Nanu Ki Jaanu: The Abhay Deol starrer is all-out scatter-brained and lame

Nanu (Abhay Deol) is a blustering criminal type who operates in the Delhi/NCR region. Leading his gang from the front, he goes around terrorizing regular folk: he’s never met a door he couldn’t kick open, innocents he couldn’t intimidate and flats he couldn’t grab. This, we are given to understand, is how Nanu and co have been operating, and profitably at that. And then one fine day, something happens, and things start to change.
This film is clearly aiming for an Oye Lucky Lucky Oye vibe, with its pairing of Deol and Manu Rishi as cons, liberal usage of slang, and characters trying hard to be quirky. But within a few minutes, it’s equally clear that we’ve been conned: Nanu Ki Jaanu is so all-out scatter-brained and lame, that we are left wincing rather than laughing.
When, in the name of the gods that rule this still relatively unexplored genre in Bollywood — “the horror comedy” — will we be given one which qualifies as one? Nanu Ki Jaanu has one or two lines which leave us chortling, and a situation or two which is genuinely surprising: one or two in a film of two hours? You do the math.
Apart from the goons scurrying aimlessly about, we get a pretty ghost in moony pursuit of a conman, a worried mother, a grieving father with a yen for ice slabs being put to eye-popping use, and flat-owners who glug beer on the sly, it being a beverage you have to apparently hide from mums, wives, and ghosts alike: given the dislike on display, you’d have thought it was a dangerous narcotic powder.
The film may have been a larky idea, but practically nothing rises above the execution. Deol, who has been struggling for a while to get back in his groove, looking and sounding a lot like his cousin Sunny here, will have to wait. Patralekhaa, who showed such promise in City Lights, deserves better. The only one among its cast who manages to somewhat break free is Manu Rishi, with his very Dilli tu jaanta nahin hai main kaun hoon schtick. But after two iterations, even that becomes tiresome.

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