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Tedious Trip

Saturday, October 28, 2017
By Deepa Gahlot

Jia Aur Jia
Howard Rosemeyer
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Richa Chadda, Arslan Goni and others
Rating: * 1/2

Richa Chadda has been quoted as having said in an interview that it took so long for Bollywood to make a girl bonding film. More’s the pity that it should be a sorry mess like Jia Aur Jia, directed by Howard Rosemeyer.

The Indo-Swedish production that hopes to show off the beauty of the country, also commits the sacrilege of naming a drunken lout Bergman.

Jia Venkatraman (Richa Chadha) can’t afford a solo trip to Sweden, so she partners with a stranger Jia Garewal (Kalki Koechlin). Astonishingly, they do not meet or talk before arriving at the airport for the trip. We have already seen that JV is the morose type and JG is the kind who dances while packing her bag and spits toothpaste out of the window. She also talks non-stop, smokes and drinks copiously and picks up random strangers, of which Vasu Bergman (Arslan Goni) is one. He is constantly drunk because he is so rich, he doesn’t have to do anything.

The women drive around in a camper, but sleep in motels; the serious Jia wants to go to a cliff, the chirpy one just wants to have to have fun. Bollywood cliché says that if a character looks sad, she has to have a tragedy in her past; it also says that if a character is too chirpy, she has to have a terminal illness, so that’s no spoiler.

How the story unfolds in an absolutely crazy and melodramatic manner makes the viewer cringe, and Kalki’s demented act gets tiresome very soon. Richa Chadda’s styling is quite ghastly too, who goes on a holiday with tons of make-up, wispy gowns and towering pink stilettos!

What could have been a fun film about two women’s friendship and their life-altering adventure in a pretty country, ends up as a test of endurance even with its 92-minute running time.

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