When 'Niram' was released in 1998, critics tend to wite it off as a "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" rip off. But a decade later, in 2008 'Jaane Tu.." came in Hindi, which was literally a rip off of Niram and this time, critics lauded it because it was an Aamir Khan Production. I just saw "Jaane Tu.." and through out the movie I had a sense of deja-vu with every scene reminding of "Niram", despite the fact that I sat to watch it without any preconceived notions. Funny part is that Genelia D'Souza, the leading lady of "Jaane Tu" made her Bollywood debut in 2003 with a movie called "Tujhe Meri Kasam" which ironically was an official remake of "Niram" but was a box-office dud. After seeing "Jaane Tu.." my heart started longing for "Niram" so much that I might end up buying one more copy of its VCD. I can bet that "Niram" is thousand times better than "Jaane Tu..". I had already wrote about "Niram" elaborately in my old post, so let me not waste time in reviewing it. What in "Jaane tu" & "Niram" worked for me and what not?....

Jaane Tu..

The story of both the movies goes like this "The lead players - say Hero and Heroine are very close friends that often people mistake them for lovers. They resent being thought so and decide to find out suitable pair for each other. During the process one of them realise that he/she is in love with other person and decide to go with the flow as the other one might hate for being in love. Hero's girlfriend realises that there is love between these boy and the girl and makes it explicit to other. Meanwhile, unable to bear the seperation, hero / heroine decides to leave the city and the movie ends up in the transportation junction atlast.

{mosimage}I could list a lot of scenes where there were similarities. There are mere gender reversals in "Jaane Tu". Example - in "Jaane Tu.." it is the heroine who realises the love first and ends up yearning whereas in malayalam "Niram" hero does that. The scenes like the girl friend of the hero being from parents with a broken marriage and she playing a major role in the hero & heroine realising their love for each other, the cinema hall scene, heroine leaving abroad to heal the pain of seperation and the climax ending in the airport (railway station in malayalam)... But the rest of the scenes were cleverly camaflounged that it ends up looking like original. Still we should credit for the rewriting of the scenes with an urban touch. Also the performances from the lead players were bit underplayed and realistic when compared with the Bollywood standards.

Another way "Jaane Tu" differs from "Niram" is not only in its sophisticated upper class ambience, but it also takes into a bit more detailed consideration of factors that makes the lead players realises the true love that lies behind their friendship in the form of heroine's brother. Unfortunately it falters and ends up just like an extra insertion. Also that "Jaane Tu.." to be too young and hip, modern that people with small town sensibilities like me feel it alien.

However "Jaane Tu" is salvaged by rich production values and an ample support from AR Rahman in the form of beautiful melodies. Seriously I don't have much to say about "Jaane Tu.." as I find "Niram" very much better than it. Let me list down why I am biased towards "Niram"

Why Niram is better

First and foremost reason why it clicked was mainly because of its apt star cast. Kunchacko Boban and Shalini were such a lovely couple on screen that we had every reason to believe that they are almost their reel life characters Eby Zackariah and Sona Jacob in real. Kunchacko Boban had the vulnerability that the role required whereas Shalini, beneath her feminie presence, had enough mischief in her performance. Joemol, who played the role of Nidhi falling in love with Eby and not reciprocated, walked away with our sympathies whereas Boban Alamoodan as Shalini's fiancee with a loveable family - we couldn't feel sorry for this guy.

Subtlety - Niram had so subtle nuances in depicting the depth of the friendship, with the best moment as per me is the scene Shalini looks at the Kunchacko Boban's approval when she picks the mic to join Boban Alamoodan briefly on stage and the stadium scene where she gets bugged with Kunchacko's basket ball practising. But such fine expressions were missing in the camrederie between Imran Khan and Genelia D'Souza. When Shalini asks Kunchacko Boban why he hadn't fallen in love with her so that they can never be seperated, as audience we had that exhilirating feeling and in "Jaane Tu" the last 30 minutes were unnecessarily streched that I literally saw it by fast forwarding.

{mosimage}Another thing is that the characterisations of the lead players were very real. Nobody was made to be bad / whining so that their losses are justified. Infact we can blame the roles of Kunchacko Boban and Shalini for their indecisiveness that ended up hurting two souls - Hero's girlfriend and heroine's fiancee. I loved the characters as they delved into the grey areas of human psyche. For me "Jaane Tu.." failed in this aspect. The Imraan Khan's girlfriend (played superbly by debutante Manjari Phadnis) is a cliched loser and Genelia's fiancee was made to be a rude, MCP (male chauvinistic pig) that she had a socially acceptable reason to reciprocate the love of Imraan Khan. Infact I was cursing the character of Sona Jacob for her inability to understand the love of Eby.

Next comes the supporting characters. In "Niram" the bonding between the families were beautifully shown that we felt as if a part of them. This was better discussed in the jewellery scene as well as towards the climax where Shalini's father, Lalu Alex, asks Kunchacko Boban to make up the vaccum created by his daughter's departure. But "Jaane Tu" was entirely the youngster's affairs and the elders were conveniently kept off in the important instances. However the bonding between Imran Khan and his mother was warm despite falling into the cliched lines of a Bollywood mother.

And the final reason could be that I was in my early 20's when "Niram" was released and I am in my early 30's when I saw "Jaane Tu.." so the sensibilities mught have gone an underchange.

{oshits} readers have read this blog comparing Niram and Jaane Tu...

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About myself
Author: MaheshwaranWebsite: https://www.maheshwaran.com
I am a SAP Consultant in my late 30s, residing in the happeing IT City - Bangalore. My interests vary from reading to travelling to handicrafts to photography. My latest interest is on Body building. May be this vivid interest keeps me going in my life without getting bored.