Nanu Ki Jaanu Movie Review: Abhay Deol And Patralekhaa, We Deserve Better
Cast: Abhay Deol, Patralekhaa, Rajesh Sharma and Himani Shivpuri
Director: Faraz Haider
Rating: 1 star (out of 5)
The spirits of two much-abused genres – horror and comedy – are given an unceremonious burial in Nanu Ki Jaanu, a heavy-handed jumble that is both horrific and funny, neither of which is remotely intentional. The Faraz Haider-directed film plods its way through a plot that is as bizarre as hell – a girl who dies in a road mishap turns into a ghost and haunts a conman who picked her up from a pool of blood and rushed her to a hospital – before culminating in an ice factory where the soul of the dead teaches the living a thing or two about life. Cold comfort!
Abhay Deol, in his first big-screen outing since 2016’s Happy Bhag Jayegi, looks downright unhappy as he carries the burden of this massive mess of a movie on his shoulders. It’s an ungainly sight: the actor tries very hard to hold on to his sanity, but that is a tough ask in a film where the actors do not stand a ghost of a chance of rising above the wild and wobbly script.
Not just Abhay Deol, Nanu Ki Jaanu paints all its actors, including the talented Rajesh Sharma and Himani Shivpuri, into a corner and reduce them into a gaggle of hectoring, hollering cacklers. Patralekhaa, who is supposed to be the female lead, is fobbed off with what is worse than a walk-on part. She has to make do with a handful of scenes, hovering in the background in a hideous get-up that is aimed at scaring the hero out of his wits. He does lose his mind, but she does no more than raise a few laughs. Not her fault really: what scope does an actress playing a dead girl whose father has chosen to trap her in a huge ice slab have of ‘living’ her role? Deol plays Nanu, a tough-talking Noida criminal who loses his spunk into the fifth scene of the film. The traumatic experience of seeing a life ebbing out of a girl who has her hand in his pushes him into a depression. His gang members are baffled by the transformation. Back in his apartment, Nanu has worse to deal with. There is a ghost in his chimney. The occult has never been so odious.
The spirit, who loses no opportunity to assert that she is a benign force out to restore order in this world, is a freak who hates transgressions. She tidies up the clutter in Nanu’s house every day, hides the bottle opener when the man wants to drink beer, mercilessly pummels a wife-beater and gives a burglar a run for his money when he enters Nanu’s flat with the intention of cleaning it out. She is a ghost that is hard to lay to rest.