Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jaan-e-mann - the review

Note: Like most of my movie "reviews", this one too has plenty of spoilers.

All the reviews I read for the remake of the movie Don had panned it. This was not at all a surprise to me - the promos had looked pretty silly. The reviews only reconfirmed my original opinion and I had zero intention of catching the movie in the theatre. Then, surprise, surprise, another Diwali release, Jaan-e-mann (JEM), a movie which I had not even considered as theatre-watchable, had gotten decent reviews on most web-sites. So I thought, why not go for it.

I persuaded a friend to go with me and we went to the theatre - there was a much bigger crowd for Don than for JEM - but then, Shah Rukh Khan movies always manages to pull in big crowds anyway - so I was not not disheartened. Still, I had pretty low expectations from JEM.
The movie began. Within ten minutes, I was panicking - what the heck had I gotten myself into? Because, in that short while, we had been treated to a space ship (yes, in reality, not a dream sequence), a filmfare awards ceremony and a dwarfish Anupam Kher trying really hard to be funny but failing miserably. At that point, I arranged a suitably apologetic expression on my face for the benefit of my friend and mentally cursed all those conscience-less reviewers who give such glowing reviews for undeserving movies.

The story is like this - Salman Khan is divorced from his wife Preity Zinta and is unable to pay the alimony. So his uncle Anupam Kher comes up with the brilliant idea that they should get Preity married to someone else so that Salman is freed of his obligations. Enter Akshay Kumar, who used to have a big crush on Preity during his geeky college days (all three had studied in the same college). Salman and Anupam convince Akshay that he should try to woo Preity and Akshay agrees.

So Salman and Akshay fly to New York (what is it with New York and desi movies these days?), where Preity lives . Salman stays in the background and teaches the socially inept Akshay tricks to patofy Preity. And Preity slowly begins to fall for Akshay.

All of a sudden, a baby is introduced into the picture - really, if a baby can conveniently disappear when you want to chill out after coming back from work, or want to party or go shopping or do any of the other things people without babies easily do, I am sure people would be a lot less scared of having kids. Anyways, the baby is apparently Salman and Preity's baby from their broken marriage. BTW, the baby is totally adorable and a complete scene-stealer.

Then comes the twist - surprise, surprise - Salman realizes he loves both Preity and the baby after all. Just when he decides to come clean to Akshay, Preity and Akshay get engaged after a completely irritating mandatory-for-Hindi-movies marriage-type song. So Salman decides to play martyr and leave the scene.

Then, before the wedding, Akshay discovers that the spat leading to the divorce between Salman and Preity was actually engineered by Preity's brother who did not like Salman. So Akshay decides to play martyr now (yeah, martyrdom is done on a time-sharing basis in Bollywood) and brings Salman and Preity back together. And they both (Salman and Preity) live happily everafter (along with the disappearing baby).

What about Akshay? Why, he gets together with a Russian astronaut who is a Preity lookalike and is called Preity Zintaveska!!!! And they (Akshay and Russian astronaut) live happily ever after too! The end.

I still can't pinpoint what exactly was really bad about the movie. After all, the three main characters are major eye-candies. The New York locales were very pleasing to the eye (really, NYC up and close is so dirty - but these movies make it look so drool-worthy!). A couple of scenes evoked genuine laughter.

However, to counter all that, given the latest trend of movie directors wanting to enter their movies in the longer-than-the-Mahabharatha contest, this movie goes on forever. For a story which is so cliched, that is waaay too long. The movie is also so goofy and senseless in some places that you need to do frequent reality checks to make sure that you haven't lost all your nuts! Add to it a bunch of discontinuous scenes and you have got a recipe for a headache.

Most importantly, at no point in the movie are you particularly interested in knowing what happens next - any person who has seen Bollywood movies can tell you that. How many of you really thought Akshay would get Preity in the end?

This is a movie which you could watch at home when you have absolutely no other DVD or book. It definitely is not a movie on which you would want to spend $8.50 to watch on Diwali night. I learnt that too late :-(!

p.s. If anyone has the house addresses of the Rediff reviewers who gave Jaan-e-man good reviews, please to let me know. I have surprise "gifts" for them.


pidhamagan said...

