Both films have a common ground: "Dosti," set against the backdrop of St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai.
"Pyaar Dosti Hai," this popular dialogue, is said by Shah Rukh Khan's character Rahul in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. A lot of films later used this formula, and several failed to create magic on the screen. However, it took a decade for another film to work on it and excel, as Karan Johar did with his directorial debut. Yes, we are talking about the 2008 release Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na, which also marked the directorial debut of Abbas Tyrewala.
The film launched Imran Khan, Aamir Khan's nephew, as a leading hero, while it was also sort of a comeback vehicle for Genelia D'Souza. Both actors play best friends from college who also graduated from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai. (Oh my god, are they alumni?) They are chalk and cheese as Jai Singh Rathore, aka Rats (Imran), is a mild-mannered man, and Aditi Mahant, aka Meow (Genelia), is a fiery beauty who gets disgusted when their families try to fix them up. However, their close ones know that they are both meant to be together, but they do not realize it.
Not just them, but even viewers, in many instances, felt, "Why aren't they together?" I felt it strongly during three sequences, which breaks my heart to know why they didn't act on it. Interestingly, all three sequences are in three songs.
The first one is at the end of the Pappu Can't Dance song, where they are both so lost in each other that Karan Makhija, as Ravindran Sahu, aka Rotu, drowns in sorrow. Another sequence is during the Nazrein Milana song, when on a truck, Aditi waves at a guy driving a car parallelly, and Jai gives a strange look despite sitting beside his girlfriend, Meghna (Manjari Phadnis). The third one is, of course, the Kahin Toh Hogi song, when Sushant Modi (Ayaz Khan) gives an impromptu kiss to Aditi and Jai just loses his mind.
Apart from these heartbreaking moments, there are a few happy moments in this film that increase the number of multiple viewings of Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na.
A. The relatable story of falling in love in the early 20s, friendship over everything, and the excitement of stepping out of college and entering a new world as adults
B. Having the coolest parents ever, who are equal as friends, and many even wish for the same in real life.
C. An amazing original soundtrack composed by AR Rahman, which is perfect for millennials.
D. Despite being portrayed as '90s kids, their love for retro hits will resonate with many. The film pays a perfect tribute to the golden era of Hindi cinema by humming songs like Tera Mujhse Hai Pehle Ka Naata Koi and Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyar Tera.
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na has been a favourite movie of a lot of kids belonging to the '90s era. Yes, I am one of them! It perfectly defines the coming-of-age era, which has been lost in translation in several films and series made in recent times.
This film made me a firm believer in the fact that friendship is the basis of any romantic relationship. In the world of a lot of romantically paired couples, I stand with Jai and Aditi, who are a redefinition of how a relationship can never be defined and all you need to do is take a chance. Probably not at the airport or by beating the s**t out of an ex-fiancé!
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na is available to stream on Netflix.