Yeah I know adolescence and adulthood are confusing- possibly the worst time of your entire life when you think you’ve solved life’s mysteries, unlocked its deepest questions and secrets that have beguiled the wise men down the ages only to find out later that you’ve just been living in a fool’s paradise. Right now however it is the movie “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani” that I’m talking about. I so desperately wanted to catch the first day first show of the movie expecting it to be something of a cult movie on the lines of “Dil Chahta Hai” or “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”. Instead it turned out to be a fairly damp squib where you need to convince yourself time and again that the 3 friends, played by Ranbir Kapoor, Kalki and Aditya Roy Kapoor are indeed school time buddies; that the new entrant in their group, the studious Deepika, gels in perfectly to become one of them( and not simply fall for Ranbir Kapoor). The chemistry between friends that rocked Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, is just not there. Yes they have a great time at Manali but that’s about it. Neither do we see any real bonding between them during this trip nor do we see the bond develop between Deepika and Kalki thereafter so as to believe that Deepika will indeed be Kalki’s best friend at the former’s wedding. All that we see at this wedding is 4 people meeting again after 8 years where the successful man ( Ranbir)has to bear the brunt of hurt ego of the failed alcoholic with a gambling problem ( Aditya Roy). The 2 women are happy just to be adding glamour to the scene without coming across as really being bothered about their “friends”. Yes Kalki sends an emotional video invite to Ranbir, but as I said before- it just does not click or convince. As a story of never dying friendship, this one is a total wash out.
My other problem with it is the portrayal of the leading man Ranbir Kapoor. There seems to be an urgent, almost desperate, desire to make him fit the mould of an irresponsible protagonist as in “Wake Up Sid”. As far as I could tell, this is a boy responsible and mature enough to know what he wants, earn enough for it and go and follow his dreams. Nowhere do we see him leading the life of a rich, spoilt brat blowing up his father’s money. His falling however seems to be his desire to choose the path less travelled, to not fall into the humdrum routine of a 9 to 5 job, marry and settle down. He loves to travel and makes a living out of it. What is so wrong or irresponsible about that? Unfortunately he is high up on the mountains trekking and is thus inaccessible when his father dies. That is a burden , a regret he carries and will probably carry for the rest of his life. But not only can that happen to the best of us, but that doesn’t make him a bad or irresponsible son or a bad human being. Nowhere do we get a feeling that he is being selfish or immature or irresponsible except that the characters keep on saying it again and again to brow beat you into seeing Ranbir Kapoor so.
Sadly, despite the hype, great collections and a dazzling lead pair, the movie just doesn’t work, not for me at least. And that is a pity because I’m always looking to add to my collection of movies that are an ode to friendship. As it is there are not many in that genre and this one fails to make it either.