An adorable, fresh and breezy rehash of Mani Ratnam’s 2015 multiplex hit O KADHAI KANMANI (Oh Love, Apple of my Eye), Shaad Ali’s Ok Jaanu is a harmless tribute to his mentor/guru – Mani Ratnam’s ‘playing safe’ return to mainstream recognition. How much it ‘figures out’ for Shaad after the KILL DIL debacle and JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM that failed to make the required ‘dhoom’ needs to be seen.
However, the ‘AASHIQUI’ (love struck) minded youngistaan will find it as a sweet love letter to their valentine; even after finding this Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor starrer is not only repeating their charming chemistry post AASHIQUI 2 but also revisiting the clichés of rom-com at will.
Mani Ratnam’s original was set in Mumbai and this official remake by Shaad Ali also does the same. Even the names of the lead characters are not changed.
A promising video game wizard Adi (Aditya Roy Kapur) glances through the gaps in between the bogies of passing trains at a wannabe top architect of tomorrow Tara (Shraddha Kapoor). But actually they meet properly later at a friend’s wedding in a church seated few seats away from each other. Whispers and phone numbers get exchanged and simultaneously their disagreement on the institution of marriage makes them a perfect match. After bunking offices at will, touring ‘aapro Ahmedabad’, and doing ‘Chamma Chamma’ on ‘Hamma Hamma’, Adi and Shraddha decide to ‘live –in’ surprising retired judge Gopi Shrivastav (Naseeruddin Shah), owner of the house in which Adi is stationed.
Symbolises the concept of love
Symbolizing the concept of love till the end of times and commitment, Gopi is married to the love of his life Charulata (Leela Samson) a renowned classical singer suffering from Alzheimer’s. Gopi cooks for her, takes care of her and even after Charulata’s growing disease, is happy that she still remembers him and calls him by his nickname given by her out of love.
The rest of the story is how Adi and Tara finally say ‘jab tak hai chanda or sitara, saath hamesha rahe hamara’ plunging into the belief of shaadi and commitment.
Shaad continues the Mani Ratnam influence in his narration and is able to give the film a breezy look. The deja vu of his earlier work, SAATHIYA comes in but it’s not harmful. The best part of Ok Jaanu is the contrast of Adi and Tara’s belief depicted in the wonderful relationship between Gopi and Charulata.
The elder couple’s episode gives this rom com a welcome debatable edge and a layer as the script rightly justifies Tara’s disagreement over the institution of marriage. However Adi’s unexplained belief on not getting married hampers the young couple’s conviction to their common belief but the endearing episodes of Gopi and Charulata redeems this flaw.
Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor make an adorable pair and are at their charming best.
A R Rahman’s music adds to the flavour
Laced by Ravi K. Chandran’s marvelous capturing of Mumbai city, the movie is technically superior with smart craft and editing by A. Sreekar Prasad. A R Rahman’s music adds to the flavour. The remix of ‘Humma’ and ‘Kaara Fankaara’ look better while one watches the film. Saajan Aayo Re is soul stirring.
Naseeruddin Shah excels and Leela Samson is earnest. Naseer gets some gems to deliver – ‘never miss the train even if you don’t have the ticket’ is one of them. Kitu Gidwani as Shraddha Kapoor’s mom chips in with valuable support.
On the flip side, the movie is overpowered by predictability in the second half making it appear boringly longer then the duration. Bollywood rom-coms continue to nurture this cliché idea that marriage is the end of life and love but many a times it’s not the case, for a considerable chunk it’s a beginning.
Mani Ratnam makes a comeback
Mani Ratnam made a comeback by ‘playing safe’ with O KADHAI KANMANI and his follower Shaad Ali has just repeated what Mani did. Mani’s film was feel good, fresh but not a great cinema as per the calibre of the prolific helmer who is said to have left his influence on RGV, Shaad Ali, E Niwas etc.
Shaad Ali though successful in making a feel good and harmless rom-com losses mark on not being original and mostly rehashing his mentor’s work in OK JAANU for the thinking audience.
For the rest OK JAANU is breezy, harmless love story that repeats Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor’s charming and adorable on screen glory (read chemistry).