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T-Series, Emmay Entertainment and Electric Apples Entertainment’s Indoo Ki Jawani (UA) is a comedy about a girl who is naive when it comes to matters of sex.
Indoo (Kiara Advani) wants to become an airhostess. She lives in Ghaziabad with her parents (Rajesh Jais and Alka Kaushal) and younger brother, Bunty (Harsh Sharma). She has a boyfriend, Satish (Raghav Raj Kakkar) who only wants to get physical with her. But Indoo is hesitant and believes that sex is alright after marriage only. The relationship, which is already not very stable, is snapped. Indoo’s friend, Sonal (Mallika Dua), is worldly wise and keeps updating her about sex topics. After Indoo’s break-up with Satish, Sonal asks her to hook up with a guy on a dating app, and promptly have sex with him so that the question of a break-up would not arise. Indoo hooks up with Samar (Aditya Seal) who turns out to be Pakistani. She learns of his nationality after she invites him home for a sexual encounter. She fears that he may be the Pakistani terrorist who had entered Ghaziabad. What happens thereafter forms the crux of the comedy drama.
Abir Sengupta has penned a story which is thin. Although the storyline seems interesting, it loses steam after a while because it keeps meandering here and there as there isn’t much to convey. Abir Sengupta’s screenplay is at least tolerable in the first half but it deteriorates so much post-interval that it gets on the audience’s nerves. Some of the scenes written to further the drama are so ridiculous that the viewers would not accept them even in a mindless comedy that the film is. Firstly, Sonal having to give Indoo tips on matters of sex in today’s times looks far-fetched after a while. After all, Indoo is not from some village, and what’s more, she is actually aiming to be an airhostess! At one point, when Indoo asks Sonal if it would be right to have sex before marriage, Sonal tells her something to the effect that that was nothing compared to what Indoo’s ex-boyfriend, Satish, had done with her. Really?! What does Satish’s action have to do with Indoo’s predicament about pre-marital sex? Again, while sometimes asking Samar to get out of her house and sometimes asking him to stay back, Indoo, at one point, justifies her silly action by telling him that in India, it is okay if a person is killed but he can’t let his reputation be tarnished! Really? Whoever said so?
The India-Pakistan banter after interval is kiddish and irritating to the core. Abir Sengupta, perhaps, thought that Pakistan-bashing would be loved by the Indian audience but he would do well to know that Pakistan-bashing just for the heck of it doesn’t work with the Indian audience. Also, the comedy in the second half is so feeble that except for a few places, the viewers don’t even feel like smiling, leave alone laughing. The reference to Bhagat Singh in such a ludicrous drama looks completely out of place, and would evoke scorn instead of applause. The jagraata track looks straight out of a film of the 1980s. The urination track is another one which gets on people’s nerves. All in all, the screenplay after interval is reprehensible. Abir Sengupta’s dialogues are definitely very good but their impact is greatly diluted because of the very weak screenplay.
Kiara Advani does very well in the first half. But her performance after interval will be found to be irritating. This is what is meant by stars not being able to rise above the script. The drama post-interval is so implausible that the very Kiara Advani, whom the audience will find impressive in the first half, will get on people’s nerves after interval. This is what a poor script can do to an actor. Aditya Seal does well as Samar but since he does not have a hero’s image, he would not appeal as the leading man. Both, Kiara and Aditya, have danced very gracefully. Mallika Dua evokes laughter with her fine comedy performance. Shivam Kakar is first-rate in the role of Kittu. Raghav Raj Kakkar is quite good as Indoo’s ex-boyfriend, Satish. Iqbal Khan leaves a mark as senior cop Avinash Nigam. Jitendra Rajput is okay as the terrorist. Rajesh Jais has his moments as Indoo’s father. Alka Kaushal makes her presence felt as Indoo’s mother. Harsh Sharma is effective as Indoo’s brother, Bunty. Rakesh Bedi, Rajendra Sethi and Chittaranjan Tripathi are lovely as Indoo’s lustful uncles. Chittaranjan Tripathi, especially, is wonderful. Akshay Suri and Krishna Sharma lend able support as Kittu’s friends. Abhishek Mistry stands his own as Uday. Ashok Lal (as the autorickshaw driver who gives Indoo a piece of his mind) and Lisha Bajaj (as Indoo’s friend, Alka) deserve special mention. Others do as desired.
Abir Sengupta’s direction is not upto the mark. Although there are comic incidents, they just don’t add up. The audience often gets the feeling of watching a television serial — and that’s not a very nice thing. Music (Rochak Kohli, Mika Singh and Badshah) is good. The ‘Heelein toot gayi’ song, ‘Hasina pagal deewani’ and ‘Dil tera’ songs are very fast-paced dance numbers. Lyrics (Shabbir Ahmed, Gurpreet Saini, Gautam G. Sharma and Badshah) are in synch with the mood of the film. Song picturisations (by Adil Shaikh and Kruti Mahesh) are eye-filling. Neel Adhikari’s background music is very nice. A. Vasanth’s cinematography is of a fine standard. Amin Khatib’s action scenes are functional. Production designing (by Priya Suhas) and art direction (by Vijay Dhondiram Ghodke) are of a good standard. Ajay Sharma’s editing is alright.
On the whole, Indoo Ki Jawani is a dull fare because of the slow, boring and irritating second half. It will not find favour with any class of audience — neither the jawan audience nor the old nor even the young at heart. It will almost face rejection at the ticket windows.
Released on 11-12-’20 at Inox (daily 9 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay thru AA Films. Publicity: fair, but poor in cinemas. Opening: dull. …..Also released all oer. Opening was below the mark almost everywhere, more so because of the fear of the coronavirus.