Director: Kunal Deshmukh
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda
Jannat 2 follows the basic template of a small-time crook trying to reform himself when he falls in love. So the narrative primarily is a love story playing simultaneously alongside a crime-drama, both consequential of each other. But while the crime backdrop is reasonably riveting, the romance track is dull and deterrent to the drama. Only if the director could balance the two elements appropriately, Jannat 2 could have been a heavenly experience!
Sonu Dilli (Emraan Hashmi) is an illegal arms supplier. He falls in love with Jhanvi (Esha Gupta) and decides to reform himself. But ACP Pratap Raghuvanshi (Randeep Hooda) pushes him back into the bad business, using him as an infiltrator to reach the head of the arms trade (Manish Chaudhary). Swinging between the cop and the criminal, Sonu’s love life goes for a toss.
While the love story is imperative to the film, it is handled rather clumsily and resorts to old-school romance. It’s the age-old love-at-first-sight syndrome. After that, the two stumble upon each other in every second scene. He woos her with pedestrian songs and trite pickup lines and she has a perpetual smirk pasted on her face as if giggling on the inbuilt corniness of the scenes. The idea might be to opt for preset procedures and promptly establish the love story but even that seems long-drawn-out. And despite the physical intimacy, the chemistry between the lead pair is strictly peripheral and functional.
Where the film succeeds to grab your attention is in handling of its crime-drama. Certainly Jannat 2 isn’t designed as an expose on the illegal arms trading racket but it’s merely used as a backdrop to the film. But unlike the predecessor Jannat or the more recent Blood Money where the backdrops (match fixing, diamond smuggling) were employed childishly and to customized convenience, here the setting is not as immature and the drama is explored more eventfully by director Kunal Deshmukh. Romance intercuts the crime-drama too often but the concentrated confrontation between Emraan and Randeep often makes up for the dilute chemistry between Emraan and Esha.
Despite the grave theme, the treatment is more or less perky and devoid of melodrama, which thankfully never makes the proceedings depressing. Unlike the extreme intensity often imparted to Emraan Hashmi’s characters from Awarapan to Murder 2, Sonu Dilli has a frivolous attitude towards life. Randeep Hooda’s brooding character substitutes for it. Thankfully his back-story is never documented beyond what’s necessary. What’s reprehensive, however, is the excessive insertion of expletives in every second line of the film – a blatant machismo showoff! Nothing against use of abusive language but since most of it is forced to get that cinematic impact, it backfires.
The writing by Shagufta Rafique has a definite graph which reaches the crescendo by interval point and, despite an intermittent drop, ascends once again in the climax. However what gives Jannat 2 its individuality is a smart epilogue which works as an antidote to the basic essence of the love story. That puts the film a notch above the rest in the league. The dialogues are occasionally effective and the film smartly derives from classics like Don and Naam on the pretext of giving them a tribute. Pritam’s music works well in the film. Bobby Singh’s cinematography, esp. in the chase sequences is spellbinding.
Jannat 2 comes to life primarily for its two male leads who never overshadow the other and yet have compelling screen presence individually. Emraan Hashmi is affable, charming yet street-smart. He puts in a convincing act. Randeep Hooda breathes life into his intense character. His husky vocal chords and physique add to the effect. The climactic showdown between the two is remarkable. Esha Gupta, who looks a mix between Lara Dutta and Esha Koppikhar, is merely there for the glam quotient. Manish Chaudhary goes over the top occasionally.
Overlook a few of its sinful indulgences and Jannat 2 can turn out to be a hell of a ride!Esha Gupta Gaurav Malani Jannat 2 Kunal Deshmukh Randeep Hooda Reviews Times of India