I am against this movie.
I am never watching a movie by this director again.
PLOT: Two lovebirds from high school who had to split meet up after twenty years in their class reunion and they re-live their moments for that one night.
I’m very upset. Here I was expecting this beautiful love story. I was expecting to feel all the feels. And all I was feeling was disappointment.
I’ll give the pros first. The comedy? Fantastic. The class reunion with the classmates? Fantastic. The high school flashback? Fantastic. The music? Fantastic. The acting? Fantastic.
What did I find terrible you ask?
The love story at present.
I’m going to spoil this movie.
The start of this movie was fine. We start by watching Raam living his life as a travel photographer. His travel has him going through his hometown and his high school. And he gets all the nostalgic feels. (My own opinion, I don’t actually like going back to my old school. My old secondary school has closed down, so I can’t enter it. But I can see it from outside the gates and that’s as nostalgic as it gets because your memory of the school is still preserved. After I graduated from my primary school, I went back like about a couple years later and all my memories were a bit… I won’t say tainted, but it’s not the same. Because things change, paints change, equipment change and it just feels like a lie. Bleah, that’s just me.) Anyway I enjoyed watching Raam trying to reconnect with his old friends and they all set up a reunion date. I loved all the scenes leading up to the reunion. We even cut to the flashback of Raam’s high school love life and that’s fine.
Now. It’s the intro of Jaanu I cannot stand. I don’t like her. Raam is trying to avoid her in the reunion. She. Goes. Up. To. Him. And puts her hand on his chest. (something she did when they were in high school and she felt his rapidly beating heart). I can’t remember but before this point, I think we already know that Jaanu has a daughter. But I didn’t really hate this scene that much when it was first showcased because we don’t know if Jaanu has a shitty married life or if she’s divorced or anything. We only know she has a daughter. Later on we will find out she has a peaceful marriage and hence, in retrospect, I find this scene more problematic than I originally felt it was. Why does she still think that after twenty-two years, she still has authority over him and his body. Why is she taking that authority when she is already married? You can’t talk to someone without touching them is it? What?
And the next scene, so they move onto sitting around the table. Raam gets her food. Okay, give it to him, he’s being a gentleman. Why he didn’t get himself food, I don’t know. But that’s just me being an absolute ass. Anyway, here’s what Jaanu does: After eating halfway, she asks Raam to eat from her plate and her cutlery. First of all, I am saliva conscious so this scene already puts me off. Next thing, I don’t have anything against friends sharing food. The problem with the scene is that it makes it out to be more than just sharing food with all the background music, with how Raam is taking the situation. And if she really wanted him to eat, why not get him another plate? What. Shut up man.
Then I can’t remember when the flashbacks come in and when we’re in present times. I will say, the weaving in of the past and present was seamless and fine. And I have no issues with any scenes in the flashback. So let me talk about the next scene in the present.
After the reunion, the pair go to a salon. Jaanu makes Raam get a shave and haircut so that he looks like how he was when they were schooling. At this point, I’m just thinking how emotionally manipulative Jaanu is. Jaanu is so desperately trying to recreate Raam according to her memories because for God knows what reason she finds her life unsatisfying. And Raam because he’s still in love with her goes along with everything she wants.
When there’s comedy between the pair, I think it’s fine. Because friends make fun of each other. But every pull at emotion is just a terrible attempt at gaining my sympathy.
Anyway, in the past, we find out the pair split because during holiday break, Raam’s family had to move towns without telling anyone and they just split. And in present, Jaanu’s just like, I wish I’d have seen you again. I wish you’d have come to my wedding and stopped it or something. And Raam is like actually I came to see you when you were in college, don’t you know? Apparently, Ram had. He asked this student to help him find Jaanu and tell her he was waiting for her outside college. The student went to find Jaanu, even succeeded finding Jaanu. But because the student didn’t give enough details, Jaanu thought it was some other guy that had been stalking her prior that was waiting for her. So they hadn’t met. And Ram decided to stay away from Jaanu’s life even though he went to every graduation she had and even her wedding as a bystander. Okay, very sad. This one I give it to you. I told you, I have no issues with their past. What I cannot stand is how Jaanu takes this. Ohmygod, she’s depressed. She’s lamenting. She’s bawling her eyes out. I mean sure, what happened was terrible. It’s damn sad. Life really just effed you over. But. Has your life really been that shitty for the past 22 years that you wish so bad that you and Ram were together? Is there nothing good that happened in the 22 years? It could be. And I wish the movie showcased that because all I’m seeing is if she could go back in time, she would totally choose Raam over whatever life she has now without batting an eyelid – choosing to give up her husband and her daughter. Which is fine. You do you. But I don’t like how this movie expects me to feel sympathy for her when she’s wrecking other people’s lives who have not been shown to deserve such nonsense.
