Film: “Junooniyat”; Director: Vivek Agnihotri; Cast: Pulkit Samrat, Yami Gautam, Gulshan Devaiah and Hrishitaa Bhatt, Rating: *1/2
“Junooniyat” is a lacklustre, oft-seen love story, which offers no freshness and not even the zing expected in a romance. It thus appears boring and mediocre.
Captain Jahan Bakshi (Pulkit Samrat), while on an investigative operation, meets a college student Suhaani (Yami Gautam) from Amritsar, who is swimming in a restricted area.
Several scenes later, the inevitable happens. They fall in love. Predictable? Extremely. And that is the downfall of Vivek Agnihotri’s love saga “Junooniyat”. It is not even handled in an unusual or interesting manner to give a fillip to an ordinary story. On the contrary it smacks of amateurishness.
There is no element of surprise, no interesting twists and not even a heart-wrenching love story which tugs at your heart strings. The opposition to their love story seems weak and inconsequential. The couple is sensible, practical and perhaps the very antithesis of what lovers should be.
Their “junooniyat” or obsession is clearly missing. There is no madness in their love story and consequently, no magic.
With the quintessential ingredients of weddings, railway platform scene, “runaway bride”, songs and the archetypical Army guy, “Junooniyat” becomes tedious to watch. There is a feeling of deja vu throughout.
The screenplay too is a staid fare, with songs thrown in intermittently, to make it seem frothy and entertaining, and to showcase the romance, but it fails to uplift the film. It is lazily crafted, and the characters are flimsy and lack depth.
The dialogues, touted to be full of poetry as well, seem bland and uninspiring.
The direction by Vivek Agnihotri disappoints, as it appears staged and theatrical. It is almost formulaic, as if set in a mould.
Pulkit Samrat walks through his role of the Captain in the Army, adding nothing to his character. It is almost as if you are watching a stereotypical Army guy of Bollywood – well mannered, suave and confident. Perhaps he cannot be blamed for the lack of originality in writing.
Yami Gautam too breezes through Suhaani effortlessly, as it is her oft-seen avatar. After her promising debut film, she sadly seems to have fallen into a rut of standard, one-dimensional roles.
Gulshan Devaiah as the NRI Yash Khurana, is competent and delivers. His delivery of “Hey, you crying, any dukh?” elicits a chuckle.
Hrishitaa Bhatt as Mishti, is her usual self, adding nothing to her character.
The music offers nothing spectacular, in spite of a medley of songs on various occasions.
With moderate production values, the sets and production designs seem forged.
Overall, “Junooniyat” is bland, insipid fare which would not even appeal to die-hard romantics.