Jaaneman is surprisingly a “must watch”

Believe it or not, though I wouldn’t pay any money to see Salman or Akshay in a movie theatre, my wife and I still went to see Jaaneman because of a favourable review we had heard, and the desire (mine) to support new perspectives in Indian cinema.

(Again our troubles with cinema halls continues and I really despise theatres that raise prices without improving service. Well Rex (Bangalore) has now further raised the rates, and it’s movie sound continues to be terrible.)

Jaaneman Still

The movie was really-really enjoyable (for a one-time watch). I must say at the outset that even though I don’t think Jaaneman is a “good” movie… ie. script etc. but it’s thoroughly enjoyable if you are a Hindi movie fan. It was fun and surprisingly insightful of the medium. There were many-many paisa vasool moments and I find myself still laughing at some of the moments in the film.

Of course the premise is corny… but the film doesn’t take itself too seriously and so even its corniness is ok. The biggest hurdle for a viewer to overcome is that Akshay Kumar is an astronaut. If you can be ok that, then you might just love Jaaneman like we did.

My list of what I liked best in the movie…

1. The narrative technique… especially flashbacks. wow.
2. The film didn’t take itself too seriously… unlike Swades that wanted us to believe that Shah Rukh Khan was indeed a brilliant indispensable NASA scientist… in this movie… it didn’t matter too much that Akshay wasn’t too smart… and yet also too smart. Good balance.
3. The movie music… especially the way it worked with the narrative… though the best paisa vasool moment was the fastforward. ps. an extra word about the music… it has actually grown on me… I’ve been listening to it quite regularly.

What I didn’t like… hmm… there were a few things… especially the sometimes overthetop humour… and the sometimes unnecessarily over+under dressed Salman Khan. But hey… within the Hindi film genre… even that worked.

Perhaps another thing I need to say… I’m ready to move away from stars! ie. while Salman and Akshay and Priety were reasonably ok in their roles… it was only Akshay Kumar who benefited in the story with his star (larger than life) status… because his movie character was a definite parody of that. The other roles (Salman and Preity) could have easily be performed by lesser known… and perhaps equally/more talented actors. And it may have become a better movie. Still… I’m not the one spending money on these actors… so why should I care who the producer hires and for what reason.

Going back to positives… I also liked some of the emotionalism in the movie… which while a bit dramatic… was still understated. *spoiler warning* Akshay’s tearing his kurta scene actually fit within his character. So also Salman’s deadpan look when accused of “stealingthebaby”.

I also liked the use of Priety Zinta… who it could be said… had no role… but in this her lack of presence was actually fitting to the “voyeur” tendencies in the movie. She didn’t have to do anything… because we were seeing her from the eyes of the two men.

More can be said, but for now this is enough.

If you know what it means when I say that Indian cinema is growing up… and you like what is happening… then this movie is for you.

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Philippians 2:11-13 (NIV) (12)Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, (13)for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

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