The moment I saw the trailers with the telescope being exchanged between salman and akshay viewing preity, I predicted the movie. I went with a friend of mine too and am planning to extract my share of ticket money for the movie :) :)

Inder said...

i love goofy movies as long as they remain being goofy and not try to make some point. probably i would enjoy watching jaan-e-mann :P

spark said...

i dont watch hindi movies much, but still i gotta comment here, don't i?

Anonymous said...

phew...i have not seen a movie in a theather in the past 6-8months...
when ever i even kida plan..exams..

Saranya Kishore said...

As I have said earlier, I have totally given up on Hindi movies. Wont watch them unless I get raving reviews, or if I have to go with a crowd to the theatre :--)

Zeppelin said...

first time here.. seems like JEM was a good movie after all eh ? If I may, I'd like to add that DON was a little theatre worthy compared to all the recent hindi movies that have come out.. :) dance sequences, stunts, costumes, and such were good on screen..


rads said...

haha@preity svenska.

Preity was saying in an interview that she got so sick of all the intensity in KANK, she thought this would be silly and fun to do. I suppose she's justified!

so i will just save it for a DVD viewing after a month.

but honestly, am so jealous of all you singletons :(

The Kid said...

Contrary to your pan, I think JEM is a good movie. No I havent seen the movie but by now I have come to the conclusion that lowe movies appear corny, only to the cold hearted, Madamossaile. :p

I see sacrifice, lowe, altruism in this movie which you find so illogical.

Prabhu said...

Hindi padam-e romba hyped up except for a few movies...

I always feel they name the movie so that the abbreviation could make some rhythm and easy to remember...They think harder for that than the story :)

kuttichuvaru said...

as a matter of fact, DON was gud :-) at least I enjoyed it..... I remember little frm the original n so this was far better than recent hindi flicks!! it was very stylish!! n add to it the fact tat there r 3 chicks in the movie ;-) wat else wud I want??

Archana Bahuguna said...

Ya I am not watching that one, thanks ...

Don was a "little" better than that ... why? It had copied all stunts and scenes from James Bond movies, Matrix (whats with the sudden slow motions in action scenes?), Specialist and others ... still somehow I managed to tolerate Shahrukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra.

Shilpa said...

LOL looks like JEM was a GEM !

I second Archana, Don was certainly better...thought even that was dragging on forever :)

During the interval of Don, my friend and I were contemplating switching movies as JEM was also there...we ditched the idea and got bk to Don....!

Archana said...

Pidhamagan - LOL :-D! Good luck with that :-P!

Inder - ah, you should watch and let us know what you thought!

Spark - good boy :-P!

iamvisheshur - did I tell you how much I love not having to study for exams :-D?

Saranya - I thought I had given up too. Looks like hope never dies out :-( and I get conned again!

Zeppelin - welcome aboard :-)! I think you did not read the review till the end - I did not like it! Anyone can say anything, I am not going for Don now - JEM zapped away all my enthu for Hindi movies!

Rads - :-)! I guess she removed her brains too before acting in JEM - LOL! Yeah, single world is NICE :-D!

Pratap - LOL :-D - looks like I have become la belle dame sans merci - hehehehe. You are most welcome to spend about four hours of your life watching the sacrifice, lowe and altruism in JEM and tell me about it :-P!

Prabhu - Oh, I came up with the abbreviation (how brilliant of me to think of it ;-P), haven't seen it in use elsewhere yet :-)! Hype is completely correct :-(!

Kuttichuvaru - Oh well, at least someone enjoyed a Diwali movie :-)! LOL - I heard Kareena looked like she had a make-up cake on her face though!

Archana - Wow, thats cool - you managed to tolerate SRK's hamming :-)!

Shilpa - LOL :-)! Looks like our movie directors are under some mistaken impression that they are creating masterpieces which the audience never wants to stop watching - paavum audience!

spk's blog said...

oru mokkai paddathuku , 2 pages reviewa.. kadavule..
for this i have to give u a surprise gift

Archana said...

SPK - LOL - and you read it all the way through?? You deserve a special gift too :-P!