OK Jaanu vs OK Kanmani: How Shraddha Kapoor-Aditya Roy Kapur's film compares to the original

Sujatha Narayanan

Dec 16, 2016 11:32:53 IST

Does Shaad Ali's OK Jaanu have what it takes to outshine (or even match up to) its original — Mani Ratnam's OK Kanmani?

That has been the question on viewers' minds ever since the trailer of OK Jaanu, starring Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur, dropped on 12 December. (Read — OK Jaanu trailer: Aditya Roy Kapur, Shraddha Kapoor's easy chemistry lifts 'millennial love story')

Ever since, fans have been contrasting the lead pair to Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen from the original, the mood' of the two films and so on.

OK Jaanu vs OK Kanmani: How Shraddha Kapoor-Aditya Roy Kapurs film compares to the original

OK Kanmani (L) OK Jaanu (R)

So just how does the OK Jaanu trailer stack up against OK Kanmani?

Some of the best elements from the Tamil (film) find pride of place in Hindi as well — the music for example, along with AR Rahman's 'Humma Humma' remix, is set to be a chartbuster in Hindi as well. Shaad Ali has a great ear (and eye) for songs: 'Kajra Re' and 'Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom' still play in party halls!

The Humma Song: OK Jaanu's reprise slows down the tempo, sets temperature soaring

In terms of the picturisation, Ravi K Chandran matches his calibre to PC Sreeram's soothing visuals from OK Kanmani. Ravi's well lit closeups convey feelings — that's apart from his robust round-up of the big, bustling city of Mumbai. The yellow hues come alive, and are such a pleasing contrast to Mumbai's grey skyline.

The dialogues, as seen in the OK Jaanu trailer have been "Hindi-ised" from OK Kanmani's Tamil lines written by Mani Ratnam. They lose nothing in translation, and sound equally profound, especially when delivered by one of the best actors in the business — Naseeruddin Shah.

The difference between the two films may lie in the way the characters of the lead pair have been conceived. OK Jaanu seems to have nailed the live-in relationship theme a tad better. Going by the trailer, the Hindi version has an explicit and expansive approach to the idea of a passionate, yet noncommittal romance. The shot of Adi and Tara (Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor) making out on the terrace of their flat sums up their edgy equation. If he is America, she is Europe and therein lie their demarcated personalities and life plans. She would rather move in with a hot guy for a short while than take home a perfect husband! He is stoic, which adds to his sex appeal. They are perfect for a short term affair...but what after that?

Dulquer Salmaan brought in a certain boyish vulnerability to his role in OK Kanmani while Nithya Menen was among the gallery of Mani Ratnam heroines who are bubbly yet strong. However, Shraddha's spectacle-clad architect is serious about pushing off to Paris and she means it when she says 'it's over'.

With OK Jaanu, Shaad Ali is remaking another Mani Ratnam film: Is OK Kanmani the best choice?

Both of them are uninhibited and probably clear about their ambitions but relatively confused about commitment. They're real enough to explore their respective 'what-nexts'.

Be that as it may, the OK Jaanu trailer also raises a few questions. What will be the 'shock value' (if it's intended as such) for a Hindi film audience to witness a love story about a live-in relationship when it's been explored as far ahead as Salaam Namastey? What is the wow factor for an OK Jaanu in the Hindi film milieu where premarital sex and physical intimacy are spelt out candidly? The live-in element caused much curiosity in Tamil as it was Mani Ratnam who showed you what your kids in their mid-twenties wanted to do with their love lives. How modern or new will OK Jaanu be in that context ?

The plot points maybe familiar to a Tamil audience but to other Indian filmgoers, Shaad Ali's film will stand alone. Mani Ratnam clearly feels he can give his best love stories (previously, Alaipayuthey became Saathiya) to his trusted protégé, whose innate sense of song picturisations and penchant for good cinematography along with staging emotional scenes with minimal dialogue is akin to his standards.

As for whether or not OK Jaanu will replicate the OK Kanmani magic, we'll just have to wait and watch.

Updated Date: Dec 16, 2016 11:32:53 IST