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A Movie Close To My Heart - Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani

Do you have that one favorite movie that you wouldn’t mind watching reruns of several times, a movie to turn to when you feel down and one that leaves you with happy-happy goosebumps no matter how many times you watch it? That one movie whose every dialogue and every scene is etched into your mind?

Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani released on the exact date I graduated from college and I was struggling with what I wanted to do next. I decided to watch this movie for one reason alone – its trailer with the magnificent Manali mountainside. At that time, Manali was my dream destination. And let’s admit it, Dharma productions make one hell of a trailer. I had no idea, that while I was sitting in the theatre, I would be watching a movie that would be change a lot of things for me. I simply settled in, all set to enjoy the fireworks that I would be writing about eight years later.

I will not yap away on what the movie is about, because there are a dozen reviews out there. I will also not talk about (well, for the most part) about the life lessons hidden in well-thought out dialogue sequences. I will instead, talk about, the impression this entertaining three-hour flick left in me. I will speak about the excitement I get about going on a journey I have already gone multiple times, whenever I watch its trailer. And the immensely cathartic pleasure I get whenever I reach its rolling credits.

This movie had me hooked right from the start with the well-packed lovely gift hamper invites being delivered. Right then, I got a feel of the aesthetic element that would follow during the entire course of the film. Add to it the Manali scenes and you have a story that would make you fall in love with mountain air and destination weddings. But aesthetics is not the reason for me to have watched the movie eight times now. It is what the aesthetics speak about – the wall in Bunny’s room, the hanging polaroid pictures, the famous scrapbook of Bunny’s, Avi’s final New year celebration in his bar – that makes it so interesting to me and gets to me. Passion. Our lives are so empty without it and isn’t it funny how, in the midst the 9-to-5 rat race and life’s obligations, we tend to forget this fact? Instead of going the distance, we quit halfway because we are too comfortable and afraid. I watch this movie to remind myself that there is always something in life to be that passionate about, enough to fight the world for it and not care what you leave in your trail.

This scene where Bunny tries to hold onto his dreams, even though he knows deep inside that it is probably time to move on, really gets to me. It helps me go through life a little easier, knowing that no matter how high you go, you still want to be connected to your roots.

There is a myriad of emotions that this movie evokes in me. Emotions of different shades that are portrayed so beautifully, from the stolen glances and fleeting moments to lowered expectations, from being understood to being a disappointment. But Bunny and Naina do the best for me. It is endearing how he brings out the fun side of her and helps her grow, because that is what his character does – build confidence. And how she teaches him to take life one step at a time and commit to the present moment. I love how they complement each other’s personality, are completely aware of that fact but don’t resent each other for it. Love is such a simple and joyous affair. What makes it less joyous is the expectations we attach to it. I realized that once I free myself from expectations and look within, I find love just as simple and beautiful as it is supposed to be. For me, this movie is also about Naina’s unbridled love towards Bunny, which, when took an unexpected turn, she took in stride, and turned it into something beautiful.

Along with Naina, I too wanted to scream at the top of my lungs on that mountain top. There was something about that moment where they were free from the world’s expectations, with no goals to follow except to reach the top. Where there was only passion and dreams.

Yes, I know it is a movie but part of what a movie does is shape an alternate reality – atleast it does for me on aspects of my life that I cannot control. How I wish I had a Bunny to lift me up from whatever hole I had decided to crawl into so that I did not have to suffer through years of self esteem issues before I finally accepted myself on my own. People go through their entire lives without ever meeting a Bunny. Heck, most people aren’t even aware that they need a Bunny. Something that resonates within me is that when you really, really love a movie, it is not just about the actors, or the settings, or the cinematography or any other technical aspects, it is about how you, as a person, relate to the characters, to you.

I want to be Bunny, abandoning everything to follow my dreams.

A secret Avi stays within me, wanting to invest in an idea because that’s what I want to do, even if it fails repeatedly.

I want to be brave like Naina, with the gumption to go on a journey with a bunch of strangers and end up with memories of a lifetime.

And I wish I had an Aditi within me, with the ability to love and let go.

Most of all, I want to stand on the railing of a yacht, a drink dangling from the tips of my fingers, looking out at the sea. And spontaneously dive into it without thinking, while at it.

So, what are you waiting for? Go watch it today on Prime Video in Binge Club - Private Theatre. Chill back with friends, your partner, or heck, watch it alone. Because you know what? This film is all about you embracing yourself.


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