It is a common phrase that some people age like fine wine – they get better as they grow older, more refined and tasteful. Saif Ali Khan is a prime example of this age old adage. While he has retained much of his princely charm and boyish handsomeness, his age is certainly apparent. Saif’s acting prowess has grown incredibly immense over time, as we see him take on more engaging and challenging roles befitting his age. Jawaani Jaaneman is a prime example of this. While the character of Jazz seems like a cross between the Saif we see in cocktail and Love aaj Kal, we see him in his element. It is as if the character is tailored around to fit the actor perfectly, and Saif shines throughout the film.
Directed by Nitin Kakkar, Jawaani Jaaneman is the story of a “free spirit”; absolved of all responsibility, thriving by simply escaping any emotions he may face. This is the protagonist, played by Saif, and he is oddly sensitive about his age. The sands of time slipping out of his fingers render him extremely insecure as this forms the base of much of the plot and almost all of the comic relief in the film, hence the eponymous name. Saif is certainly seen embracing his age and cracking a joke out of it and it is certainly enjoyable to watch. The conflict in the plot comes in the form of a daughter, the existence of whom he was unaware of so far. This daughter is played by debutante Alaya Furniturewala. There is a certain petulant innocence to the actress which is certainly brought to the limelight in the movie, perhaps even capitalized to a certain extent. There is a recurring element of surprise in the way that the plot unfolds and that adds to the comic nature of the film. It is a very light hearted and emotionally easygoing plot that is paced well enough to keep you engaged. The characters also break the fourth wall quite often, which is an interesting aspect. A running gag is the incessant beating around the bush. At times it may feel predictable but it seems to be a deliberate deception which adds to the fun of the film. Tabu’s character is so delightfully wacky, it is a joy to watch the actress breathe life into the character on screen, despite the very brief presence. Other supporting characters include Kubbra Sait as Rhea,, Chunky Pandey as Rocky, Kumud Mishra as Dimpy, and Farida Jalal as Jazz’s mother. Kubbra Sait has a large presence in the film as she seems to play one of the most mature characters in the film.
The film is also unabashedly non-judgemental. A large array of taboos in the society are represented from premarital “sambhog”, drinking, getting pregnant out of wedlock and so on. None of these aspects are shown in a negative way. The setting plays an important role in this regard. The film is based in London, where such things are much more common. This also means that the film has some stunning visuals. The streets and architecture of the beautiful city of London are brandished and celebrated as the plot carries on. The music of the film mostly consists of run of the mill party pop songs, so that was definitely a disappointment. The colors are bright and vibrant, as you would expect from a comedy.
Disillusionment is one of the primary themes explored in the film which was well portrayed in the plot and Saif has done justice to his character. His character grows a lot throughout the story as he transitions from a boozing and emotionally constipated man free from the bounds of waking up in the morning to a father, but not in a way that you would expect him to. This process of the character being accorded some depth is carried out well. However, some of the other characters were not explored as well which was disappointing. Alaya Furniturewala’s dialogue delivery seems emotionless a times, as the script focused the entire character around her charm, her smile and her ability to win everyone over easily.
Overall, Jawaani Jaaneman makes for a light hearted comedy that is wholesome and heart warming to watch, while also making you laugh from time to time.