Producer: Mahesh Bhatt, Mukesh Bhatt
Director: Kunal Deshmukh
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Esha Gupta, Imran Zahid, Manish Chaudhary
What do you do when you have an A-Class actor but the role played by the second hero is more powerful? Should you switch the roles? But that would dilute the experience of the film. So, what do you do?
The answer is – writing that blends with powerful dialogue and presentation. Jannat 2 is the perfect example of how a commercial film doesn’t disappoint an actor’s fans while preserving the purity of the script and screenplay.
The film begins with an introduction to Emraan Hashmi’s character and the opening credits with voiceover by Hashmi. This is followed by the introduction of Randeep Hooda and how he nabs Hashmi and extracts the information he needs. The chase sequence that follows gives the impression that Hooda is the hero of the film.
It is here that the jugalbandi between the writer and the director works – the way the script is penned and presented on screen. Although you think “WOW” for Hooda, you also fall in love with the main lead Emraan Hashmi. This is just one example of how, just when you think Hooda is the lead actor, there’s a twist that brings Hashmi back to the fore.
It is obvious that the writer’s team and the director know the pulse of Hashmi’s audience. He has been presented the way people want to see him. And this is precisely where the film scores. Jannat 2 will probably also earn Hashmi a bigger fan following.
There’s nothing really new to the story. There’s this small-time crook played by Hashmi who deals in illegal guns, and a senior police officer played by Randeep Hooda who wants to bust the gun-trafficking trade. Hooda wants to use Hashmi to delve into the underbelly of the arms trade and Hashmi eventually gives in.
Hashmi falls in love with a doctor played by Esha Gupta. He wants to marry her and settle down. Hooda comes up with an offer and Hashmi takes it up in return for life with his beloved. Hashmi becomes Hooda’s mole and infiltrates the gang. There are many twists and turns that follow, which are the crux of the film.
The film has every ingredient a commercial film requires, from melodious songs to comic punches to action to thrills to high-voltage drama. Scenes where Hooda misses his dead wife and calls her from a public booth to hear her voice on the answering machine is beautifully woven into the script and presented on screen.
The first half of the film moves very quickly and includes some major highlights. These include the scene where Hooda nabs Hashmi; the chase between goons and Hooda; the first time Hashmi and Esha Gupta meet; and Hashmi’s ploy to infiltrate the mafia. But what makes the proceedings entertaining is the dialogue (Sanjay Masoomm).
If there is one drawback, it’s the cuss words. The dialogue is so powerful that there was no need for that. If only they had been deleted, the film would have probably received a U/A certification.
The film starts dragging a little in the second half, which also gives the impression that Hashmi is playing second fiddle to Hooda. But, once again, he returns to the fore. The pre-climax, where Hashmi decides to help Hooda and claims he’s not a coward, and then the climax, where he asks Hooda to conceal the truth about him from his wife, brings him back as the leading man.
Director Kunal Deshmukh knows his job, and proves, yet again, that he knows his audience well and believes in making a complete commercial entertainer. His shot taking and ability to bring out the best in his actors is superb. The writers too have done a fantastic job. Pritam’s music may remind you of his earlier compositions but he’s in his element, and, as always, his songs are among the highlights of the film. Background score by Raju Singh is good though the tune Ting ding ding reminds you of the background score in RA.One. Bobby Singh’s camera work definitely helps the film. Action is superlative.
Performance-wise, there’s no doubt this is an Emraan Hashmi film. And he delivers a bravura performance. Whether action scenes, romantic scenes, light scenes or dramatic scenes, he is first-rate.
As for Randeep Hooda, this has got to be his best performance ever, one that will most likely earn him a nomination for best supporting actor. Debutante Esha Gupta is just about okay and her look is inconsistent in the film. Manish Chaudhary is exceptional. Sumit Nijhawan is superb. Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub is lovable. Brijendra Kala is commendable.