Film: "Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story"; Actors: Vivek Oberoi and Neha Sharma; Director: Vinnil Markan; Rating: **1/2 - for those who love 'luv' stories!
"Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story" is a light, frothy Mumbaiya rom-com. It is romance in the era of the 2G Spectrum Scam. Unlike the scam, this story is totally uncomplicated and entertaining.
His is the love story of a 'bhadotri' (tenant) and her 'padosi' (neighbour). The 'padosi' is a gangster and she is the jobless and helpless damsel. Just after the 2G Spectrum expose, Simran Desai (Neha Sharma) loses her job and her accommodation. And to prove a point of, "Mumbai mein pass, ya fail', to all and sundry, she shifts into a rented apartment, and has Jayantabhai (Vivek Oberoi) as her neighbour.
Jayantabhai works for Altafbhai (Zakir Husain) and aspires to be Altafbhai's "respected" right hand man.
She, on the other hand, is penniless and job hunting.
Love brews in a very unconventional way in the backdrop of a gang rivalry between Altafbhai and an ex-cop turned gangster Alex Pandiyan.
Initially, the plot and its dramatisation seem to be a bit idiotic, fluffy and weird. What aggravates this weirdness is the use of the fish-eye lenses. But by the end, you get hooked to the characters and if you are a die-hard romantic, then this story would surely touch your heart.
Vivek as the cool, confident tapori gangster and at the same time, nervous as a wreck before Simran's father, is very convincing. He carries his swagger with elan, but his accent is a wee bit unconvincing. He is portrayed as a Maharashtrian with a Hyderabadi accent, which too is inconsistent. On the other hand, apart from the glamour quotient inclusive of spunk and style, Neha Sharma does not offer much on the acting front. Her ability to perform is pretty limited. She is not at all realistic.
The character Kunal, who Jayantabhai refers as 'kacha nimbu' is cute and laudable. The other character actors are wasted as they don't have much to do.
Vinnil Markan, in his directorial debut, seems to have concentrated more on the writing and has whipped up some good lines from writer Kiran Kotrial. The dialogues are dramatic and loaded with puns using gangster lingo. In one scene, which is quite hilarious, Vivek heads into a bar and addresses the bar singer as ace 'Fata Mangeshkar' before ordering her to stop singing.
Also, after most of his offending jabber with Simran, Jayantabhai blurts, "Joking re sense of humourous" in an attempt to crack stale jokes. Though not funny, the line is laughable and contagious. The icing on the cake is when Jayantabhai says, "You need to know, - Bhai-logy" to understand the gangsters.
The songs in the film are simply juxtaposed to appeal to the audience. They do not add to the narrative in any way.
Technically, the production value of the film is average. The frames and setting give it the feel of a TV production, but of better quality. Nevertheless, the production department has taken ample pains to capture the essence of Mumbai, especially the Irani restaurant, where the lead pair have anda-bhurji with pav (scrambled eggs with bread) for breakfast.
As mentioned earlier, "Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story" will not disappoint you if you are emotionally inclined to love stories.