Amin Hajee's Koi Jaane Na is a classic case of a movie having a fantastic plot, a stellar trailer, a great beginning and then squandering it all down the toilet in vain. Kunal Kapoor and Amyra Dastur’s film reached for the stars and acted like humans – faltering, fallible and fatal.
Both Kunal and Amyra have moved away from their comfort zones and tried something different. However, more than Kunal, it is Amyra who will surprise you with a truly great performance. She has been playing that bubbly, chirpy and the damsel-in-distress girl in many of her recent outings, but this one is strikingly different and makes you want to stand up and praise her calibre. Kunal, however, looks astounding in his Sardar get-up, but his other varied looks don’t get that much importance in the screenplay, and that’s something the movie misses out on capitalising. Kunal’s get-up as a girl demanded a lot more importance in the story than the numerous songs. To be fair, Kunal-Amyra's individual performances were better than their onscreen chemistry.
Talking of the songs, they are good, no doubt. The music by Tanishk Bagchi, Rochak Kohli, Amaal Mallik and Abhijit Vaghani is definitely one of the better aspects of this movie. The Har Funn Maula song with Aamir Khan and Elli AvrRam indeed is the cherry on top of the cake. However, in a whodunit story, you’re more engrossed in what’s happening and what you might miss out on, rather than listening to the songs. They were totally unnecessary and could have been easily chopped off and used just for promotional purposes.
Another aspect that hurts this movie badly is its length. Editor Ballu Saluja could have easily asked a first-time director Amin Hajee to chop off portions of the film which unnecessarily drag the movie to over two hours. Remove the songs, and some excessive drag-worthy portions and Koi Jaane Na could have been a taut murder mystery that would have kept you on the edge-of-your-seats.
Also, when you have a thriller murder mystery at hand, as a filmmaker, you are supposed to lead audiences to believe that someone else is the actual killer and at the climax just give them the actual killer with a bang. That surprises audiences the most and makes the movie worth their money. However, director Amin Hajee’s film doesn’t bother about that as long before the climax you’re already made aware of who the actual person committing the crimes is. So, your entire thrill of getting a shock at the end is thrown out of the window. Bad decision to let the audiences in on the secret at such an early stage in the movie!
Character artistes like Ashwini Kalsekar, Raj Zutshi, and Atul Kulkarni have given decent performances even in the minimal screen time that they have. Amin Hajee’s brother Karim Hajee has some witty one-liners which keep the mood light and makes you like his character a lot. Talking of the girls, why was Vidya Malvade’s character even present? The ex-girlfriend angle was totally unnecessary and left open-ended without any fruitful closure. Neha Mahajan’s character too seemed pretty unnecessary to the flow of the story.
Above all, the story is the biggest shortcoming of the movie. You’re left with numerous questions about where the movie is headed and you’re expecting that at the climax, these questions will get answered, but sadly, NO. You’re left hanging with numerous loose ends which you’ll keep scratching your head about why they were actually shown in the film.
In closing, I would like to say that if you’re a big fan of Aamir Khan, then watch Har Funn Maula on repeat mode on YouTube and AVOID venturing out to watch this devoid-of-any-thrills film. Anyway, there's a pandemic out there.
Title: Koi Jaane Na
Cast: Kunal Kapoor, Divyam Agarwal, Elli AvrRam, Amyra Dastur
Director: Amin Hajee