JAANEMAN (2012) Bengali Film Review – NO TWIST ON THE ROAD


“Sometimes the journey of love may become the journey of death.” This is the bottom line Jaaneman runs on in the promotional trailers. Raja Chanda chooses to explore the road movie veteran directors are afraid to tread on. His first film Target was an action movie with Mithun Chakraborty in a cameo and Joy Mukherjee as a handsome police officer. His second Le Halua was a comedy that failed to work. His third, Jaaneman has top draw actors like Koel Mullick and Ashish Vidyarthy pitted against Soham Chakraborty who plays the hero.

Jaaneman Poster One
Jaaneman Poster One
  •  Banner: Sree Venkatesh Films Pvt Limited and Surinder Films
  • Presented by Srikant Mohta and Nishpal Singh
  • Director: Raja Chanda
  • Music: Jeet Ganguly
  • Choreographer: Baba Yadav
  • Screenplay and dialogue: N.K. Salil
  • Cinematography: Sailesh Awasthi
  • Editing: Rabi Ranjan Moitra
  • Fights: P.K. Master
  • Cast: Koel Mullick, Soham Chakraborty, Ashish Vidyarthy, Saswati Guhathakurta
  • Rating: 05/10

A road movie can focus on the physicality of the road, the story of the journey and the target of the destination. Jaaneman, though an unabashed entertainer, tries to explore all dimensions through the physical reality of the road where the two leading pair meet and Deba (Soham) falls in love with Ria (Koel Mullick). Their destinations are vastly different. Ria is running away from a marriage she would hate to enter into. Deba is being chased by Sridhar (Ashish Vidyarthy), an underground mafia he was once looked to and wants to break away from. The two journeys meet in love with song sequences needlessly shot in Switzerland where one song disco nachaibo in a Bengali dialect sounds absolutely out of place. The title song Jaaneman is reasonably good and the I Love You number sounds romantic and good. But Jeet Gangully is capable of much better music than this.


The twists in the two tales – Deba’s and Ria’s are revealed much earlier than they should have. Besides, they hardly have much suspense to them. Soham badly needs to shed some weight and develop some muscle power so that the action scenes come off more convincingly. He has the height and the physique but needs desperately to work on his body. Koel has evolved beautifully as an actress both in terms of glamour and in terms of acting. Her dress sense and colour chemistry offer a model lesson for most Bengali actresses today. She acts well to and is perhaps the only pull Jaaneman has for the audience. Sailesh Awasthi’s cinematography passes muster and some more. It is pathetic to watch the downfall of Ashish Vidyarthy as an actor for one who won the National Award for his mind-blowing performance of a terrorist in Govind Nihalani’s Drohkaal.


Raja Chanda should have concentrated on the logic of the film. In a road movie, absurdities do not really work beyond a given point. When Ria says she is taking a flight to Kolkata, we clearly see Kolkata airport at the point of departure. Strange, isn’t it? Ria probably has diplomatic immunity so she does not check in, does not need to show her ticket and boards the plane immediately on arrival at the airport! Is this possible? What about security? A road movie has very exciting possibilities that was last explored with reasonable success in Dui Prithibi. But sorry, it does not work in Jaaneman.


One last word. I did not know that the vocabulary in the Bengali language is so limited that whoever created the title had to dip his pen into Hindi! Sad, isn’t it?


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