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‘JANNAT’ IS NOWHERE CLOSE TO ‘NAAM’ May 18, 2008

Posted by lollywoodhungama in Uncategorized.
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I start my review this time with a quote from our dear friend Mahesh Bhatt who is a highly acclaimed filmmaker and an idol in the film industry. In a recent interview he says, “I think ‘Jannat’ is Emraan’s coming-of-age movie. It would do for Emraan what my ‘Naam’ did for Sanjay Dutt. He is a vulnerable abominable risk-taker who falls in love with a woman who has a totally contrary value-system.” I know that this statement comes from a filmmaker who has to his credit ‘Saaransh’, ‘Arth’, ‘Naam’, ‘Sadak’, ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’, ‘Aashiqui’ and ‘Kabzaa’ to name a few classics. And, if he uses these films to promote his banner in present day’s time, it’s no harm. But it pains his fans when he places his films at par with below standard films of his current protégés. First, he speaks about his daughter Pooja who directed ‘Dhokha’.

He says that it would remind today’s cinema viewers about his films. Now, he uses a particular film of his career as director to promote ‘Jannat’. He has staked his name in both films; we doubt if a single bookie would quit his job after seeing death of Arjun Dixit in the movie. On the contrary, many young had returned to their parents after watching ‘Naam’, particularly after listening to the song – ‘Chitthi aayi hai..’ by Pankaj Udhas. Watching ‘Naam’ is an altogether different experience from watching ‘Jannat’. I watched ‘Naam’ in a Bandra theater with my hard earned money and enjoyed spending it on a film that was so apt for the youth. Now, I have watched ‘Jannat’ in an Andheri Multiplex with a group of people who have the feeling of deciding the fate of a film! While watching ‘Naam’, I had seen the people throwing coins on screen, clapping here and there and sobbing too, but in the case of ‘Jannat’, even a free ticket looked like a burden!

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‘Jannat’ is a story gone into execution but without thought. When Pakistan Cricket Team coach Bob Woolmer died in suspicious circumstances, Mahesh Bhatt came up with an idea to make a film. He always declares his decision aloud as soon as it ignites his mind. This is to recall that he announced to make a film on suicide bomber when London Bomb Blast occurred, to launch his son Rahul; then a film with Shoaib Akthar , and later on Benazir following her assassination. An idea about making a movie is a very good thing, but to get so excited as to make a film on it is a sort of trap in which many filmmakers have already fallen.

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Many of them may have succeeded, but only after hiring well qualified staff for it. However, Mahesh Bhatt handed over the responsibility of writing the story and screenplay to his nephew Vishesh, son of Mukesh Bhatt, whose name goes behind this banner. Vishesh finds a buddy in Mohit Suri’s assistant Kunal Deshmukh and both of them give birth to a child called ‘Jannat’, but it’s a product of gay marriage (not literally, though!). To give birth to a healthy child there is the need for a father and a mother, because only a mother knows how it pains to carry a baby for nine months in her womb and how to take care of it, later. Kunal and Vishesh enjoy playing with the idea of making a film on match fixing; but forget to remember a thing called passion for the job and a foreplay that is must for any climax!

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‘Jannat’ is the story of a small time gambler Arjun Dixit (Emraan Hashmi) who has a ‘sixth sense’ to foretell happenings of a cricket match. He starts betting on cricket to repay his old debt and to buy luxuries of life to impress his girlfriend Zoya (Sonal Chauhan) and thus turns a bookie. More he earns more greedy he becomes and in the end lands up in a match-fixing racket run by an underworld don (Javed Sheikh) who operates it from the other corner of the earth. Chasing the bad guy Arjun is a police officer (Sameer Koachar). He spells the beans in front of Zoya and she gets Arjun arrested. But, with the Cricket World Cup around the underworld people don’t let Arjun be in police custody.

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His release is arranged; he is offered Jannat (a palace like bungalow and a huge bank balance) and asked to start match fixing again. Arjun is trapped between his love for Zoya and greed to become rich. He chooses the later and faces the wrath of his pregnant girlfriend. The Bob Woolmer episode is re-constructed and Arjun is framed in the murder of a cricket coach. Things go out of control for both – Zoya and Arjun – and eventually he is killed in a police encounter. Alas, neither a good nor an adequately exciting screenplay for a debutant director.

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Emraan Hashmi who has been looking for a hit for years, loses another opportunity to strike back and get into the limelight. He is given such a timid role that he establishes himself as a loser right from the first scene, a definition that does not go well with the typical Hindi film fans. He tries to impress his girlfriend in a way that is not acceptable to the rowdies of the road even. He fakes lie after lie and is always caught red handed by his girlfriend. Emraan does play his part well though he gets a very weak character. First, he intends to be grey, then changes into a good human being and ends up portraying a character that has no face of his own ( not a well written one). On the other hand, Sonal, who makes her debut with this film, tries to look like a next-door girl.

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Now, who will like to watch such a girl. A heroine in a film needs to be diva, and not just a passable girl. So, this isn’t an ideal launch vehicle for debutant . Even supporting artists fail to fill in the gap. Sammer Kocher playing the police inspector hams a lot. Every time he says the word ‘fantastic’ he tries to emulate Amjad Khan in ‘Qurbaani’ but fails to impress the audience. The only good acting comes from Pakistani actor Javed Shiekh who plays the underworld don. Director Kunal Deshmukh succeeds in getting some support from his technical team. Cinematography by Manoj Soni is excellent; he not only uses nice camera angles but also captures the essence of foreign locales very well. Pritam once again comes out with some peppy numbers. ‘Zara si dil mein jagah de’ is one of the best from the lot. On the whole, ‘Jannat’ is a weak film and doesn’t promise a good prospect at box office for its makers. Alas, Maheshji, this is nowhere close to your film ‘Naam’.

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