Jawani Diwane: A Youthful Joyride

Director: Manish Sharma
Year: 2006
Rating: 3.5

A number of Bollywood films of late are coming in at around the 2 hour mark – fairly short for a traditional Bollywood film. Whether this is for commercial reasons or simply because they have nothing to say is uncertain – but in cases such as this I don’t look gift horses in the mouth. Even with eight songs interspersed throughout, this still seemed to go on forever. There is a whole mysterious world of Bollywood B films that I have done my best to avoid but this is clearly one that I mistakenly stepped on. They are filled with B actors, middling scripts and TV production values. I am not exactly sure how this film crept into my DVD collection but I suspect it was in one of those continuous $5 sales that the stores in Queens are always in the middle of and I figured what the heck.

It also may be that Celina Jaitley was on the cover. I have come across numerous photos of her in the Bollywood movie magazines that I devour from time to time and in almost every occasion she is wearing a low cut outfit in which her breasts look ready to jump out to do a victory lap. I keep hoping. But I thought it might be interesting to see her and her breasts in motion as opposed to a still frame. They move well I must admit like well trained tango dancers. Like most B actresses these days in Bollywood, Celina doesn’t overwhelm with her acting ability – she basically takes up space – but it is a well rounded space with enough curves to make you want to take up geometry again. She also has these huge eyes that sadly make it difficult to focus solely on her cleavage.

Otherwise, there isn’t any reason whatsoever to watch this film unless under threat of death or dismemberment. The male lead Emraan Hashmi has the presence of a petulant poodle and a constant two-day stubble that makes you want to throw him in the shower. That two female characters in the film fall in love with him stretches one’s disbelief like silly putty. He plays Mann Kapoor an aspiring singer in Mumbai who is looking for a break. It seems that music producers only want to do remixes but he has his own original songs that he wants to make the world happy with. He spots his opportunity at a party when he comes across Radha (Hrishita Bhatt – who has a remarkable resemblance to Allyssa Milano), the spoiled daughter of a big music entrepreneur (Tiku Talsania). So he chases after her in hopes that by marrying her it will bring him a contract. And it nearly works.

After their engagement, he and his two buddies who act as a Greek chorus go to the lovely island of Goa, where apparently they only allow young people with perfect bodies to vacation. In an Ursula Andress moment he spots Roma coming out of the water in a bikini that could be doubled as a wash cloth. Bedazzled he ends up in bed with her after a few too many drinks and wakes up to find an admirer of hers sitting there – an underworld Don (Mahesh Manjrekar). But instead of beating Mann, he comes up with the ultimate punishment – he forces them to marry. Aghast at what this will do to his career, Mann pressures Roma to divorce him. She though is in love. I just didn’t care. He is a selfish twit and doesn’t deserve either woman. It all meanders on to a horribly banal ending that the scriptwriters must have held their noses as they wrote it. The music? I barely recall it? The film? I wish I could forget it? Celina? Her talent is clearly upfront but it’s nice seeing the sex bomb who jumps into bed on her first date turn out to be the good girl. Bollywood is definitely changing.