Abbas Tyrelwala is, originally, a screenplay writer, a story teller. And the first movie he makes (Jaane Tu), is much more about the characters, the dialogues, and the treatment than it is about the story.
The director knows that it is a cliched love story. And he toys with that idea through a cynic character (I forgot her name) to whom the story is told. After getting a glimpse of what the story is about, she declares that this is a bakwaas and even boring story and she doesn’t have any interest in hearing it. I felt that this is as if Abbas Tyrewala is throwing a challenge to the audience – to prove that he’s a good director who can tell you a gheesi-peeti story and you’ll still like it because of great direction! Just for fun, I am speculating the thought process that might have went though his mind when he thought of directing a movie: “I have already proved that I am an excellent story teller. Now I am going to direct a film. What’s the best quality of a good director? To be able to turn a run-of-the-mill story into a good movie that everyone can enjoy. Yes, let me just stick to a cliched love story, and prove that I can convert that into an interesting, charming and fresh movie.”
So he throws a challenge to the audience that you’re going to love it, however bad or bakwaas you think the story is. And I think he did a wonderful job as a director. The story was very predictable and you know where and how it was going to end. But it’s not the journey from point A to point B that interests you, it’s the characters who go through that journey, and along the way you get attached to them and want them to be, happy-ever-after. Almost all of the characters are well-developed in the movie, you feel like you know them personally. Most noteworthy are: Aditi’s brother Amit played by Smita Patil and Raj Babbar’s son Pratik Babbar, and always charming Ratna Pathak Shah who has this amazing ability of turning even simple dialogues into something that leaves a chuckle on your face. I wish actors like her were given more roles in movies. I felt that the weakest link (in terms of acting and depth of character) was Genelia. After a long time (first time after Cheeni Kum) I actually liked and enjoyed Paresh Rawal’s comic role. He badly needs to get out of the Priyadarshan-style comedies and remind us once again how he could be subtle, real and funny.
I don’t know what Abbas Tyrelwala is going to work on next, but I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting his next directorial venture.