{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

Review Hindi

Jugjugg Jeeyo review: This 'new-wine-in-old-bottle' melodrama fails to make an impact

Release Date: 24 Jun 2022 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 28min

Cinestaan Rating

  • Acting:
  • Direction:
  • Music:
  • Story:

Suyog Zore

The constant need to crack jokes and the lame one-liners ruin even some sincere emotional scenes.

Film critics often use the phrase 'old wine in new bottle'. It is a staple of film criticism. A tweak of the phrase best describes Dharma Productions' light-hearted family drama Jugjugg Jeeyo (2022). This multi-starrer film about couples from different generations confronting issues of marital discord is new wine in an old bottle.

Jugjugg Jeeyo tries to give us something new but uses the tired old formulae of Hindi comedy dramas, including over-the-top performances, a loud background score, terrible jokes, a cartoonish character whose sole purpose is to make jokes at inappropriate moments, and people breaking into song and dance on every occasion, even when going through emotional turmoil. In short, everything that you have seen in Dharma films from the early 2000s is here.

Nainaa (Kiara Advani) and Kukoo (Varun Dhawan) were childhood sweethearts who married and moved to Vancouver in Canada, but after five years things have changed. Nainaa is climbing the ladder of success while Kukoo is still a bouncer at a nightclub. Nainaa is offered a big opportunity by her company which requires her to move to New York City. Nainaa and Kukoo agree to break up and divorce, but they need to wait till Kukoo's younger sister Ginny (Prajakta Koli) is married.

As they return to India to attend Ginny's wedding and tell their families about their impending divorce, Kukoo's father Bheem (Anil Kapoor) drops a bombshell. During one father-son drinking session, he discloses that he is having an affair with Kukoo's high school maths teacher Meera (Tisca Chopra) and plans to divorce Kukoo's mum Geeta (Neetu Singh).

Meanwhile, Ginny is in two minds about the wedding as she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend. Now Kukoo not only has to work out a way to break the news about his impending divorce, but he also has to deal with his father's extramarital affair and somehow avert his parents' divorce.

Jugjugg Jeeyo unfolds at a brisk pace, leaving you little time to get attuned to the film's tone and the emotional turmoil of the characters. Both Kukoo and Nainaa are unhappy with each other, but the film spends so little time establishing the changing dynamic of their relationship that it becomes difficult to care about the outcome.

The film tries to address some important and new themes (at least for Hindi cinema) about how loving, joyful relationships evolve into boring marriages, or the difference between being in love and simply living together, but director Raj Mehta and his writers do not address them with sincerity.

The film also fails to reflect upon the problems of married couples today in a more sensible manner, preferring to brush them aside in one scene. As a result, it fails to build an emotional connection with the couples in trouble. The film is also needlessly loud in its performances as well as sound design.

While Dhawan and Advani are the main leads, their characters are relegated to the background for the most part as the film focuses on Kukoo's attempts to stop his parents' divorce with the help of his brother-in-law and friend Gurpreet (Maniesh Paul). That would not have been such a big problem if the subplot was handled better. But Anil Kapoor and Neetu Singh's characters are so uni-dimensional that their crisis makes little impact. And the veterans offer some unintended hilarity in emotional moments with their awkward dialogues.

Also, after introducing the subplot of Ginny's dilemma about marriage, the film doesn't know what to do with it and leaves it half-cooked.

Jugjugg Jeeyo is a story of three marriages and how each generation looks at the institution. Mehta and his writers have tried to find middle ground in the constantly changing meaning of the term, but their refusal to address some crucial issues that make or break long-term relationships does not help their cause.

Neetu Singh, who is making a comeback to acting after nine years, deserved a better role. Kapoor just hams his way through most of his lines. When he is not hamming, he is making weird expressions to evoke some mirth.

Dhawan and Advani are decent. The film doesn't demand much from them and they give of their best, though Dhawan does falter in some emotional scenes.

What really hurts the film is the writers' and director's lack of clarity about the tone to be adopted. The constant need to make jokes, the lame-one liners and the weird expressions of the cast ruin even scenes that had the potential to make an emotional impact. The joke is forgotten in moments, but it ruins a scene that could have stayed with the viewer for days. A melancholic undertone at least during some interactions between father and son or husband and wife would have lifted the film.

The production design and cinematography are of a good standard without being outstanding. Manish More's editing could have been sharper. Some scenes before the interval and a few in the lead-up to the climax drag on.

Chartbuster music has been a big selling point of Dharma films, but except for 'The Punjaabban' song, which also comes at the wrong time, the rest of the album here is average.

The only scene in the film that leaves a big impact is the one where Kukoo and Nainaa finally confront each other about what went wrong in their relationship. That scene, too, would have worked better with sober use of background music.

Jugjugg Jeeyo was released in cinema halls today.


You might also like