"Rishta tootne ki koi ek wajah nahin hoti hai, bahut si adhuri ladaiyon ki thakan hoti hain bas," Geeta (Neetu Kapoor) wearily confides in her daughter-in-law Naina (Kiara Advani) after getting the biggest shock of her life.
In a similar vein, there is more than one reason why Raj Mehta's latest outing Jugjugg Jeeyo ends up an average entertainer despite having some credible names in its star cast.
What's Yay: Performances
What's Nay: Superficial writing, half-baked conflicts
Jugjugg Jeeyo begins with 'Nain Ta Heere' song which captures the journey of Kuku (Varun Dhawan) and Naina (Kiara Advani) from being school sweethearts to finally walking down the aisle. Five years later, the couple now settled in Toronto, Canada, is already experiencing the seven-year itch. Kuku works as a bouncer in a nightclub while Naina does a white-collar job in a reputed company.
Between long silences, unfinished conversations and bitter hearts, Kuku and Naina's marriage goes for a toss and the couple decides to get divorced. But before parting ways, there's some unfinished business left as the duo fly down to Patiala to attend the wedding of Kuku's sister Ginny (Prajakta Koli). Kuku and Naina decide to put up an act of a happy couple in front of the world until Ginny gets hitched.
However, upon their arrival in their hometown, they discover that there's another shocker awaiting them which threatens to break many hearts.
After making his directorial debut with the breezy Good Newwz, director Raj Mehta picks up yet another complex theme for his second film Jugjugg Jeeyo. This time, he aims to look at the concept of marriages and divorces sans any rose-tinted glasses. Does he succeed in his mission? Well, almost!
Mehta tries to decode what it takes for a marriage to be successful and the fragility of this institution when it comes to new-age couples. However, barring Neetu Kapoor's character, he fails to offer the perspective of the other players when it comes to the 'M' word. As a result of this, the conflict appears contrived at times.
It's the actors who do the heavy-lifting when the writing lacks depth. If loud humour and Whatsapp-forwarded jokes on wives and marriages are your kind of things, then Jugjugg Jeeyo will definitely make you laugh. Also, it's time when Bollywood totally does away from inserting effeminate characters just to derive a few laughs. Another thing that needs to be shown the back door is the villianization of the other woman in a relationship.
Having said that, Raj and his team of writers deserve credit for two fabulous scenes which are the biggest takeaways from this dramedy.
From a husband struggling with insecurities in his married life to trying to be the 'perfect' son to his parents whose picture-perfect marriage is just a mirage, Varun Dhawan gets to dabble with different emotions and the lad tries to make the most out of it. Kiara Advani delivers a likeable act and shows that she has come a long way from her debut days. Her confrontation scene with Varun Dhawan in the second half takes you by surprise.
"Agar tujhe kuch tips chahiye naa toh apne papa se le lena purane khiladi hain acchi salah denge," Neetu Kapoor's Geeta tells Kuku. And she isn't wrong! As an actor, Anil Kapoor does make you say, 'Whattah player' with his engrossing performance as a husband looking out for love outside marriage. It's only an actor of his calibre who can extract ha-ha from the audience even for the most ludicrous jokes.
Neetu Kapoor gets the best-written part in Jugjugg Jeeyo even if it doesn't get the most screen time. There's a scene where her character Geeta bares her heart out to her daughter-in-law and celebrates the little struggles of life with a glass of wine. One wished that the film had dwelt more on such tender moments. Kapoor makes a terrific comeback after a long sabbatical with her acting chops aged like a fine wine.
Content creator-turned-actor Prajakta Koli in her debut film, is noticeable but there isn't much scope for her to leave a lasting impression. Maniesh Paul is convincing in his flashy, eccentric character. Tisca Chopra lands up with a poorly-sketched role.
Jay I Patel has a strong grip on his camera and captures the shift in the tonality of the story with apt colour scheme. Be it the greys and dark hues used to depict Kuku-Naina's failing marriage or the rich, vibrant colours of the big fat Punjabi wedding, he makes sure that the visuals appeal to the eyes. Manish More's editing works fine.
The background score of Jugjugg Jeeyo is jarring and takes away some of the intensity in a few scenes which rides high on emotions. 'The Punjaabban' song will be a hot favourite at desi weddings. 'Duppata' catches your attention only for Varun Dhawan's buttery-smooth dance movies. 'Nain Ta Heere' makes for a lovely love song. 'Rangisari' is sweet melody to the ears but with mismatched visuals.
A scene in Jugjugg Jeeyo has Bheem (Anil Kapoor) comparing his wife Geeta to a 'shakahari sherni'. Well, when it comes to the film, Neetu Kapoor roars aloud like a tigress with her superlative performance as a woman who is fierce and vulnerable in equal measures.
We give 3 stars out of 5 to Varun Dhawan, Kiara Advani, Anil Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor's Jugjugg Jeeyo.