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Dil Juunglee review: Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem stuck in soulless love story

Release Date: 09 Mar 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 04min

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Suparna Thombare

Despite Pannu and Saleem's effort, first-time director Aleya Sen's romantic comedy is too cosmetic to make you feel for its lead characters. 

Two youngsters fall in love, but both want different things from life. They meet several years later when the girl is already engaged to someone else. Old love gets rekindled as the two begin to meet and a romantic song plays in the background. The guy who is the third wheel decides to step back. On the day of the wedding, our hero gets brave and expresses his love. Haven't we seen these plot points tons of times before?

Well, the writing and direction by first-timer Aleya Sen is quite unimaginative and convenient.

Set in Delhi, Dil Juunglee's protagonists are the rich girl, half-British Koroli, who wants love and the middle-class Punjabi munda Sumit Uppal (Saqib Saleem), who wants money. Koroli (Taapsee Pannu), who is struggling with low self-esteem, mainly because of her father's constant deprecation, teaches English and wants to write books one day. She is super mushy though and her big dream is to marry and live a happy domestic life. Her father, on the other hand, wants her to follow in his footsteps and take over the family business.

Sumit is a model, whose fab abs are featured on Grihashobha, and an aspiring actor preparing to be a Hindi film hero. He is a head trainer at a local gym and is also taking English lessons as part of his prep. This is where he falls in love with his teacher, Koroli. His dream is completely different from hers - to get rich and famous. He needs money to pay a middleman (the most cliched depiction ever!) who has promised to give him a big break in Hindi films.

The two run away and are about to get married, but Koroli walks out as she feels that it is a relationship of convenience, and that Sumit doesn't really love her.

They meet seven years later in London (because shooting the second half in Delhi would have been boring) and you can guess the rest of it.

Dil Juunglee is a mish-mash of the many romantic comedies we have seen in the first decade of the 2000s. The characters and situations are so cosmetic and been-there-done-that that you don't even flinch when the lovers separate, or when they come together.

Taapsee Pannu tries her best to navigate her nervous and under-confident character that evolves into a businesswoman in the yawn-inducing second half.

Saqib Saleem sinks his teeth into the ambitious and confused, yet good-hearted romantic hero, delivering his dialogues in a heavy Delhi-Punjabi twang.

But it's the wrong script for both of them. It is riddled with a cliched narrative and predictable conflicts.

Their chemistry, which starts off on a good note, does not get the chance to flourish because there's no real heart or soul in this love story.