Janhit Mein Jaari movie cast: Nushrratt Bharuucha, Anud Singh Dhaka, Paritosh Tripathi, Vijay Raaz, Brijendra Kala, Tinnu Anand, Ishtiyak Khan, Sapna Sand
Janhit Mein Jaari movie director: Jai Basantu Singh
Janhit Mein Jaari movie rating: 2.5 stars
Pretty Manokamna Tripathi is a perfect candidate for a ‘good match’. She also markets condoms. Straight away, that is a problem. How can a good Indian girl do such a ‘ganda kaam’ (dirty work)? By making a ‘parivarik’ (family) comedy out of it, that’s what. Calling a condom, a ‘chhatri’ (umbrella) is an old joke, but it is turned into a perky element in ‘Janhit Mein Jaari’, which uses humour well enough up to a point, to make its point — that it’s no sin to talk up protection during sex.
To that end, we have a solid ensemble. Manokamna (Nushrratt Bharuucha) desires a paying job. The one she gets offered, by a good-natured distributor (Brijendra Kala) of said condoms, has no strings attached, except a loyal lovelorn best friend (Paritosh Tripathi). Along the way she acquires, at some speed, a boyfriend-who-turns-into-a-husband (Anud Singh Dhaka), a domineering father-in-law (Vijay Raaz), a grandpa-in-law (Tinnu Anand), and a companionable clutch of sisters-in-law. There’s the usual righteous uproar, and the fallout thereof, which we know in advance.
What makes this film, at least its first half, such good fun is the writing. It’s light and funny, and the characters do their job well, as we see the Bollywood small town (clearly, Chanderi in MP is the new ‘It’ town) in throes of a ‘sasur-bahu’ saga. Manokamna’s parents’ home is dubbed Condom Niwas, the father-in-law goes blue in the face when he discovers the true nature of his ‘kamaau bahu’s (earning daughter-in-law) job, the husband is more a dutiful son than a supportive husband, and barbs fly thick and fast.
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Post-interval, the film becomes preachy. Condoms are not just for pleasure, says Manokamna to the groups of ladies she goes about addressing, they are also instruments that keep women from unwanted abortions, which in turn prevents untimely tragic deaths. That’s not to say that this is not a valid argument, but it takes a brave-for-Bollywood, let-us-have-some-fun-with-sex flick, and turns it into a lecture.
If only we could get more of that fun, still considered taboo: the most hilarious part of the film is two women chatting about having it on. Films grown up enough to feature condoms also means that they need to be grown up enough to talk about the act, right? ‘Darr ke aage jeet hai’.