After a disastrous and forgettable Kadal, Mani Ratnam, like an ageing boxer delivered Ok Kanmani, which seemed to be his knockout punch. The movie, albeit not a classic, was a fresh one which made millennial love look like an easy breeze of romance. Ok Jaanu, is the official remake of the Tamil version and Shaad Ali’s directorial delivers a heartwarming winsome romance which will surely leave the viewers with a smile on their face
The movie is a bracing take on modern day romance and relationship between two well-educated, independent and ambitious individuals Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) and Aditya (Aditya Roy Kapur). Aditya is a happy go lucky video game developer who wants to live the American dream and Tara is an architect who has her eyes set on Paris. They are both non-committal and have ambitions to succeed. It’s when that the two meet, plans go haywire and they decide to date each other as long as they are in Mumbai. They decide to move in and they convince an elderly couple Gopi (Naseeruddin Shah) and Charulata (Leela Samson) to rent out their abode to them and let their modern day conceptual love of no strings attached blossom. Gopi is a strict but an affectionate landlord who treats Aditya and Tara as his own children while tasking care of his Alzheimer ridden wife Charulata.
The film then starts exploring, in a light-hearted way, the stance of modern India about commitment issues and the all-compromising life-event called marriage. Add to it the spirit of Mumbai, which permeates the film throughout. Aditya and Tara agree that the concept of marriage and babies are not for them and would not want to explore such horizons. But as time would have it, they grow fond of each other and are in love and then confused. The movie does not make the couple go through trying situations and that is where we realize that all love stories do not need the bed rock of tragedy. It’s easy and simple and thus it strikes a chord.
Aditya and Shraddha’s chemistry as the lead couple is peppy and vibrant and the locations are picturesque. We have adored their chemistry in Ashiqui and Ok Jaanu makes us feel no different. Shraddha has progressed as an actor and Aditya’s easy going real life nature eases into the tailor made reel role. Naseeruddin is a veteran and his presence provides that gravity to keep the movie grounded and preventing it from becoming all perky and frolicked. Somewhere the performances would make you want to fall in love again.
The movie, in a subtle way juxtaposed 2 couples: one, young, who are ambitious and have escaped their conservative prism while another, an elderly couple, who are happy to have preserved their conservative values and are yet in love in the backdrop of a cultural melting pot like Mumbai. Ok Jaanu has the theme of new ideas trying to transform the old and vice versa. The story seems to suggest that the institution of marriage is not all that flawed, but the basic premise of freedom, ambitions and privacy should be respected. It is all acceptable as long as compromises are left at bay.
If you have watched Ok Kanmani, Ok Jaanu might seem to be a dash of old wine. There seems to be a scene by scene translation from its Tamil counterpart, but nothing has been lost in translation. The charisma and the zest seems to be intact and will surely give a warm heart on your way out of the theatre.
From the business perspective, Ok Jaanu being a millennial story will appeal niche audiences across metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata etc. The movie faces box office competition from XXX Return of the Xander Cage on its opening weekend. Ok Jaanu has recorded 25% openings in its morning shows as on 13-Jan. In the south, where its predecessor Ok Kanmani did pretty well, Ok Jaanu faces some heat from the Chiranjeevi starrer Khaidi no 150.
Dhaval Patel is a Project Management Consultant based out of Mumbai. He holds interest in Bollywood, Entertainment Industry, Politics and Public policy.