By Subhash K. Jha
Film: “Junooniyat”; Director: Vivek Agnihotri; Cast: Pulkit Samrat and Yami Gautam; Rating: * ½
Now get this. “Junooniyat” is directed by Vivek Agnihotri whose last film was the political backfire “Buddha In A Traffic Jam”. And this film which could be re-christened “Screenplay In A Traffic Jam” stars Pulkit Samrat with Yami Gautam who were last seen as a couple three months ago in “Sanam Re”.
Temptation, as they say, comes in many forms.
If you still find the prospect of seeing “Junooniyat” tempting, then go right ahead. You only have yourself to blame for what lies in store. If Mills & Boon were a Bollywood franchise, “Junooniyat” could be the masthead for the sections devoted to morons. The lovelorn tale is one stretched out he-loves-me-she-loves-me-not yarn fest based on absurd coincidences that make no sense in this era of instant communication when every misunderstanding between lovers can be cleared with just one click of a phone.
So sample this: The annoyingly screechy and energetic Suhani (Yami Gautam playing a dumbed-down version of Kareena in “Jab We Met”) loses the love of her life because he, the love of Suhani’s life, is Jahaan, an Army man. Suhani’s annoyingly ‘Punjabi’ family (think Geet, think “Jab We Met”) has lost many men to the Army, so she can’t marry a jawaan.
Instead of arguing with her family that so many people die in road accidents and it doesn’t mean you don’t marry a man who drives a car, Suhani runs to the love of her life and, in a stiffly staged railway station sequence, says, “Choose between me and the Army.”
Jahaan chooses wisely. Sometime later, she runs back to Kashmir to Jahaan, sees him with another woman and presumes he is engaged elsewhere.
She could have asked at least once. But no. This is cinema from the 1990s when communication meant death for the screenplay. Littered with the most ludicrous twists and turns that lead to an absolutely sloppy schmaltzy and predictable finale, “Junooniyat” has got to be the most fatuous romantic saga.
It just makes you grateful for breakups conducted on Whatsapp.
While Yami Gautam’s bubbly act gets on your nerves, Pulkit Samrat is not bad. His attempt to lend gravitas to a role that’s written with as much fastidiousness as graffiti on toilet wall, is commendable.
Poor Samrat has to struggle against lines like, “Is he a tall Army man?” (uttered amidst giggles by poor Hrishita Bhatt playing Yami’s cousin-friend) when in fact the actor is not quite Amitabh Bachchan in height.
Thriving purely on corny lines and brainless situations, the one bright spot in “Junooniyat” is Attar Singh Saini’s camerawork which captures the pristine snowpeaks of Kashmir with a care that is not evident in any other component that constitutes this excruciatingly trite and indifferent love story.