JAAN JIGAR: BELOVED REVIEW : SHIVANI RAGHUVANSHI AND ASHUTOSH SOHAN EXCEL IN THIS MIDDLING MORAL POLICING DRAMA
STORY: A challenging love story about two teenagers who live in a small town in North India and have to deal with moral policing.
REVIEW: ‘Jaan Jigar' begins with a young boy conversing late at night on the phone with a girl he likes, vowing to meet her the next day in a secluded area. The two teenagers then embark on their first-ever romantic date. Due to their intimate closeness, the young girl seeks some more time to calm her racing heart, and the couple learns more about each other and their past, which is both insightful and rejuvenating.
The short film by writer-director Ranjan Chandel exposes moral policing by strangers that is alarmingly increasing in some parts of India. Many of the scenes depicting the couple’s newly blossoming love—the way they hold hands, grin shyly at each other, or save one other's names on their phones— are executed with utmost simplicity, making it quite realistic and endearing to watch. Soon after they are caught in a moment of kissing that builds up between them, their budding romance takes a dark turn. The screenplay runs at a same pace throughout, but what makes it unique is that instead of emphasising the situation's hopelessness, it simply illustrates that love cannot be muted.
Shivani Raghuvanshi, who made her acting debut in Kanu Behl’s dark comedy ‘Titli’ (2014), brings a lot of warmth to her character. She does an impressive job portraying a teen on the verge of falling in love. Ashutosh Sohan Gupta is a gem; he’s as natural as a Romeo wooing his Juliet. The on-screen chemistry between the two is simply adorable.
"All's well that ends well," one would infer, but the theme of moral policing could have been addressed more effectively and impactfully with a little more runtime. However, as a love story, this short film is worth watching—the couple's chemistry and cute little moments will melt your heart.