I will not be hating on this movie as much as I am, if I wasn’t expected to think this is an epic heart-breaking love story. Because let’s be honest there’s more than two hearts that are breaking in this movie. This is a heartbreaking story.
I understand people want to be true to their feelings, but c’mon, it’s not like you punch your boss in the face every time you feel like it. You don’t act on every feeling you feel.
Anyway, the next scene that pissed me off completely was when the pair are sitting in a coffee shop and Raam’s photography students are there. And Jaanu introduces herself to them as his wife. Son of a. What tf are you doing. Stop forcing your fantasy into reality. You want so desperately for this to be your reality. And you’re messing up Raam’s reality also. How is he supposed to go back to his classes with his students asking about his supposed wife? Jaanu is just damn bloody selfish and emotionally manipulative. How are we not talking about this? How am I supposed to think this is an amazing love story. Ohmycheeseballs.
Then the next scene. It’s raining. She goes over to his apartment. She showers there… which in all honesty the only problem I have with this is just my own and I don’t see how anyone’s comfortable showering anywhere other than their own homes. Then she wears his clothes cause hers are wet. Okay. I’ll let this slide. Her clothes are wet form the rain. Fine. What happens next in his house is what I cannot stand. Epitome of manipulation. Please note, Jaanu is an amazing singer and in high school she was always singing songs for her class. There was this one song Ram would request her to sing but she never sang it. She sings it for him at the house, completely unrequested. This human is trying so hard to make Raam hers again when she knows she has to go back to her own life after this night. This Raam also one dumb nonsense. Doesn’t ask her to stop. Doesn’t see that what she’s doing is detrimental for his own heart, that she’s making it impossible for him to ever move on. But then again, this doofus doesn’t want to move on since he only encourages her behaviour. I cannot with these two characters. You are wallowing in your own misery and piling more misery on top of it. I refuse to sympathise with your masochistic selves.
Anyway, fast forward to the next scene that gets to me. See Jaanu is back in India for the reunion for one night and then she has to go back to Singapore. So Raam is driving her to the airport in this scene. Last few moments together. You know what she does? Puts her hand on the car’s joy stick when Raam isn’t looking. Do you know what Raam does? Continues driving with his hand on hers.
Please excuse me while I vomit.
He buys a plane ticket on the same flight as hers to follow her into the boarding area. Might as well go with her to wherever she’s going in all seriousness.
See. Actually. I understand. You feel something for your old time crush, you want to go back to him, fine. Seriously, you’re only human. This happens in real life. People fall in love, people fall out of love. People get married due to obligations and then they divorce. It’s fine. The concept of this movie is fine. But I can’t forgive this movie for having characters that don’t acknowledge that what they’re doing is fcuked up. I hate how it’s unsaid because then it just panders to your emotions of being too afraid to own up to the truth. Leaving it unsaid makes it seem like it’s okay. As long as we both don’t explicitly say we love each other still, but know that we do, it’s fine. It’s not. You’re just scared to follow through with the consequences of actually saying you love each other still, too scared to accept that you guys are involved in cheating. Sure, their friends are wary of what’s happening between the two during the reunion – saving graces. Raam makes constant efforts to keep his distance from Jaanu but he does not stop her when she crosses boundaries. And Jaanu. There is only one time in the entire movie when she re-thinks what she should do, call up Raam or not – which happens in the beginning. Maybe the audience are supposed to watch under the belief that both characters know what they’re doing is wrong that’s why they don’t have any physical intimacy. But what they’re doing is cheating already and they just might as well have kissed. Because why tf not? It just felt like each of them were waiting for the other to give in first. If someone initiated, the other would definitely have reciprocated.
And anyway are we really just saying both Jaanu and Raam can go back to their lives like this night hasn’t affected them at all?
Give Jaanu her divorce.
This movie could have been better if it just dared to be more honest with itself.
It should have dared to allow the characters to be as flawed as they were meant to be.
If we just had a damn scene, an actual written scene, which showed the characters struggling with their morals, of them actually arguing that what they’re doing might not be right (but still do it anyway because of the years of unknown yearning) instead of just in passing of whether to call or not, instead of Raam seeing her thaali and just backing off < which seemed more funny than sad, this movie might have just won me over.