With Jaane Jaan, director Sujoy Ghosh marks two decades of filmmaking beginning with ‘Jhankaar Beats’ in 2003. However, it was Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani’ that catapult both Sujoy and Vidya Balan’s career over night. The streak somewhat continued with his 2016 ‘Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh’ followed up with ‘Badla’ in 2019. With his latest streaming release ‘Jaane Jaan’, the spark seems to be missing. ‘Jaane Jaan’ is an adaptation of the 2005 Japanese novel ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino.
Usually when we happen to see a thriller or an investigative story, we as audience, tend to frame our minds and take sides basis what unfolds on the screen. In case of Jaane Jaan, there comes a point in the story that one remains undecided as to whose side we are on. We are sucked into the narrative and things start to reveal but of the three key characters we remain undecided of what we have seen and whom to pin down. That is one thing that goes in favour of the narrative.
It all starts with one fateful night when Maya D’Souza (Kareena Kapoor) is back home from work and Ajit Mhatre (Saurabh Sachdeva) knocks at the door. Through their interaction we come to know that Ajit happens to be Maya’s husband, and a notorious one at that, from whom Maya has gotten rid of and moved to Kalimpong. Ajit gets killed after a heated altercation. Before Maya could figure out what her next step should be, her neighbour Naren Vyas aka ‘Teacher’ (Jaideep Ahlawat) knocks at the door and offers help not before claiming that he knows what has happened.
On the other hand, Ajit happens to be a cop who has gone missing and the Mumbai police are trying to track him down. Inspector Karan Anand (Vijay Varma) is put on the job and he lands in Kalimpong to look for Ajit. His investigation of finding Ajit turns into Ajit’s murder investigation.
The rest of the plot is about Ajit’s murder at the hands of Maya, whom Teacher has promised that he will handle the situation and save her. Can the Teacher save Maya? What transpires in inspector Karan’s investigation who also happens to be Naren’s college mate. Can he bring the criminal to books? How does the mystery unfold!!
Saurabh Sachdeva as Ajit Mhatre, with his brief presence creates a chilling and eerie atmosphere.
After a decade of ‘Talaash: The Answer Lies Within’ Kareena Kapoor gets to step into the thriller genre. Kareena slips into Maya and carries the character with élan but does not get enough action to deliver a thriller. Unfortunately the character doesn’t have much scope to be remembered for long.
Vijay Varma is on a roll. He seems to be one of the most happening & busy actors of the lot with continuous flow of films and web series with meaty roles. As Karan Anand, Vijay Varma gets a weak character this time around, which he still infuses some life with his histrionics and mannerism.
Jaideep Ahlawat as Naren ‘Teacher’ gets the most attention with the way his character is presented. Right from the first scene till the end, one keeps guessing about the suspense behind the character. There are instances where the audience expect a particular reaction from the character but is surprised, which further adds to the intrigue behind the character who is also presented as a math fanatic so much so that he handles the situations basis his maths and concludes that math is indeed logic.
Overall, a Sujoy Ghosh film promises some adrenaline rush, which lacks here as compared to his above mentioned features which still remains fresh with the audience. Keeping expectations aside, Jaane Jaan is definitely unmissable.
Movie: Jaane Jaan
Based on: ‘The Devotion of Suspect X’ by Keigo Higashino
Directed by: Sujoy Ghosh
Cast: Kareena Kapoor Khan, Jaideep Ahlawat, Vijay Varma, Saurabh Sachdeva
Streaming on: Netflix
Duration: 2 hrs 19 mins