Monday, May 7, 2012


Release date:
May 4, 2012
Kunal Deshmukh
Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Esha Gupta, Manish Chaudhary, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Arif Zakaria

A friend mentioned the other day that she’d just realised she has so far not seen an Emraan Hashmi film. Not surprisingly though, many of her favourite Hindi film songs from the past few years have featured this least acknowledged of Bollywood’s reigning stars.
It’s a given then, but it merits a mention … as in the case of every Emraan Hashmi-starrer, there’s plenty of hummable music to be had in Jannat 2, a film about the nation’s flourishing illegal arms trade. Emraan plays a small-time gun runner in Delhi who ends up becoming a police informer. Somewhere along the way, he falls in love with a woman and decides he wants to clean up his act. Let it be stated for the record that this film is not a sequel to Jannat which was released in 2008.

Jannat 2 starts off in quite an entertaining fashion but fizzles out through the second half. Some of this has to do with the fact that it’s too obvious in its effort to be clever, possibly aiming at the style of the 2010 gangster film Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai starring Emraan and Ajay Devgn that hit the jackpot at the box office with its 1970s-Bollywood-style dialoguebaazi. We get an early indicator of Jannat 2’s pretensions with the name of its hero: Sonu Dilli KKC (kutti kameeni cheez). Such subtlety!
Still, there’s interesting chemistry between Emraan and Randeep Hooda playing ACP Pratap Raghuvanshi who virtually blackmails the small-time crook into becoming a police informer. Their love-hate relationship could have carried this film through, if it weren’t for the under-written, under-acted asides in Jannat 2 that fail to draw us in.

So there’s Manish Chaudhary playing the big gun in the gun trade who remains nothing more than a trying-too-hard-to-be-menacing presence with really strange motivations. His is a small role that could be excused, but there’s no overlooking Dr Jhanvi who is running away from her past even as she runs a charitable clinic where Sonu first meets her. The lack of sparks between the two and the utter predictability of their relationship graph make the film’s romantic track decidedly dull. It’s also hard to empathise with this woman when the writer/director’s treatment of the character and actress Esha Gupta’s acting limitations reduce Jhanvi to nothing more than a showpiece. Yeah, so we know that she has flawless skin, a fabulous figure and (don’t hate me for saying this but) she looks like Angelina Jolie … So what?! Making matters worse is the placement of the love songs in the story and the completely unimaginative settings of these songs. The ending may have been heart-wrenching if Esha could act, but since she just about gets by in that department, the final portion comes across as overly stretched in a desperate attempt to wring tears out of the audience.
But Jannat 2 is not a hopeless case either. It features some action and chase scenes that made me sit up and take notice. It’s also nice to see a deserving actor like Randeep Hooda being given substantial roles in two mainstream films in quick succession (last year he had Sahib Biwi aur Gangster). Emraan too is convincing as the rascal with a heart. In fact, the two leading men are so good together that I found myself wishing Sonu Dilli had fallen in love with ACP Pratap instead of Dr Jhanvi! When these gentlemen are not sharing screen space, one of Jannat 2’s more moving moments comes from Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub in a small but impactful role. Ayyub had earlier played Jessica Lal’s killer in No One Killed Jessica and the hero’s friend in Mere Brother ki Dulhan.

I don’t see myself ever making the effort to watch this film a second time, but despite its many flaws, it’s only fair to say that Jannat 2 is a mildly entertaining even if unmemorable film.

Rating (out of five): **1/2

CBFC Rating:                       A

Running Time:                      133 minutes

Language:                              Hindi

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