Sachin Pilgaonkar, whose beloved, Ranjeeta, had died of blood cancer 32 years ago, meets her look-alike. She interacts with him continuously as she is writing his biography. What happens thereafter?
Business rating: 1/5 star
Star cast: Sachin Pilgaonkar, Ranjeeta, Jr. Mehmood, Birbal, Neelu Kohli.
What’s Good: The sensitive direction; performances of Sachin and Ranjeeta.
What’s Bad: The disconnect of the audience with the yesteryear stars; the music.
Verdict: Jaana Pehchana is a well-made film but it will fail to do much at the box-office.
Loo break: Not really.
Watch or Not?: Watch Jaana Pehchana for the nostalgia; and for Sachin and Ranjeeta’s performances.
Rajshri Productions (P.) Ltd.’s Jaana Pehchana is a sequel to the banner’s Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se (1978). In that film, Arun Prakash Mathur (Sachin Pilgaonkar) and Lily (Ranjeeta) were college mates who were in love with one another. Lily had been stricken by blood cancer even while their romance was blossoming and they were yet to get married. Ultimately, Lily had passed away before uniting in matrimony with Arun.
Jaana Pehchana begins 32 years after AKJS ended. Arun Prakash Mathur (Sachin) is now a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist who is media-shy. Unable to forget Lily, he is still a bachelor. Asha Dayal (Ranjeeta) is a middle-aged author who writes biographies. She accepts her publisher’s challenge to pen the biography of Arun Mathur. Armed with the knowledge that he is very media-shy, Asha calls on him in his office but she has a chance meeting with him minutes before she reaches his office, in a florist’s shop. While she doesn’t recognise Arun Mathur as she has never met him, the latter is shocked to see someone resemble Lily so much. Arun is in for a further shock when Lily’s look-alike reaches his office and seeks his permission to write his biography.
Unwilling at first, Arun relents when prodded by Madan (Jr. Mehmood), his best friend since college days, who now works with him in his office. Asha and Arun keep meeting regularly for the biography till one day, Asha learns the truth about Lily and her resemblance to late Lily. She withdraws from her assignment but Arun asks her to continue. She relents.
The coincidence of Lily and Asha’s resemblance keeps haunting Arun. Madan suggests that he get married to Asha who is a spinster and has been ditched by a guy. Does Arun agree? Does he propose to Asha? Do the two live happily ever after?
Jaana Pehchana Review – Script Analysis
Aarti S. Bagdi’s story idea is quite nice and it has also been developed logically by Neelam Jha and Pratibha Misraa. Screenplay, penned by Neelam Jha and Sachin, moves smoothly. The writers have penned a screenplay which, for obvious reasons, goes into the past (32 years ago) at regular intervals. To show the past, what the writers and director Sachin have intelligently done is to show excerpts from Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se. In effect, therefore, the film is partly a fresh film (present times) and partly the old film (flashback portions). The good thing is that the story rings true as the audience gets to see Arun and Lily/Asha’s characters, played by the same two actors, in actual time periods (32 years ago and today).
Having said this, it must also be added that today’s audience may not be enthusiastic to watch yesteryear actors Sachin and Ranjeeta play the central roles in what basically remains a love story albeit with a difference. Moreover, there is an entire generation of under-30s, which may never have seen Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se. Of course, the film can be fully understood even if one hasn’t seen the first part (AKJS) but again, the question arises: without having seen and loved AKJS, how many among the youth (which comprises a sizeable chunk of our audience today) would be keen to watch Jaana Pehchana.
Since the film deals with only Arun and Asha, it moves on a single track, which can become monotonous for the viewer. The climax is logical, heartwarming and emotional. A couple of other scenes also touch the heart. Dialogues (Neelam Jha) are very natural.
Jaana Pehchana Review – Star Performances
Sachin does a fine job, restrained and reserved to suit the character. Ranjeeta is also very good. She delivers a natural performance, remaining true to her character throughout. Jr. Mehmood lends good support. Birbal and Neelu Kohli provide able support. Madhav Moghe overacts as Ramu Kaka, at places. Dinesh Bajaj is okay as publisher Shekhar. Vinod Kulkarni (as florist) and the others do as desired.
Jaana Pehchana Review – Direction & Music
Sachin has handled the film with the sensitivity it deserves. His direction is very good. Ravindra Jain’s music is ordinary. While the songs of AKJS (also composed by Ravindra Jain) included in the film are very tuneful, the same cannot be said of the songs of the new film, which are ordinary. Rahul Jadhav’s cinematography is appropriate. Sets (Sanjay Dhabade) are okay. Editing (Faisal-Imran) is sharp.
Jaana Pehchana Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Jaana Pehchana is a well-made and well-enacted film but its commercial prospects seem bleak. Since the film has opened in just one cinema in the whole of India, lack of promotion will also prove to be a deterrent because mouth publicity would have to be super-strong for the film to make its mark at the box-office.