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Oct 04, 2023 12:51 PM 427 Views
(Updated Oct 04, 2023 01:00 PM)



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Suspense thriller maker Sujoy Ghosh's narrative is becoming weirder and weirder and much ahead of the times. Are we ready for it? The way his latest release, Jaane Jaan is trending on Netflix, I guess viewers are thirsting for contents which are rather unusual, to put it very mildly.

A middle aged doting mother(Kareena Kapoor Khan) of a girl child(Naisha Khanna), a genius mathematician and logician who can move ahead of the cops(Jaideep Ahlawat) and a charming but shrewd Sub Inspector(Vijay Varma) make for an unusual cast triangulating around a missing Police Inspector of questionable character suspected to be dead. In the backdrop of broodingly beautiful Kalimpong, the stage is set for another mind boggling mystery.

Maya D'Souza lives with her daughter. Their neighbour is the respected Mathematics Teacher, Naren Vyas, whose life pivots around his first love - Mathematics. Maya runs a Coffee-cum-Snack Bar called Tiffin where Naren is a regular causing the helpers to mischievously speculate about Naren's covert and clumsy amorous advances towards Maya. Life could have gone on in its usual pace had not Maya's erstwhile good for nothing husband popped up out of her murky past blackmailing her for money.

It does not take much time for him to come knocking at her door threatening to'use' her daughter the way he sold Maya off to a sleazy night bar post marriage. Maya gives him whatever she has but he is determined to come barging oftener. He knows which school her daughter goes and all her daily routines. In her desperation to stop him from hurting her daughter she accidentally kills him. Her daughter is also a partner in the crime.

Now, the question is where to hide the body. It takes a lot to kill and then to dispose off the body turns out to be a Herculean task for both mother and daughter.

In comes Naren to offer help who by sheer logic deciphers that there is something wrong in his neighbour's house. The body gone, the trio goes back to their regular routine but not for long. Sub Inspector Karan Anand drops in at the bar asking unsettling questions. As per Karan's information, the cop was last seen at the bar and around.

Maya puts up with him with false bravado but it won't be long that her vulnerability will show through. Again, it's Naren who tutors her step by step how to go about the seemingly innocent but gruelling sessions of enquiries.

Karan is charming but shrewd. The equation turns a bit awry as Karan finds Maya too hot a suspect and too hot a neighbour of a boring sociopath whose first and last love is Mathematics.

Karan turns out to be Naren's school mate. He knows his genius friend is not'normal', too engrossed in solving unsolvable mathematical problems for years. He is also not comfortable with a half charred body found in the valley, the perfect alibi of the mother and the daughter, the awkward moments when he feels kind of wobbly in the presence of the gorgeous Mrs. D'Souza. Will he be able to seek the truth or will he see what he is made to see?

Jaane Jaan is not a straightforward murder mystery where in the end the cop or the sleuth unties the knots through the age old method of logical deductions employing the "grey cells". Here it's a snake and ladder game of the twisty logician and ace mathematician who has taken years to solve complex equations and even thought of committing suicide when somebody else solved the problem minutes before he did. He is the self evasive, awkward guy next door who is not worth looking twice. Yet, he has a razor sharp edge to his cerebrum which is pathologically conditioned to gauge the next move of his opponent beforehand. The question is why is he so involved in this bloody affair?

Based on celebrated Japanese Mystery Writer Keigo Higashino's The Devotion Of Suspect X, Jaane Jaan, is a complex psychological thriller with sterling performances by the threesome. But the one who deserves all the accolades and awards is Jaideep Ahlawat as Naren Vyas. He is besotted by the beautiful Maya but too shy to confess his feelings. So he stands by his vulnerable neighbour like the rock of Gibraltar knowing fully well that perhaps he will never be able to win her heart the way someone like his mate Karan Anand will.

Sujoy Ghosh says that Jaane Jaan is more of a Love Story than a Murder Mystery. It's achingly beautiful ending vouches for that epithet. Abhik Bandopadhyay's creativity takes cinematography to a notch higher captivating the breathtakingly picturesque Kalimpong in all its fogginess adding to the ambiguity of the storytelling obfuscating the obvious question: if a murder has taken place where is the body?

Suspicion and speculation cannot bring a culprit to books. One needs solid evidence and motive. Everything is conjectural unless established with proof. The genius plays with the tiny algebraic conundrums in between truth that is and truth as seen to be to exemplify his loyalty and purposely devalue the'x' in this game of devotion, dilemma and deducing.

In this narrative of'perhaps-es', Sujoy Ghosh, once again converts the backdrop of Kalimpong into an inherent part of the story like he did for Kolkata in Kahaani Part I. The characters and their psyche are inseparably intertwined with the misty valley of clouded vision. You can only see the vast horizon afar(read the larger picture) when the mist parts. But the question here is: will it part?

A must watch for all mystery lover.

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Jaane Jaan