Looks Like High-School Romance. ♦ Grade D-
Not much afterthought was given to the idea of remaking a romance film which was not a critical success in the first place. But then, one cannot expect originality from a director who has been consuming the shadow of other people all his life.
Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) is a young, dreamy architecture student-cum- researcher who is in love with Aditya (Aditya Kapoor), a video game developer trying to be a billionaire. They hit it off within days of meeting, and form a pact early in their relationship: no commitment whatsoever. So, they fool around as long as they can in a partial attempt to show the world that they do not care about societal stigmas, stereotypes, electrotypes, and all that comes with live-in relationships. The story is basically their romantic journey as they fight the varied thoughts and fears that surround such a relationship, and how they can take it forward without compromising their other commitments like work and lifestyle.
Sort of a crooked primer for modern marriage, Ratnam's story was clichéd then (O Kaadhal Kanamani (2015)) and is clichéd now. Just add some ounces of overacting, and you have the Hindi version, considering actress Leela Samson did not have to put in a single extra effort in reprising her role. OK Jaanu is a film about over-the-top youngsters who use black-and-yellow taxis (just so you get that vintage effect) in the time of Uber and Ola, consider life to be a snakes and ladders game, behave like high school sweethearts in the middle of the road, exaggerate like that figure of speech (hyperbole) that they learned last week in the English lecture, and DO NOT look like they are working people. It is, thus, a travesty when you see Aditya and Tara interact with each other romantically and try to showcase the youngsters of today. Just like Aditya Chopra got it terribly wrong in his blundering horseplay (Befikre (2016)), director Shaad Ali gets it wrong this time, too, three years after creating another load of garbage, Kill Dil (2014). Just look at the title of both the films: so 20th century.
While there is this wee bit of diligence and maturity in Shraddha's performance AND her character, it is Aditya who overacts to the tooth. Just like someone asked here in the IMDb message boards, "Whatever happened to the guy?!" He was a good actor few years ago, even in the rehashed version of Aashiqui (1990), but in here, he just tries to be this chocolate boy who smells of burnt cocoa. Naseeruddin Shah is the only respite for people like me, who also seems to be the only sane character in the whole film, literally even.
However, there is a hint of delight in the screenplay and there is a average chance that you may get bored with the happenings. You will get annoyed, sure, but director Ali makes the broth a little spicy to save you from the boredom. Although, should you choose to watch the film and if you really think of walking out the hall after sitting through twenty minutes, I would suggest you wait for the scene (unfortunatey in the second half) where Tara takes a selfie of her and Aditya and terms it as "our first quarrel selfie". Visualise that in Hindi, and then you can walk out, because now you have company.
BOTTOM LINE: Shaad Ali's "Ok Jaanu" is a childish attempt at showcasing romantic relationships of today's youth. The biggest problem is that most things here are just imagination, a factor that should have been limited when you are talking about reality. Watch it for Shraddha's expressions when it airs on TV, but do switch channels between commercials.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
You can skip watching it in theatre.
Mani Ratnam's 'Ok Kanmani', Tamil film that garnered enough love from
the south Indian audience. Now is this reason enough to make a Hindi
remake? Well as per Bollywood history, yes it is. OK Jaanu is the story
of a young couple Adi and Tara who hit it off instantly and decide to
live in together rather than tying the marital knot and carry on to
pursue their dreams. A parallel track shows the relationship between
their land lord and his wife who has Alzheimer's and the older couple
makes Adi and Tara realize that they ought to do the right
thing.Technically speaking there are not many faults in the film. But
it's nothing that we haven't seen before. It's the same old wine served
the same old way in the same old bottle. It's predictable and once
again the climax doesn't make much sense. It looks more of a made up
drama that a real sweet coming of age romance story of a young couple.
I go with 2.5/5 for OK Jaanu.
OK Jaanu lacks the flow, passion and magic of its original version O Kathal Kanmani but certainly has to offer one-time watch simple story for those who haven’t watched the original.
OK Jaanu, a romantic film directed by Shaad Ali, is the remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil film O Kathal Kanmani. The screenplay and story is by legendary filmmaker Mani Ratnam. The original version was a box office hit. Mani Ratnam had returned to romance genre after almost a decade with OK Kanmani. He drew a parallel in his movie through his protagonists – an old couple and modern-age couple. Two different perceptions were shown in the movie, without an effort to get preachy or judgmental. At one side, age-old concept of marriage and romance is shown – commitment for the whole life. On the other hand, contemporary romance and live-in relationship was shown, where the couple felt very much in love but did lack the confidence / trust to commit to each other. Mani Ratnam did not try to convey that one is superior to the other, but he very subtly conveyed that one has to be certain about his or her relationship, commitment definitely strengthens the relationship. O Kadhal Kanmani was a very light-hearted movie. It made one feel like falling in love. As far as remakes are concerned, it is bound to draw comparison to the original version in every aspect. Those who have seen the original may feel that the Hindi version is not at par with the same, but for those who have not seen the original, may find OK Jaanu enjoyable. When a remake is made, the filmmaker does face challenges – either it has to be at par with the original or atleast a bit superior to the original. And, that is where, Ok Jaanu falters. It has nothing new to offer, it is exactly similar to the original, which is still ok, but it fails to have the depth as that of the original.
Aditya/ Adi (Aditya Roy Kapur) lands at Mumbai Railway Station and that is where his first eye contact with Tara (Sharddha Kapur) happens who was standing on a different platform and appears to be troubled. Adi is a videogame developer, who is in the process of making a breakthrough game. Coincidence brings Adi and Tara together in front of each other and both of them get amazed to explore that they are almost similar to each other, both of them happy-go-lucky people, both not believing in marriage, both not wanting to commit in relationship etc. Their friendship blossom, but a spark of a special relationship is silently handled and definitely felt right from the very beginning. Both of them are focused as far as their career is concerned, Tara wants to go to Paris to pursue her architect course whereas Adi dreams to be a rich man like Mark Zuckerberg and settle in USA.
As is the trend in the films offlate, both want to just enjoy the togetherness, love, laughter minus any commitments, possessiveness, drama. Both have similar opinion about marriage that they don’t want to fall in the trap of marriage. They decide to enter into live-in relationship before heading to pursue their careers abroad separately. They chose to stay with a old couple Gopi and Charu played by Naseeruddin Shah and Leela Samson (Leela played the same role in Tamil too). They happen to witness this couple enjoying 50 years of togetherness in marriage. What happens next is very much predictable.
Aditya-Shraddha are likeable, look good together, but that is not sufficient. They are unable to regenerate the chemistry of Dulquer-Nithya. The movie picks up when Naseeruddin Shah – Leela Samson come on screen, they do add depth to the film. As the lead pair wanted no drama in their relationship, the film also lacks drama, twists and turns.
Music by AR Rahman is disappointing. Songs are not synchronized with the script appropriately. Even the energy of Humma Humma song is missing. Dialogues are very much ordinary.
OK Jaanu lacks the flow, passion and magic of its original version O Kathal Kanmani but certainly has to offer one-time watch simple story for those who haven’t watched the original. Contradictory to one of the punchline used in its posters – ‘Love can surprise you’, it does not surprise you. A one-time watch.