Decoding how to make “Yeh Jawani (hai) Deewani”
This article is a weird mix of a wannabe Planners approach to watching movie – be prepared for some clustering of the “TG” basis different elements.
People my age can be easily divided into 2 segments
People who enjoy Bollywood flicks and people who don’t.
I very proudly belong to the former and urge all others who belong to the clan to read this.
Statutory Warning: Since this comes from a highly involved Bollywood buff, certain logical elements have been conveniently ignored (It’s only fair to judge the films basis how they are made). Please go ahead and read keeping the Bollywood lens on!
Let’s start with some hard-hitting facts. From the people who like Bollywood flicks, there are many (MANY) who are obsessively star struck. These people watch films for the stars it has. They more often than not do not even bother about the subject of the film and spend a good fortune on watching films which is a solid explanation for the humungous box office collections the films boasts of.
I like to believe I belong to the opposite of these people, who watch Bollywood films for the more real stuff with a hint of drama, wit, sometimes an interesting subject, the performers. The overarching thought though is definitely to entertain oneself and yes of course to entertain oneself. But not through the stars for sure.
The film I start my experiment with is Ayan Mukherji’s second outing as a director “Yeh Jawani hai Deewani”
When I watched the trailers of this film, I was sure the star struck fanatics will definitely flock the theatres for the casting coup Ayan Mukherji had managed by getting Ranbir Kapoor & Deepika Padukone to act together, not to forget the trailer ending with Deepika sobbing ‘Mujhe tumse pyar ho jaega, phir se’. The opening weekend figures were already alarming so half the battle was won then and there. I pushed my plan to watch the film to the 3rd week from its release (still contemplating whether should I watch it in the theatre). And even when I did watch it, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Someone who made Wake up Sid, made this! Why? Is the Box Office lure beyond your innate sensibilities? I did like the film in bits and parts but it wasn’t anywhere close to my favourites.
But my perspective began to change when I happened to watch this movie for the 5th time; it was slowly growing on me. This film was not about one particular characters life story, like Wake up Sid was, it was every character’s story. And looking at each one closely (each time I watched the film) made me realize how deep the film really was. Though not at par with Siddy, Bunny did manage to shake our heads.
Here’s my take of each one:
Bunny – Kabir Thapar (Ranbir Kapoor)
A boy from a modest background with big dreams!
Simple things like working as an Intern to fetch himself money for the trip he’s been longing for – go on to set his seriousness towards his dream. He has a fancy nick name which sets him apart from his middle class name-values. His equation with his dad which is like a friend and step-mom only go on to fuel his desire to follow his heart. He doesn’t want to hurt his dad, even if it means giving up on his dream. Such was the balance he wished to keep between his life and his dad’s expectation.
He lives for his friends – can go to any extent to make sure they do well, his offering monetary assistance to Avi time and again. But has a lot in his mind which he doesn’t express with his close buds also – something most of us go through, like us he also finds that one person with whom he can say all that he has in mind… A friend who pushes the basic rules of friendship, someone who can go that extra mile, hear you out without asking why.
His equation with Avi and Aditi was fun; they are always there for each other and very possessive about each other. As the distance increases, the bond loosens but not the love and care. He is averse of relationships, believes they tie you down. As he puts it, ‘Dal chawal for 50 yrs till u die.’ He’s a loner on the inside who wants no strings attached. And hence is ignorant of the fact the bond he shares with Naina is special and what she feels. ‘Tu sahi nahi hai, bas mujhse bohot alag hai’ aptly summarizes their equation.
Like most situations in real life too, the realization seeps in when a third person enters and his possessiveness takes over. The fact that he has to choose between his dream job and the girl he loves is a fantastic capture of every relationship’s dilemma. The end couldn’t have been better when he’s not giving up on his dream, but wishes to live his dream with the girl he loves. As cheesy as it may sound, but this is for the Bunny within each of us.
‘Mai bhagna chahta hu, girna bhi chahta hu, bas rukna nahi chahta’
Naina Talwar (Deepika Padukone)
Naina is a typical first bencher from school for who rules, ideals and therefore studies are the only important things. With not many friends, there’s no excitement in her life and studying medicine only adds to the monotony. But truly she’s someone who is spirited, competitive and adventurous – only that all of this is unexplored and not expected of her.
The fact that she heads to a trip impulsively all on her own just adds quirkiness to her character. She knows she’s a misfit and is very conscious of it; she is carrying her books at the trip. Though she wants to belong, she’s apprehensive of what people think of her and not abiding by her set of ‘life rules’ is a big deal! She finds support from Bunny who makes her comfortable with herself. In fact he reassures her it’s more difficult being the way she is – and the rest are mediocre.
