Mumbai, 12 Dec 2020 7:30 IST
The film, directed by Abir Sengupta, is not quite the entertainer it would have liked to be.
Light-hearted entertainers based in small northern Indian towns have been in vogue for a decade or so now. Filmmaker Aanand L Rai has been the best and biggest ambassador of such films. Director Abir Sengupta’s Indoo Ki Jawani is another addition to the list.
Indoo Ki Jawani was announced as a film about a young woman who struggles to find a match on a dating app. But the trailer revealed that the film is also about a Pakistani trapped in Indoo’s house when a terrorist from across the border is on the loose. In reality, the film has a little more to offer in terms of storyline than what the trailer suggested.
The story is set in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, and revolves around Indira aka Indoo (Kiara Advani). She has quit her job and aspires to become an air hostess. The men and uncles around her are always eyeing her because of her beauty. Indoo breaks up with her boyfriend when she realizes that he only wants sex and he betrays her.
This is when her best friend and guide Sonal (Mallika Dua) advises her to try a dating app and hook up with someone. Indoo reluctantly agrees and gets matched with Samar (Aditya Seal). Meanwhile, there is a red alert in Ghaziabad after it is learnt that a terrorist from Pakistan has entered the city.
Indoo calls Samar to her place when her family is away. It is while conversing with him that she accidentally realizes he is from Pakistan. She is shocked and scared as she suspects he could be the wanted terrorist.
The writers have mixed Indoo’s dating adventures with the serious angle of a terrorist threat. The problem is that they haven’t succeeded in merging the two plots seamlessly. This makes us feel as if we are watching two different films.
The bigger problem is that both tracks lack meat and lag in providing continuous entertainment. The solving of the terror angle is the film's biggest downfall. It appears straight out of those hamhanded crime television shows like CID.
Indoo Ki Jawani has moments when it tackles the misogyny faced by young women today along with eve-teasing (read: sexual harassment) and moral judgement. But there are other moments when the content itself appears dated. For example, Indoo is well into her twenties but has not only never seen an ‘adult film’ but also doesn’t know what it contains.
However, the film is still watchable. The narrative has a quick pace, except for a couple of unwanted songs, and is filled with mildly entertaining moments that don’t let you give up on it entirely. The reasonably short runtime of 118 minutes also helps.
The biggest plus of Indoo Ki Jawani is Kiara Advani. This is the first time the actress is playing a titular character and she simply carries the film on her shoulders. She not only looks beautiful, but also delivers a good performance. She speaks in a different Ghaziabadi accent and, thankfully, it does not sound forced; in fact, it is quite funny at times.
Aditya Seal is a sensible foil as the mysterious but kind Pakistani. He is much better here than in his last big-screen outing Student Of The Year 2 (2019). Mallika Dua adds the humor quotient.
Despite these positives, however, Indoo Ki Jawani is not likely to make it to the list of most impressive entertainers set in mofussil North India.
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