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Jaane Tu ... Ya Jaane Na

Introducing first-time director Abbas Tyrewala as well as two newcomers - Imran Khan and Genelia D'Souza - Jaane Tu ... Ya Jaane Na is an uncomplicated tale that is high on laughs and low on drama and tears. Imran and Genelia play Jai Singh Rathore and Aditi, a couple of college friends in serious denial about being in love. Jai is a smooth-talking, peace loving guy who'd rather talk his way out of a scrape than fight, and Aditi is every inch his opposite.

I enjoyed the inventive story-in-story format in which Jai and Aditi's college friends retell the love story. Jaane Tu ... Ya Jaane Na is by no means a deep or thought-provoking movie. It is exactly what it holds itself out to be: a lighthearted peek into the lives of Indian college kids. Since the plot is fairly simple devoid of major drama, and the writing is unremarkable, this movie relies almost entirely on the chemistry of the young actors Imran, Genelia and those who play their college pals. In particular, Imran (who happens to be Aamir Khan's nephew), will be a force in Bollywood movies with his as-yet boyish, charm. Genelia captures the conflicted flirty and feisty aspects of her character. Mercifully, the director chose to cast actual twenty-year-olds to portray characters in their early twenties, rather than say Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra.

Not that they stole the spotlight away from the young cast, but the movie includes a number of Bollywood "big guns" in small but important roles. Naseruddin Shah's role as Jai's father is priceless. Paresh Rawal as Inspector Waghmare brings a level of comedy you would expect out of him. Arbaaz and Sohail Khan play a pivotal and comic role.

A little necessary drama is introduced by Manjari Fadnis who plays Meghna, Jai's itnerim love interest. Meghna's character provides the necessary spark for Aditi to discover her true feelings for Jai. I do believe that Meghna's parents were a little too over the top and were distracting from the story. Meanwhile, Aditi also meets somebody she thinks is Mr. Right. However these plot twists were necessary to the unfolding of the story and didn't seem to be terribly excessive. I'll note here that I am still mystified by Aditi's parents' names. Anyway, this movie had just the right amount of twists and turns to keep me interested, and was packed into a movie that never elicited the "when is this movie going to end?" response.

JTYJN has its share of filmi dance sequences. However, I wouldn't watch this film just for the esake of costumes or dances. While the songs are catchy, the dance choreography is more along the lines of what you might expect with college students. Nothing is overly stylized and choreograhped. However, with A.R.Rahman as the music director, the songs were certainly catchy in a techno-pop kind of way. "Pappu Can't Dance" and "Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi" were the most hummable tracks, but the rest fit right in with the college kid theme of the movie.

JTYJN did an excellent job of capturing the exuberance and anxieties of young love as well as the carefree time period between college fun and the "real world" of jobs and bills. It was a fun and entertaining film that never for a moment masqueraded as something deeper. JTYJN is well worth a watch if you're looking for a fun time-pass.

Long live the Ranjore ke Rathores!

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