Ayan Mukerji made a scintillating debut with the coming-of-age drama ‘Wake Up Sid’ in 2009. With ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, the writer-director sticks to the ‘coming-of-age’ theme. The film revolves around how four fairly different individuals (Bunny, Avi, Aditi and Naina) deal with friendship, love, success, failure and consequently, life!
Buddy comedy, coming-of-age drama, travel adventure, marriage extravaganza, familial melodrama and multiple love triangles - 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' mixes up too many elements. There are quite a few sparkling moments in the film. The equations between several characters have been showcased brilliantly. However, owing to some implausible side-plots and the never-ending-length, the film leaves a lot to be desired.
3 friends Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor), Avi (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Aditi (Kalki Koechlin) set off on a trip to Manali, expecting a life-changing experience. Bunny is a middle-class boy who doesn’t want to lead his life in the conventional way. In his words, ‘Main daudna chahta hoon, udna chaahta hoon, girna chahta hoon’. The effervescent Bunny wants to travel the world, and wants every day in his life to be dramatic and eventful.
Avi is a sentimental (and temperamental) guy, who depends too much on his best friend Bunny. The guy has no focus in life, and cannot handle either alcohol or money.
Aditi is a tomboy. Unabashed, brave and gutsy on the outside, but very emotional deep-within!
So yes, these three individuals are quite different, but that’s what works in their friendship. The three are joined on this trip by Naina, an introverted medical student, who wants to break free.
What transpires in this trip, which drastically changes the lives of these four characters, and how they come to terms with its repercussions eight years later, is what ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ is all about.
Several elements don’t work for this film. It could have done away with at least three dance numbers. A big chunk of the film (close to 40 minutes) involves a marriage, and so, all kinds of song-and-dance sequences have been thrown in. Yes, the soundtrack of the film is very good, but the lip-syncing and the over-the-top choreography are reminiscent of dance numbers in Karan Johar’s (the producer) ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ and ‘Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’.
Secondly, the screenplay is very inconsistent. It seems too slow at some places (the aforementioned marriage sequence, the entire Manali trip) and too rushed at some (climax, patch-up between bickering friends).
Thirdly, the film is long. 160-odd minutes!
There are good points as well. The dialogues are wonderful. Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Farooq Shaikh (who plays Bunny’s father) and Kunaal Roy Kapur (delightful cameo) deliver exceptional performances. The music, as already mentioned, is wonderful. The locations are absolutely magnificent.
Ayan is absolutely terrific at capturing relationships. The scenes involving Bunny and his father strike a chord. Even scenes wherein Bunny defends his lifestyle are well written, directed and performed.
The film is quite a mixed-bag. That’s why am sitting on the fence with 2.5 stars.