‘Jaane Jaan’, which Sujoy Ghosh both directed and co-wrote, will debut on Netflix on September 21. In the lead roles are Kareena Kapoor, Vijay Varma, and Jaideep Ahlawat.
Everyone will have won half the battle if they can rely on a strong screenplay. Then all that remains is to choose the appropriate actors. Both of these requirements were successfully accomplished in the case of “Jaane Jaan” by author and director Sujoy Ghosh. Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor made her digital acting debut in the suspenseful Netflix series, and she was able to keep up with both the story’s pacing and that of her equally brilliant co-stars Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma.
However, we are moving too quickly.
Jaideep Ahlawat’s first “dream” in “Jaane Jaan” is unmistakably grim. On the top left of the screen, there is a brief warning that appears as soon as the movie starts, warning you that it contains references to drug use, suicide, and domestic violence. This warning, together with the nightmare of Jaideep’s character, quickly paints a clear image of what you are getting into. This is a Sujoy Ghosh film, after all.
For those who are unaware, “Jaane Jaan” is an authorized version of Keigo Higashino’s bestselling novel “The Devotion of Suspect X” from Japan. A well-received book that has been translated numerous times into different languages and has inspired films in South Korea, China, Japan, and even Tamil (‘Kolaigaran’).
The movie starring Kareena is the fifth authorized version of the same story. The question is, how many times can you recount the same tale before it becomes monotonous or cliche?
Kareena portrays Maya/Sonia D’souza, who has been eluding her troubled past for more than ten years until Saurabh Sachdeva’s character eventually catches up with her. Vijay Varma plays the knowledgeable Inspector Karan Anand, who has been tasked with a “missing person” case, while Jaideep’s Naren, also known as “Teacher,” is Maya, Kareena’s quiet but enigmatic neighbor.
They all wind up at Kalimpong, West Bengal. There, all of their destinies converge, creating a (mostly) intricate murder mystery. But in case you were wondering, this is not a mystery. You know who the villain is after the first 15 to 20 minutes of the movie, but how that ‘culprit’ gets away from the law is what drives the plot.
In “Jaane Jaan,” Vijay the actor displays a new side as he effortlessly portrays the confident but endearing Karan. Of course, he has a lot of acting techniques under his sleeve. As the shy and modest teacher, Jaideep is subtly meek and has a love for mathematics. Kareena is an excellent choice for the attractive, graceful Sonia who can be both resilient and strong. ‘Jaane Jaan’ sings like Kareena’s Maya at the karaoke bar — with confidence and charisma — when this talented group of actors share screen time with one another.
Nearly flawless cinematography was created by Avik Mukhopadhyay. The film’s color scheme is chosen in such a way that the finished result manages to be both beautiful and suspenseful in equal measure, showcasing the mystery and beauty of Kalimpong and giving it its unique personality. Sachin-Jigar’s music and Shor Police’s background score enhance the action on screen. The editing is my main grievance. ‘Jaane Jaan’ might have been trimmed by at least 15 to 20 minutes to keep things flowing. Perhaps next time.