Director Vivek Agnihotri’s previous film, ‘Buddha In A Traffic Jam’ was tacky and loud, but it had some connect with the day and age we are living in. His latest film, the Pulkit Samrat-Yami Gautam-starrer, ‘Junooniyat‘ is a stale and cliched tribute to an era gone by – for most of it’s running time it feels like a cheap remake of Aditya Chopra’s iconic ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. First things first, the title of the film is not a legitimate word – the director perhaps made it up – neither the title means anything, nor does the film. It is a wonder why would anybody make a pointless film like this in 2016.
Pulkit plays the role of Captain Jahan Bakshi and his college going lady love Suhaani Kapoor, played by Yami Gautam, meet exactly like how Veer meets Zaara in Yash Chopra’s ‘Veer Zaara’ made in 2004. This is when you immediately give up hope on expecting any originality. Here onwards you just sit through the trauma and cringe each time you see something that belongs in the 90s. Suhaani stays with her big, fat, silly and conservative Punjabi family in Amritsar. She meets Jahan while she makes a fool out of herself messing around in an army restricted area while on a holiday with her friends.
Cool Capt. Jahan bails Suhaani out of the mess, but not before holding her hostage for two days and forcing her to celebrate Christmas at his base camp. Don’t even try finding logic in the previous sentence, there is none in director Agnihotri’s world. In these two days they indulge in some drunk dancing and as expected, fall in love with each other. Suhaani comes back home, and as expected starts pining to meet her stud boy in army uniform. Conveniently enough, and as expected Pulkit gets transferred to Amritsar along with his sidekick friend, and yes as expected the love story blooms by Holi.
Suhaani fools her silly family that she is going out for a weekend with her college friend, but spends the weekend having a ‘happy time’ with cool captain. Hey, Suhaani was a fool, her bluff gets caught by her strict father and she is immediately grounded. Suhaani’s dad doesn’t want her daughter to marry an army guy, because their expiry date is too short. What rubbish, you will think, but that’s the director’s logic. The patriarch father makes an offer to his daughter – if army guy gives up his job and joins his business, they are all good, but why would a passionate army guy give up his job for a silly college girl?
Father-daughter agree to let this relationship pass, even though the ‘happy time’ has happened. Suhaani still can’t get over cool captain, neither does he – Jahan writes poetry on tissue papers and sends it by post. It is 2016. So what? Suhaani rightly collects the poetries in what looks like a tissue box. One day she decides that she wants a closure – after all how long can one keep up with those soppy poems (one of them inspired by Mr. Bachchan’s ‘Kabhi kabhi’ here innovatively titled ‘Abhi abhi’). Okay please stop laughing. Suhaani travels all the way to Srinagar (she does this on the sly, without her family’s approval) only to find out that Jahan is getting engaged to his boss’ daughter. All hell breaks lose. She flees the scene without even confronting Jahan once. She just assumes. She cries a lot.
By now you already must have guessed what will happen in the end.
You guessed it right, but Vivek Agnihotri is a sadist.
And we are not even at the interval point yet. Epic surprises unfold in the second half. There’s a scene where almost twenty-odd people sit at the dining table and describe what love means to them. One of them cracks a gay joke and everybody laughs. That scene will make you want to choke yourself to death.
Even after reading this you feel like watching ‘Junooniyat,’ brace yourself to watch one of the funniest climax scenes shot in recent times. It happens at a railway station. It includes dhol-baaja and one smooch.
A moment’s silence for the talented actor, Gulshan Devaiah, who makes a cameo in ‘Junooniyat’. You’ll feel like crying for him.