While Chandel’s directorial tries to cover too many relevant topics in a short film, it’s core theme alone had enough substance for a feature film.
Two young sweethearts find a secret spot in a small town in UP to meet for their first date, to understand each other and for their first kiss.
Jaan Jigar begins on a winter night, where Ashutosh Sohan Gupta’s character is romantically talking to his girlfriend on the phone. The duo discusses their past relationships while also trying to convince each other of their open-mindedness, often mirroring the reality of contemporary couples from the hinterland.
While it centres on the young couple, the Ranjan Chandel short film focuses on moral policing and reveals the real face of people spreading violence and hatred in the world under the guise of improving it. The makers could have turned the cute romantic story into a tragedy but instead takes a welcome detour, with the teenagers rising to the occasion.
Ashutosh nails the accent of a small-town UP boy along with his convincing body language, effortlessly playing the role. As his girlfriend with an urban outlook, Shivani Raghuvanshi has quite a lot to offer in Ranjan Chandel’s film. The 30-year-old actress has already proven that she can portray characters from various age groups, much like Shweta Tripathi, and does a good job in Jaan Jigar too.
The romantic and intense background scores could have been better. The scenic beauty of the hamlet doesn’t quite get its due either. Somewhere, the short film also reminds the audience of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan. The end, however, justifies the title of the film.
While Chandel’s directorial tries to cover too many relevant topics in a short film, it’s core theme alone had enough substance for a feature film. Nonetheless, Jaan Jigar at the Voot Film Festival makes for a good watch.