OK Jaanu Review: A lighthearted tale of romance with a refreshing take on modern relationships

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Ok Jaanu, Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, getting cozy, Shaad Ali

OK Jaanu is a romantic drama film directed by Shaad Ali whose previous assignments include films like Saathiya (2002) and Bunty Aur Babli (2005).OK Jaanu happens to be the official remake of Mani Ratnam's O KadhalKanmani—a Tamil film starring Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen. Shaad builds upon Mani Ratnam’s screenplay, A.R. Rahman’s music and Gulzar’s dialogues to weave a tale of modern romance about a young couple in a live-in relationship. Starring Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur and in the lead roles, OK Jaanu is a collaboration of Mani Ratnam’s Madras Talkies and Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. OK Jaanu costars Naseeruddin Shah, Leela Samson, and Kitu Gidwani. The film features a cameo appearance from renowned ad film director Prahlad Kakkar.     

OK Jaanu is essentially a Mani Ratnam film. Although, the film is directed by Shaad Ali, it is really Mani Ratnam’s vision that he is trying to present here. Shaad doesn’t take any liberties here. His goal is simple. All he wants to achieve is to remake O Kadhal Kanmani for a Hindi audience. And he certainly succeeds in his endeavor. For, OK Jaanu replicates the Mani Ratnam film to a tee. One can literally juxtapose the two films scene by scene. It may look like a cinch to replicate a film, but it is easier said than done, especially if it is a film by a master filmmaker like Mani Ratnam. There are few filmmakers who can think of competing with Mani Rantam when it comes to romance. By making films like Roja, Bombay, and Dil Se in the 1990s, he single-handedly revolutionized the way Indian films approached romance. Now, O Kadhal Kanmani is not a typical Mani Ratnam romance but it works because it brilliantly captures the difficulties and dilemmas that young couples experience in present times. And Shaad, to his credit, nearly replicates it. Of course, the provision of a much bigger budget wouldn’t have hurt.

Ok Jaanu, Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, kiss, Shaad Ali

OK Jaanu is set in Mumbai and revolves around a game designer named Adi and an architect named Tara who fall in love with each other but are not ready for a commitment. They are quite serious about their respective careers. While Adi wants to settle in the US, Tara wants to pursue a professional course in Paris. So they decide to make most of the time they have with them before their career paths take them away from each other. Since both fear commitment they take the option of a live-in relationship. It starts like a fairytale affair but sooner or later they much confront the reality. Will they choose love or career? OK Jaanu succeeds in asking pertinent questions about modern-day romance without, at least for the most part, adopting a serious tone. Here is an upbeat film about the notions of love and romance in modern times that reminds us about the importance of commitment. It also reminds us that life and career are like two sides of the same coin.

Shraddha Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Ok Jaanu

Overall, OK Jaanu is a lighthearted tale of romance that offers a refreshing take on modern relationships. Shaad, who started his career as an assistant director to Mani Rantam, succeeds in seamlessly translating the master filmmaker’s cinematic vision. OK Jaanu benefits from the solid performances of Shraddha and Aditya who succeed in rekindling their old magic. In terms of acting talents they may not be as gifted as Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen but they nonetheless get the job done. While Naseeruddin Shah is always a treat to watch, it is Leela Samson who steals the show here. The chemistry that Samson shares with Shah is in perfect contrast to what we get to see from Shraddha and Aditya and it is this striking contrast that helps propel the movie’s plot. In the end, we are at liberty to choose between the old institution of marriage and the new concept of live-in. Both have their pros and cons. It is for the couples to choose what’s best for them. OK Jaanu has its share of flaws but despite its weaknesses it not only entertains but also makes us think. The film is strictly meant for youngsters, for the older viewers may not be able to connect with it in the same way as younger audiences would.

P.S. Those of you who have already watched O Kadhal Kanmani can of course afford to give OK Jaanu a miss.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

Rating: 6.5/10



OK Jaanu Trailer (YouTube)

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