‘Jaane Jaan’: Intricate Plot and Characterization Makes This an Intriguing Watch

By Dhaval Roy

Story: The crime drama follows the story of a single mother and her daughter, who find themselves entangled in a murder. They find an unexpected ally in their neighbor, a simple but genius teacher while navigating the ongoing police investigation.

Review: A single mother, Maya D’Souza (Kareena Kapoor), finds herself amid a murder investigation when her abusive ex-husband, Ajit Mhatre (Saurabh Sachdeva) dies and she becomes the prime and sole suspect. Her neighbour, Naren (Jaideep Ahlawat), a mathematics genius, helps her as a brilliant and dogged Inspector Karan Anand (Vijay Varma) investigates the crime. Will Maya be saved or caught and separated from her young daughter, Tara (Naisha Khanna)?

An adaptation of the Japanese bestselling novel, Keigo Higashino’s ‘The Devotion of Suspect X,’ Sujoy Ghosh’s crime drama is not a ‘whodunit’ but a ‘howdunit.’ Its intrigue lies not in identifying the killer but in discovering how the culprit outsmarts the cops. Co-writers Sujoy and Raj Vasant build the tension quickly when Ajit is murdered, and Maya becomes a suspect because of her dark past.

As the story progresses, it becomes clear that there’s more to the murder than meets the eye, and the cat-and-mouse game between the characters is engaging. However, although the plot twists are executed well, the film has flaws; for example, Karan suspects Maya too quickly, gets some clues easily, and leaves some things unanswered—which are best left for the viewers to discover to avoid giving spoilers. Besides being a mystery drama, the movie also explores themes of love, sacrifice, and the fine line between devotion and obsession. Cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay captures the gloomy climes of Kalimpong adeptly.

Jaideep Ahlawat is phenomenal as a socially awkward genius and a man madly in love. Whether expressing frustration, helplessness, or determination, the actor’s performance is on point. His character development deserves special mention, and Jaideep handles it with aplomb, especially shining towards the end. Kareena Kapoor owns every scene she appears in and excels even when her emotions transition from fear, mild annoyance, rage to awkwardness, or sass (watch out for her in the karaoke club scene with Vijay Varma, when she sways to Helen’s titular track, Aa jaane jaan). Vijay Varma also exhibits his prowess as a charming and steadfast cop. He has easy chemistry with both his co-actors.

‘Jaane Jaan’ doesn’t fit the mold of an adrenaline-fueled, high-speed thriller; instead, it takes its time to weave its tale. The narrative occasionally loses its tight grip on the audience, but the compelling performances hold your attention during these moments. If you have an affinity for the kind of cinema that exudes a melancholic, enigmatic, and contemplative atmosphere, this film will strike a chord with you. However, the film falls short of keeping up with the grip and fast pace of the book which was difficult to put down.