Count how many times Shraddha Kapoor says Ok Jaanu. That is the only point of interest in this unnecessary love story.
Time and again, Bollywood gives us that one film which wasn’t needed at all. And just like that, in January 2017, Ok Jaanu released. Directed by Shaad Ali of Bunty Aur Babli fame, the film can be best described as a love story nobody cares about. If you have watched this ‘masterpiece’, we pity you. And if you haven’t, we envy you. On the glorious occasion of Wahiyat Wednesday, let us take a look at why the film was just not ok. Or needed.
Ok Jaanu is a remake of the Tamil film Ok Kanmani (O Kadhal Kanmani). Directed by Mani Ratnam, the 2015 film stars Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen in the lead role and completes five years of release tomorrow. It was lauded for its refreshing vibe and the lead actors’ chemistry. However, the Bollywood remake fell flat on expectations and came across as unnecessary. The first question that comes to mind when we think of Ok Jaanu is what was the need of a remake just two years after the release of the original?
But then, Bollywood’s obsession with remakes isn’t new. Films like Bodyguard, Khatta Meetha, Force, Wanted and Kabir Singh didn’t really offer us much, but exist. And then, how can we forget the trend of rehashing and destroying cult-classic numbers. While Masakali 2.0 has been accused of destroying the original, the Humma Humma remake in Ok Jaanu didn’t do wonders either.
Coming to the story, the concept of live-in relationships was new for the Tamil audience in 2015. Hence, Ok Kanmani was a success as it focused on a topic that was considered to be a taboo. However, things are different when it comes to the Bollywood audience of 2017. We have had ample films where the concept of live-in relationships is explored. For example, Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta’s Salaam Namaste (2005), Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s Two States (2014), and Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra’s Shuddh Desi Romance (2013), to name a few.
Still, we could have tolerated Ok Jaanu if there was something to look forward to. The lead actors’ performances, maybe? But the film fails even there. For Instance, even when Tara (Shraddha Kapoor) talks about her estranged father, we hardly feel anything. Credit goes to Shraddha Kapoor here. Only if the actress could deliver that dialogue with a bit more intensity and change her expressions from time to time. And Aditya, well, we wish there was something more to cherish apart from the fact that he looked handsome throughout.
Coming to their chemistry, fans expected that the Aashiqui 2 on-screen lovers would be flawless together. But sparks couldn’t be seen on the silver screen. Not even with the overuse of the word ‘Jaanu’ and the forced ‘romantic’ moments.
In fact, there are ample times where we ask ourselves, what are we watching, and why?
There are various other elements that can certify Ok Jaanu to be just another typical Bollywood love story.
Time for a list:
- Girl and guy meeting at a wedding.
- Hero and heroine exploring the city on a bike.
- The lead characters forced to choose between career and love.
- A classic train scene where love blossoms.
- Rain. Rain. And more rain.
- A stalker boyfriend.
- Dialogues like “Doobne ke liye tumhari aankhein bohot hain.”
- A cult-classic song destroyed by the remake (Humma Humma in this case).
We could go on and on. But let’s just leave it at that. We don’t want to stretch this piece quite like the film was.
Another problem with Ok Jaanu is that it feels regressive at times. In the year 2017, you don’t expect the lead actress to say things like ‘Itni raat ko koi shareef ladki phone nahi karti kisi ladke ko’ or acting aloof as the guy pursues her. Women today are headstrong and don’t shy away when it comes to love. And it isn’t a big deal if a woman takes the first step in a relationship. But Tara is nothing like that. She initially acts pricey when Adi approaches her and often wonders ‘Ye jo hum kar rahe hain ye sahi hai na?’ Yep, roll your eyes. We don’t blame you.
An interesting fact is that both Ok Jaanu and Ok Kanmani are available on Amazon Prime. Between the two, save yourself the unnecessary headache and watch the original.