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Jia Aur Jia Review: A Pauper’s Version of a Road Movie That Staggers Aimlessly

Written by Poorva Tamhane
Jia Aur Jia seems to be a film that was made to justify the sponsored Sweden tourism outing that it got or even to make up for the lack of good female bonding films in Bollywood. Either way, you wish you hadn’t taken a chance with this movie who’s runtime of over 90 minutes weighs heavily all throughout.

Richa Chadda and Kalki Koechlin

Essentially, Jia Aur Jia has two Jia’s thrown in together, Jia Vennkatram (Richa Chadda) and Jia Garewal (Kalki Koechlin) who head to Sweden on a twin-sharing vacation of sorts because of “insufficient funds”. Factual exactness is pretty much missing in this movie as both the leads look rather affluent and are seen living in fancy designer homes in even fancier clothes. If anything, the plot for the movie also doesn’t bind the mindlessness of the road trip to anything sensible.

Kalki’s Jia is an outgoing, vivacious and chirpy person who owns a bakery in Panchgani. The other Jia played by Richa Chadha has a starkly opposite personality; she is corporate scion who is miserable and is seen sulking and snapping endlessly. All throughout, the lead duo looks ill at ease with themselves and their surroundings. Stockholm, Kullaberg and Ystad are among the places that are mentioned and probably shown but we have no way of being sure.

Jia Aur Jia Still

The duo seems to embark on a journey of self-discovery and learning about life and beyond but their attempt falls flat. To add to the chaos there is a man of Indo-Swede descent that they run into by the name of Vasu Krishna Bergman (played by newcomer Arslan Goni) who they frolic with on the beach. While one of the Jia’s lives it up the other looks for a way to end her life. To make things worse, there are bits about liver donation and transplant that are so ill-conceived and uninformed that it will leave you aghast.

All in all, Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadda who have in the past delivered some commendable performances are left clutching at straws with a marginal screenplay. Kalki’s Jia is reduced to a ditzy character that cracks juvenile jokes and takes undue risks whereas Richa Chadha’s performance is somewhat disengaging. Watch this movie only for the splendid locales and some mind-numbing humour. The movie is currently playing in theatres.

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Poorva Tamhane

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