Jia Aur Jia Review

function collapse(){$(‘.qr’).toggle(500, function() {if ($(‘.qr’).is(‘:visible’)) {$(“.expup”).css(“background”, “url(https://images.news18.com/static_news18/pix/ibnhome/news18/exp-uparrow.gif)”);} else {$(“.expup”).css(“background”, “url(https://images.news18.com/static_news18/pix/ibnhome/news18/exp-downarrow.gif)”);}});}An exotic all-female road trip, two powerhouse performers, and one good intention to display female bonding in a non-voyeuristic manner, Jia Aur Jia had promised so much before its release, but alas, it turned out to be a forgettable experience. The film starring Richa Chadha and Kalki Koechlin was supposed to be a fun film, exploring the non-existent genre of women-centered, travel-oriented watches, which females could relate to, but the shoddy execution and lazy script sink what could’ve been a progressive ship.

Jia Aur Jia tells the story of two starkly different strangers, who meet on a life-changing road trip with just one thing in common – their names. While Kalki is quirky and edgy Jia, Richa’s Jia is slightly controlled and strict. Now, both have their own secrets and how they come to terms with it while learning to live life to the fullest is what the soul of the film is. However, 20 minutes into the film, you know where it is headed and by halftime, you can somehow predict the ending. A lively, life-loving optimistic Jia changes a suicidal other Jia, and that’s the basic plotline. Sounds boring? Well, multiply it by two and that’s how it appeared on the screen.

Director Howard Rosemeyer fails to tap into the essence of female bonding and thus, everything turns out to be superficial. There are indeed few relatable moments with ‘few’ being the key word here. What else makes you cringe are the song sequences. Now both Richa and Kalki are looking as uncomfortable as possible while dancing, and though they might share a warm bond off-screen, they are unable to justify their camaraderie on screen. While Kalki is the one jumping and giving out ridiculous ideas, it is Richa’s lazy acting that makes you give up on the film.
A disappointment in more ways than one, the ‘road-trip film’ doesn’t even get the travel part right. Now, of course no one was expecting a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in a small budget film, but the fact that characters were being rushed to the hospital more than visiting scenic cliffs, becomes annoying after a point. Had they stuck to the hotel room conversations and made it into a heart to heart conversational film with two females with contrasting personalities talking about their life, it would have still been better, but the forced fun and unnecessary flimsy drama just make it a predictable watch.

Jia Aur Jia has two of Hindi cinema’s finest talents, one unexplored destination of Sweden and an intention to show people that women just want to have fun on trips, but it fails to deliver at any of these levels. The film probably marks both the actresses’ worst performance yet, Sweden still remains unexplored (though not the hospitals) and there is no bonding or fun, but drama and lots of clichés to play with.

The only refreshing part in the film is the male-female ratio and genuine representation of females, other than that, the film is forgettable and doesn’t set any benchmark as promised by the makers. Hope other filmmakers don’t use it as an inspiration to make women-only travel films because this is a shoddy and bad example.

Rating: 1.5/5

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