Movie Review – Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil

TL;DR – It is said that a film succeeds if it makes you feel something, well if that is all it took than this film would be a success, but considering this made me feel revulsion and anger, I think it takes more than that.    

Score – 1 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Warning – This film contains extensive scenes of abuse

Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil. Image Credit: Netlifx.

Review

Okay I’m going to be honest right from the start, I am coming to this film as someone who is from outside of India and does not have the most extensive experience with Indian cinema, so there may be some context I am missing. Also, by writing this review I feel like I am positioning myself in the same position as some of the people criticised in the film, an irony that is not lost on me. But all of that being said, you can skip to the end if you want because I do not in any shape or form recommend this film.

So to set the scene, we open in on a couple a man (Rohit Kokate) and women (Khushboo Upadhyay) who are walking along a coastal boardwalk in Mumbai. They are in a relationship but they are not married so they need to be discreet given the conservative aspects of Indian society. But as they talk it is clear that both of them want different things out of the relationship.

Before I move on to what didn’t work with the film, and there are some really big issues here, I did want to point out that it is clear that a lot of technical work has gone into the film. Most of the film is shot in these long take dialogue scenes with the camera floating around all over the place. This gives you the feeling like you are eavesdropping into someone’s private conversations. I cannot begin to wonder the number of rehearsals needed for the cast and how much they needed to learn for each take. Indeed, one of the things that makes this film as frustrating as it is, is the fact that it is clear that a lot of talent has gone into it.

This is a difficult review to write because this is not a film that failed because of technical issues, but because of the content of the story. I think anyone who has ever been in or seen an abusive relationship, or just anyone with any sense of decency would be able to see the warning signs of where this film was heading really early. I think this whole film can be summed up with one line of dialogue “you just hurt me for fun”. The man in this film is someone who we have all seen before, that guy who thinks they are all-knowing about philosophy and who quotes Nietzsche or Chomsky about life, but really they are just cherry-picking phrases that help support their shitty behaviour. This is the level that the film starts at and it is all downhill from here to the point where his comments about her body including that “the body begins to wear out [about childbirth]” comes only halfway through the film. The ending is just one long extended sexual assault that then gets even worse, and the way the film is structured it makes you the viewer complicit in the act.

Look I understand what this film is trying to do, or at least what I think this film is trying to do. It feels like this is an almost two-hour middle finger to conservative elements in India’s film industry, especially in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), as this film touches on just about every subject that they usually ask to be cut. Indeed the film goes out of its way to reference this and name check other films that have had problems like Padmaavat. I am also sure that the feeling of being complicit after watching the final act was also intentional which I think makes it all the worse for it. Whatever the case may be, I think the film failed, and if I am wrong here then it is even worse because any thin layer of justification for this film whisks away.  

In the end, do we recommend Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil? No, not even in an ‘I should see why it is so bad’ kind of way.   

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil
Directed by – Aadish Keluskar
Written by – Aadish Keluskar
Cinematography by – Amey V Chavan
Edited by – Anvay Shinde
Production/Distribution Companies – Netflix
Starring
– Khushboo Upadhyay, Rohit Kokate, Himanshu Kohli & Mohammed Shakir
Rating – Around an Australia: R18+

1 thought on “Movie Review – Jaoon Kahan Bata Ae Dil

  1. I normally don’t leave reviews but this film really got to me, and the reason i’m writing this comment is because you didn’t really make it clear what exactly it was that you didn’t like about it. Now I didn’t exactly grow up in India but I am indian and i’ve studied there.
    The context that I can provide here is that dating is a very new experience still for most of india but especially in the socioeconomic class that our characters are from. Whereas the vulgarity and the belittling of women is the lingua franca. Now girls obviously want the romance that’s portrayed in the movies nowadays but that leaves you with no safety net because the parents are not general in the know about the boyfriend and therefore can’t protect you from unsavory men(which is why her wanting to watch the traditional moral film (that were the norm previously) explains the contradictions perfectly).
    I think the director wanted us to be complicit in all of this because the people in india already are. I’ve seen cases of guys being physically violent towards their girlfriends and nobody said anything because it’s not their business and they think of the girl as the property of the guy. When you talk to these girls about how that’s not a good relationship they accuse you of being interested in the guy or that he’s a nice guy he just gets angry sometimes etc
    It’s a very toxic environment and there’s more awareness for girls now but if you live in the city this movie expresses how it feels to go through that helpless experience. I’ve received marriage invitations for relationships like these and it’s almost enough to drive you mad. Guys who will follow you home because it’s not safe at night for you to drive alone but will insult their girlfriends or even slap them. And still the girl will stay because she’s considered a burden at home and they want the affection or love however degrading it is to get that.
    I feel like i’m almost trauma dumping here, apologies for that. I’ve just finished the movie and it made me relive my time there. Hope this helps

    Like

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