Friday, May 16, 2008

Jannat Review

After postponing and re-postponing, finally Jannat has been released. The movie that has cricket every where but deals with the ugly world of betting and match fixing. Mahesh Bhatt stands out from other Bollywood film makers because he makes movies on serious subjects. For example, Footpath, Murder, Gangster, Kalyug, Zeher, The Killer, Awarapan and now, Jannat. The first significant thing about the movie is its title. Till now, all the movie titles of Bhatt production revealed the dark subject the movie is dealing with(Footpath, Murder, Gangster, Kalyug, Zeher, The Killer, Awarapan). For the first time, he has chosen an exceptional title Jannat. It is like a pseudo title.

Alright, by this time you all have come to know about the story of the movie; the story of Arjun Dikshit (Emraan Hashmi) and Zoya (Sonal Chauhan). They meet, they fall in love, and then the lady comes to know the ugly side of her lover and delivers him to justice. So far, Jannat is an okay movie but not so good.

Taran Adarsh is very much impressed with Jannat. In terms of story telling, the first half is ordinary “Chalta hai” staff. Boy meets girl, go crazy and does crazy things and stuff. Things start to become serious after intermission. India FM reports:

Honestly, you don't take to JANNAT instantly. The initial portions - the love story - are strictly chalta hai stuff. But the best part is, JANNAT takes a step forward every 10 minutes. The film actually takes off when the characters reach Cape Town, South Africa. The portions thereafter are akin to a roller coater ride.

Right from the interval point to a hair-raising, pulse-pounding climax, JANNAT is another journey altogether. The end, especially, hits you like a ton of bricks [it wouldn't be right to reveal what happens to the characters].

The strong point of Jannat is the making of the movie, the story and script. The script is written by Kunal Deshmukh and Vishesh Bhatt and directed by Kunal Deshmukh who showed great maturity as a debutante director. Though Emraan Hashmi is famous as a kisser this film will change his image. He played the character of Arjun very well. He is the heart of the movie.

Since Mahesh Bhatt is highly influenced by Hollywood movies, rumor came out that Jannat is a rip off of Two for the Money, a 2005 movie by Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey but it is not true; rather, it has a shadow of Mahesh Bhatt’s early movie Naam where the central character was played by Sanjay Dutt. Naam comes with the ultimate message that once you get into crime there is no way out. Jannat has a similar message. In an interview, Mahesh said that Jannat is Emraan Hashmi’s coming of age movie. It is the Naam of Emraan Hashmi.

The movies story telling style is not liked by all. The first part of the movie is fine and shows that the story is movie to the right direction but then in the second part the story loses its focus and becomes abrupt. Ravimoosad writes:

The love at first sight of the lead pair and Arjun’s quick success is not taken convincingly. Also it is unbelievable that Zoya was completely unaware of Arjun’s real business. The first half of the movie is good and the audience will get a feeling that movie is going in the right direction. But the second half disappoints and leads finally to a weak and oft-repeated climax. Imran is very good as Arjun and has done well especially in song sequences. Sonal as Zoya has given convincing performance and so is Javed Sheikh and Samir Kochchar. Like any other Imran Hashmi movie from Bhatt camp, this movie too has good music which is a great relief.

The second interesting thing about Jannat is ring significance. The story starts with a diamond ring and ends with a diamond ring. Buzz 18 reports:

At its very heart, Jannat is a story that begins and ends with a ring. Arjun and Zoya meet because of the ring. They fall in love and Arjun goes all lengths to make sure that the ring finds its rightful place.

But with each passing moment the weight of ring starts bearing upon his conscience (yes, our very own Frodo from Lord of The Rings!). The ring continues to be a major part of the film, till even the climax scene where by its very being it shapes the future of our lovebirds.

The story telling of Jannat some how resembles with children’s story. What seems to be great story turns out to be the same old boring thing repeated time and time again. Although Jannat does not directly mention the name of any cricketer it gives many indirect references. The movie already started a serious controversy. Some Pakistani showbiz personalities are saying that the movie showed Pakistani and Pakistani players as corrupt people. Buzz 18 further says:

If the gem on the ring does not impress you, the ones in the dialogues will. Zoya is justifying her handing Arjun over to the police. In a fit of desperation she yells out – "I love you, so I got you arrested." Now, that's unconditional!

Then there's another where Arjun catches one of his players eyeing a good looking girl. Cheekily he says, "I know on the ground you like fielding at fine leg and off it you like looking at fine legs. But let me take you to a place where you will not only find fine legs but also gullies, slips and deep cover." Profound.

There are some very clear references to certain cricketers and real-life incidents. Those who follow the game would probably find many parallels between this movie and real life. There are clear references to Azharuddin, Shahid Afridi and of course Bob Woolmer throughout the 140-odd-minute long movie.

By itself, a film on cricket would have made for great viewing. But as the narrative unfolds, the movie loses its focus – after the girlfriend comes in, there's the father and finally also a child.

Cricket used to be a family game, but not any more. And as far as we know neither is betting or fixing. So the whole family connection somehow is lost on us.

The Economic Times review says that Mahesh Bhatt could not depict the match-fixing or betting in detail. It says:

The Bhatts have as much (or rather as minuscule) knowledge about match-fixing and cricket-betting as much as any average audience. So do not expect a fine-tuned screenplay detailing the intricacies on the misconduct of cricket or revealing the modus operandi of the sport malpractice. The Bhatts are no Bhandarkar. Rather be prepared for a superannuated story sketched not even around but on the external periphery of the theme of match-fixing.
In the end, I would like to say that Jannat is a movie worth watching. May be the story is not well organized, may be the film skips many details, may be the dialogues are cliché but compared to big production movie like Tashan that has no substance but masala, Jannat is far better. It does not matter whether you are a fan of Emraan Hashmi or not you should see the movie.

Related articles:

India FM (1)

India FM (2)


Buzz 18

Without giving the movie way

Economic Times


starwin said...

Jannat is truly a good movie. A good break from stupid movies like Tashan, Bhootnath, Sunday, One Two, Three etc.

In fact, Jannat and Race are the only entertainers so far. Jannat is high on content, especially post-interval

COOL said...

Jannat was a true-true-true Jahannum!

Baffling-Bundle-Bakwaas !!!

Anonymous said...

super movie heart touching

Anonymous said...

super movie heart touching