Jia Aur Jia Movie Review: An ode to female friendships going out of tune at places
JiaBollywood has come up with a number of movies celebrating women friendships, sample Dor, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Queen and many more. When the trailer of the film was out, movie buffs were expecting another magical tale revolving around girl friendships, but did it succeed to cast its spell? The answer is unfortunately no. The age-old recipe of celebrating friendship on silverscreen didn’t work well. But what went wrong with Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chaddha’s Jia aur Jia?
Jia Aur Jia Plot
Two young women with almost paradoxical personalities come together when they become partners in a trip to Sweden. Jia (Kalki) is full of life, happy-go-lucky kind of women, who knows how to be happy, come what may. Jia (Chaddha) is a melancholic brooder, who’s hiding the secret of her messed-up past. Lacks of funds bring them under one roof but life had something else in store for Jia and Jia. While Jia (Kalki) enjoys her life to the fullest, Jia (Chaddha) intends to die a unnoticeable death. They embark on a journey which will change their lives forever.
Jia Aur Jia Movie Review
The film could’ve been a lot better, citing the age-old recipe of women friendships. Looking back at the filmography of Indian cinema, Jia Aur Jia had no fresh premise. We’ve been witness to a number of Indian movies which had either celebrated girl to girl friendships or have narrated the sob story of a dying man/woman. Jia Aur Jia had both, but unfortunately nothing new. Despite the fact that the theme was dragged along in Indian cinema way too much, still, people find it attractive enough. Tales of friendship never grow old. If films like Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara are recreated on silverscreen, they’re expected to create the same magic all over again. But this didn’t happen with Jia Aur Jia and we have an apt explanation to this.
The movie, right from the beginning promises a great adventure, where two young women having nothing in common but the name, embarks on a journey to Sweden only to find themselves never the same again. One of the two Jia’s has her rite of passage that elucidates the meaning of life. This sounds engaging, but it isn’t as appealing concept to see on silhouette as it sounds.
If you’re a die-hard movie buff or have thrown yourself into the guilty pleasure of binge-watching Indian classics, then Jia Aur Jia will bring a déjà vu with an amalgamation of a number of Bollywood flicks. When Jia meets Jia on the airport, it had innuendos of Rani meeting Vijay in Vikas Bahl’s Queen. Rani being a coy typical Indian woman initially finds it hard to cope up with Vijay’s flamboyant lifestyle. Chaddha plays the demure Rani while Kalki is the happy-go-lucky Vijay in Jia Aur Jia.
Richa's realization of Kalki's terminal illness throws me back to 1971’s Anand where Rajesh Khanna plays a devil-may-care young man, counting his breaths every day. He inspires his doctor, Amitabh Bachchan to write a book on his full-of-life attitude. Although Jia didn’t write a book dying Jia’s life, Kalki’s character seems to be heavily inspired by Anand.
Kalki Koechlin overshadows Richa Chaddha in the film, with her easy-going acting. But Richa Chaddha seemed to be out of pace in the film. Arslan Goni, who made his Bollywood debut with the flick, was comfortable in the shoes of an Indian-origin Swedish guy Vasu. But the haphazard script was not helping; it wasn’t leading the film anywhere. The scriptwriter was confused what to do with the subject. It goes from baseless to absurd in a jiffy to point where audience is forced to think ‘Is this film for real?’
Another illogical fact that Jia Aur Jia showed way too many times in the film was that Jia (Richa Chaddha) tries to kill herself just so she can donate her ‘liver’ to Jia (Kalki). As far as I’ve known, a living person can donate a liver. A living person can donate a portion of a liver, if he wants to. It doesn’t require the donor to be dead, contrary to what has been shown in the film. I was about to overlook this fact when Kalki leaves behind a videotape for her friend Jia. In the video, she says she can’t wait for a person to die just so she can live. Again I would repeat myself, a liver donor is not required to be dead!
To sum up, Jia Aur Jia is a missed opportunity. Havermeyer could have created a magic on silverscreen with this hot topic, had he been more pragmatic and at least a bit rational in the script. It’s true that life is full of commotion and dramas, but we can’t stand this level of clumsiness in a film.
Watch this film if you don't care for logic, gumption or headache!
Jia Aur Jia Movie Review
Jia Aur Jia Trailer
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