

Naina Talwar (Deepika Padukone) gets one of the invitations as well. And she starts narrating whatever memories are flooding her mind – we go 8 years back. (The abruptness of the beginning doesn’t end there.)

Three friends – Kabir aka Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) and Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur) are re-united with a long lost nerdy class mate (Naina) on a trip to Manali.

You won’t know much about these characters in the first go – the supposed character introductions are all lost somewhere. Especially Kabir’s introduction is hijacked by Madhuri Dikshit‘s dance number. It was hard to see Madhuri as an item girl – given she usually plays lead roles. So you expect more and it’s over already. (Wrong timing?)

In the first half, none of the characters come out well; save Kabir and Aditi. Deepika starts out as an unconvincing medical student – not very well acted. But by the middle of second half – you will see some of her best work.

With mix of not-so-well-defined characters playing a serious plot around important life evens and decisions – it’s a disastrous mix in terms of seriousness. Things like these need to be handled more emotionally, responsibly and sensitively. I often went on thinking – “Really? Just like that?!” More than often, the only inspiration for life altering decisions were philosophical dialogue exchange between the characters.

The only well-defined relation in the whole film was between Kabir and his father (that too during the second half). Even the relation of leads did not come that close for me. The whole film took life too lightly.

Locations for the film were very well-chosen and played safe. It moves with visual treats of two holiday destinations – Manali and Udaipur to some other wonderful parts of the world. At times doing things that don’t really suit the location – I can’t really imagine that Holi in Manali.

The music was one of the best things about the film. Though the song breakout can be pretty random and causeless. But then it’s classic bollywood we’re talking about – we don’t need a reason to sing and dance. (It runs on porn logic). Be it subtly double-meaning “Ghagra, viaAgra” or dance number “Balam Pichkari” or touching “Kabira” – music will not disappoint you.

In nutshell, the film was entertaining – a heart warming and delighting story about love, friendship and more. Could do with better script and more defined characters. But it will not disappoint you too much in the end – worth a watch with friends.

PS: Being a Madhuri fan it was exciting to see her on-screen again.

PPS: I still don’t get what the film title was all about.

PPPS: I noticed a common pattern in dance numbers – they peaked relatively fast. Almost made me think, “Is the song about to be over already?” at times. And then it takes a pause and begins all over again – something very different.