Jaanu review: Nostalgic
Jaanu is a tribute to unconditional love
By: Jalapathy Gudelli/Telugucinema.com
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 07 February 2020
Jaanu review: Nostalgic
C. Prem Kumar
harwanand, Samantha, Vennela Kishore, Sharanya Pradeep, Varsha Bollamma
In 2004, Ramchandra aka Ram (Sharwanand) and Janaki aka Jaanu (Samantha) study in the same school in Vizag and they like each other. When Jaanu hopes that Ram confesses his love, he moves to Hyderabad without informing her. She waits for him for many years....
Cut to the present...
While Ram remains a bachelor and becomes a passionate travelling photographer, Jaanu gets married and settles in Singapore.
15 years later, the duo attend their school reunion. Will the former school sweethearts overcome their emotions, and find out the real reason for parting ways?
A remake of 96, a 2018 Tamil movie that won rave reviews and garnered love from the movie buffs and common audiences alike, Sharwanand and Samantha starrer Jaanu is a tale of a nostalgia, rediscovering the past romance. C Premkumar who directed the Tamil movie also took the reins for this version.
Jaanu, like its story and its protagonists, has old-school charm. The film is about repressed emotions, unexpressed love.
Though the teenage romance was set in 2004 and the lovers unite in the present time, their idea of love is certainly old-fashioned, like pure love. They don’t even kiss. The hero is still “virgin”. Such innocence of love. Director C Premkumar has used a school reunion as the main point to narrate a nostalgic romantic drama. While the first half is a very familiar setup (period teenage romance) that we have seen in many films, the second half is what makes different.
As the two high school sweethearts played by Samantha and Sharwanand embark on remembering their shared past, relive the joys of first love, we also travel with them, and enjoy their moments as well. Melancholy pervades throughout.
The entire second half takes place in a single night and these portions remind us of foreign films like Last Night, Before Sunrise and In the Mood for Love.
The tone of the movie and the setup is familiar. But still, the director draws us into his story by lingering on nostalgia, effectively using the signature tune of a song. The Dalapathi song thread is used well.
On the downside, the portions of 2004 are not handled well. Depicting an entire family gathering to watch a TV program on the DD channel in 2004 is hard to believe. Also, the songs (Samantha is a singer and she keeps on playing songs) sung by Jaanu are more of the ’80s and early ’90s. Making Sharwanand, who according to the story is 33-years-old now, looks like a matured guy with white hairs also doesn’t make much sense.
This is a simple story of former classmates who reconnect many years later, and the film entirely hinges on the chemistry between the lead pair. The two stars have pitched in their best. Sharwanand as a lover with unfulfilled romance conveys the pain with his sincere act. Samantha who is one of our best actresses of this generation gets to play the mature role in a restrained manner. It is further proof that she now carries such challenging roles with aplomb. Both the lead actors have pulled the roles, which Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha are said to have portrayed exceptionally, well.
Sharanya Pradeep as a sister-like friend of Sharwanand, Vennela Kishore as his buddy, and the young kids who played teenagers have given neat performances.
The film has a beautiful background score Govind Vasantha. The songs have made much impact on me but the background music is effective. Cinematography is neat. Other technical departments have done their job well.
C Premkumar’s work is commendable in screenplay writing.
Jaanu is a likable film. An affecting nostalgia trip. Though it skips rhythm at places, it weaves some beautiful romantic moments. A matured drama with soulful moments.