Film: Jigariyaa

Cast: Harshvardhan Deo, Cherry Mardia, Virendar Saxena, K.K. Raina, Navni Parihar, Natasha Rastogi, Vineeta Malik, Deepak Chadha, Ketan Singh

Director: Raj Purohit

‘Jigariyaa’ tries hard to dip into hit romances of the seventies and comes up with an old-fashioned set-piece that has little connect with current day audiences. Supposedly inspired from true events, this film scripted by Vinod Bachchan and directed by Raj Purohit introduces fresh looking Harshvardhan Deo and Cherry Mardia in lead roles. Unfortunately the freshness is limited to the star cast only. They may not fit the bill as chocolatey or pretty but their very ordinariness is what makes them likeable.

The plotting is similar to ‘Ranjhaana’ in many respects and the narrative struggles to offer something new to an audience laid low by a surfeit of mediocrity from the mainstream. The film narrates a romance that transpires between a lay-a-bout, wannabe shayar, Shamu a.k.a Shamlal Gupta (Harshvardhan Deo) son of Agra halwaai Ramlal Gupta(Virendra Saxena) and Radha a.k.a Radhika Sharma (Cherry Mardia) the well-educated daughter of Pandit Shankar Dayal Sharma, a social do-gooder.

Radha is on a visit to her Nani, who resides in Agra. Shamu falls at her feet at first sight and keeps reducing the distance thereafter. Neither romantic nor interesting, the contrivances are a tad painful to behold. Eventually Radha reciprocates the passion only to find fate intervene and separate them. Is it going to be long before they unite?

Frankly, it’s too much of a bother to wonder. There’s little of interest here other than the colorful resonances of spring brought out beautifully by cameraman Sriram Ganapathy. The narrative is pretty much less than ordinary. The script is derivative,  the plotting is predictable, the dialogues are little too silly to take seriously while the songs lack vitality and are just about forgettable. The only thing that could hold your interest are the fresh, unadulterated looks of the two lead actors. There’s evident sincerity and a painful lack of guile in their performances – and therefore very likeable. Nothing else to cheer about here!

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