She’s a smart girl who is very observant of everyone around her – be it Bunny, the Chiclets or Aditi’s feelings for Avi. Her love for challenges and the adventurous streak slips in with the fight at the bazar and is even more evident when she sets to trek the topmost point. The monologue there actually adds depth to her character showing how she will explore and be herself if she’s comfortable with you.
Within the course of the trip, she grows as a person and is comfortable in her own skin. The fact that she doesn’t confess her love for Bunny on learning his Chicago plans, gives a feeling that most of us have gone through at some or the other point – the feeling of letting go someone you love without even that person knowing (Oh the teens!). But of course over time you realize that this can be done only if you are strong and really love that person. She let go of Bunny because she knew his dream is important for him!
Naina’s competitiveness comes through every argument she has with Bunny – be it at the trek where she wants to be first, the Sangeet performance or the Jugal bandi while site seeing. She thoroughly believes in the values she has and will not give up or give in to something she doesn’t believe in.
While emotionally she’s vulnerable – spending time with Bunny just proves that her feelings never really died down.
Adi – Aditi (Kalki Koechlin)
Aditi is that one friend we all have who is a total tomboy so much so that she’s always included with the guys. But deep inside she is a girl, and a very sensitive one at that. Her tomboy, care-a-damn attitude is a camouflage for her feelings which do not suit her image.
She’s possessive about her friends – the fight that she takes up at the bazar and the jealous encounters with Avi and the chicklets are instances. She believes if they’re together they can fight anything. Her sensitive side is at display with her reaction to Bunny’s Chicago trip. She’s practical but only for the outer world. She’s someone who genuinely gels with people who she likes. From the first meeting with Naina at the super-bazar to the trip and thereon shows how she understands that Naina is a different person but still goes on to become a best friend.
In her mind, she’s in a relationship with her best friend Avi. Things like picking her up for the trip, getting his favourite sandwiches are her expressions of love. But this is only in her world. Avi doesn’t seem to even understand it, forget reciprocating it.
Her maturity is at clear display when she transforms from the boyish Adi to the svelte Aditi with long tresses. From someone who responds with an ‘obvio’ on being asked about love marriage to someone who actually happily settles for an arranged marriage with someone who is exactly opposite of her, this is one transformation which is definite in each of our lifetimes.
You ultimately understand Aditi clearly when she tells Bunny how Taran is perfect for her, how she’s happy with him, herself with him. A first of sorts confrontation about Avi to Bunny, only substantiates their friendship as strong and Aditi as someone who has genuinely grown as a person.
Avi – (Aditya Roy Kapoor)
He’s a ‘charsi’ as we call them in Bombay. From betting, daaru and girls he can’t get enough of life with only friendship being above and within all these. He’s extremely aware of his habits and ‘khuddaar’ in many ways – he won’t take money from Bunny – because it’s his hard earned money. And he’s a man! There’s a subtle man to man competition that’s between Bunny and him. Both being the leaders of each group for the trek or he wanting to apply for the Chicago scholarship because Bunny had.
He loves his friends – they’re his world. He wants to move in with Bunny once they finish college and live all his fantasies ‘like the TV series FRIENDS’. The trio is quite his lifeline in many ways as he always falls back on them. But in Aditi’s case, he fails to realize her feelings because friendship is all that he can see.
Even 8 years later, his love for alcohol, betting and cards is at clear display with him gulping down alcohol almost in every frame of the wedding sequence, his bill being sky rocket and of course the cards and poker. His addiction leads to his business also not working out well. What also stays is his love for his friends which for Aditi is displayed by constantly warning her that getting married is a wrong decision and with Bunny through the outrage for him not being in touch over the years. He is emotionally challenged with a not-so-good equation with his father also. But he’s a boy at heart who loves bunny. Though on the face of it, he shows disinterest in bunny’s work. He’s closely followed his work and remembers each episode. Avi is like most guys who don’t know how to express.
However broke he might be, his khuddari is evident as he shuns Bunny’s offer for money to run his Bar.
This is what ‘Yeh Jawani hai Deewani’ taught me that you need to make your Jawani a little Deewani to actually live those moments. Bunny lived his dream and gave it up for his love, Naina came out of her shell, Adi transformed herself and learnt to be happy and Avi had the guts to shut his Bar down only for his khuddari, and of course that alchohol is good J
Not to forget the amazing songs which encompass the whole meaning quite truthfully.
Hoping I can apply atleast some of these learnings in my life to enjoy my bachi-kuchi jawani 😉