Directed By: Aleya Sen
Produced By: Jackky Bhagnani, Deepsikha Deshmukh, Mayank Jain, Mudit Jain
Cast: Saqib Saleem, Taapsee Pannu
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5
In 2016, ad filmmaker Aleya Sen directed her maiden music video, ‘Tum Ho Toh Lagta Hai’. Starring Saqib Saleem and Taapsee Pannu, it had quite a tragic end. I remember being present in a press conference where Aleya was asked why she chose a sad ending for her first music video. “That’s because everyone says Jo Hota Hai Achche Ke Liye Hota Hai, Par Sach Yeh Hai Ke Hamesha Woh Achche Ke Liye Nahi Hota,” she answered. That’s etched in my memory.
Two years down the line, Aleya is back with her first feature film ‘Dil Juunglee’. Iss Bar, Sab Achcha Hota Hai.
We’re introduced to a nerdy, super cute Karoli (Taapsee Pannu) who’s eloping with one Sumit Uppal (Saqib Saleem). Their love story has a pinch of spice, since Karoli or Karo as everyone lovingly called her, was Sumit’s English teacher in college. While Karoli is a tender, warm human being with a fairytale idea of love, her father thinks she’s a total misfit for a rich, affluent family of businessmen. Sumit, on the other hand, is an aspiring actor, mostly day-dreaming through the day. As Karoli’s troubled, silent soul comes across Sumit, they fall in love, despite many differences; only to face a tragic separation. But no, they meet again. Seven years later, in London. By then, their lives have changed.
It sounds like quite a familiar plot, and it is. Cupid striking at the wrong time and leaving two souls devastated isn’t a new idea in Bollywood; and neither is that of they reuniting. Nevertheless, a few plots are probably worth nurturing.
‘Dil Juunglee’ is certainly not flawless. Apart from the fact that it has nothing new to offer, it has also frequently lost its pace and a number of cliches might have a number of takers. Yes it has its own moments of humour, but that’s not consistent either. It could be well cut short of 15 more minutes.
But Saqib and Taapsee’s flamboyant performance brings life to the story. With her wide, innocent glares, with the softness that she speaks with and with the natural warmth that she carries, Taapsee’s character in the first half will strike many right chords. Probably because, many of us have been there already? Saqib has left his swaggy self behind for this one. His mannerism and his accent testify to that. While the story itself could elevate, these two actors are as genuine as they could get.
Aleya, an ad woman, has her eyes for aesthetics. Shot across Delhi and London, the film walks upon pleasing visuals; not extraordinary, but real and neat. The soundtrack boasts of variation. While Guru Randhawa’s ‘Nachle Na’ is a peppy desi dance number, the title track composed by Tanishk Bagchi and sung by Armaan Mallik and Prakriti Kakkar is filled with the spirit of nascent love and freshness.
You might want to to give this a watch for some freshness! 🙂
Watch trailer below: