Big bang for big bucks. That's my verdict. Aamir Khan and Mansoor Khan join together to recreate the magic of the Summer of 1988, QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK.
JAANE TU... YAA JAANE NA... is a simple love story repackaged with intelligence. The coup lies is in the casting, backed up by a simple narrative in flashback and held together with some mind-blowing music by the maestro himself - A R Rahman. Every character actor rocks. And it is plain to see that there is a casting director in place who has understood the subject and worked in close proximity with the producer and the director.
The group of friends on whom the story rests simply rock. Everyone knows their part and pitch in to compliment the other with their intrinsic characteristic etched out for them by the director. No one goes overboard here. There's Nirav Mehta (Jiggy), Alishka Varde (Bombs), Karan Makhija (Rotlu), and Sugandha Gargh (Shaleen). They together with Imran Khan (Jai Singh Rathore) and Genelia D'Souza (Aditi) form the core group that carries the film through.
The story begins when the four friends are on their way to the airport to fetch Jai and Aditi who are coming back from the US. They have with them a new member, Mala, Jiggy's girlfriend. Since the flight is delayed and Mala is confused as to why she came to the airport when she does not even know the two, the four decide to tell her a story. She agrees when told that this here is no ordinary love story. So along with Mala, director Abbas Tyrewala begins telling us the story of Jai and Aditi, two inseparable friends all through their college life and whom everyone thinks are serious about each other. When Aditi's parents broach the topic of marriage to Jai, everyone is in shock, because their friendship is truly platonic. Or is it?
Now for the performances. First Aamir Khan's nephew, Imran Khan. The boy stands tall, literally. He carries off the role with aplomb. As a Rathore who hates violence and as someone who is trying to find his footing in life, especially love, he brings to the fore every emotion one goes through at that age. Not overtly muscular, no great dancing steps, no stylish stubble to flaunt... just plain, simple 'boy next door' 'confused in love idiot' that he plays to the 'T'. Genelia had a tailor-made role to bite her teeth into. Here is a role any actor would want to grab with both hands, but she falls short.
Paresh Rawal (Inspector Wagmahare), Rajat Kapoor and Kitu Gidwani as Manjari's parents, Jayant Kriplani and Anuradha Patel (Aditi's parents), Ratna Pathak (Jai's mother) and Prateik Babbar (Amit) stand out in their small roles. Even Naseeruddin Shah, Jai's dead father has his moments from the 'frame' where his image is hung! Rawal is excellent, Sohail and Arbaaz as the cowboys who ride on horseback in the city are hilarious. Rajat and Kitu as the 'always fighting' couple give a telling performance while Jayant and Anuradha express well what every teenager's parents go through. Manjari holds her own in her few scenes as someone who is fiercely in love with her parents. Nirav as the Gujju lad is awesome, so is Sugandha. She has a striking screen presence and is a spontaneous actress. Prateik is a revelation. It shows that acting is indeed in the genes.
It's a complete love story with a few 'familiar' scenes. Overall, the approach is new. It hooks you from the first scene, until the last.
Another fruitful outing for Aamir Khan. This man certainly knows what he is doing.