What is the story about?
Jamun Sharma, a doctor, tries to get through life with his squint-eyed daughter, Chetana, and his unemployed son, Amar. While Amar runs from pillar to post looking for money for starting a business, Jamun is obsessed with finding a suitor for Chetana. But when Jamun becomes incapacitated due to Parkinson’s disease, and Amar passes away, can Jamun and Chetana put up a fight?
As a story, Jamun does not have anything novel in its story. The trope of a family short on money and struggling to get through life is one that Hindi cinema has exploited for decades, usually as a crutch for telling more engaging tales. Writer-director Gaurav Mehra, however, keeps the Sharma family at the centre of his narrative and chooses to tell his story without any extra embellishment. At a time when OTT platforms are looking for content of all genres, there is always space for a feel-good family drama, as Sony LIV’s Gullak has shown, and this film is another decent addition to the genre.
You know things will take a predictable turn, and there will be a happy ending. To his credit, Mehra’s earnest screenplay is backed up by his wonderful cast, who deliver engaging performances instead of merely filling in the blanks. The screenplay is full of humour that often acts as a relief from the heavy-duty drama that follows in the rest of the film. It would have been very easy to keep milking this story for melodrama, but, apart from a stretched ending and a stretched end-credits scene, Mehra plays it well.
Raghubir Yadav is terrific as Jamun, the father who struggles with life’s challenges. Shweta Basu Prasad, who also contributes additional dialogues to the film, excels as Chetana, whose physical defect cannot mask her fighting spirit. Sunny Hinduja conveys the helplessness of Amar in a brief, impactful role. Saurabh Goyal provides ample support as Kewal, Jamun’s doctor who also falls in love with Chetana. Krishna Singh Bisht is okay in a small role as Amar’s friend.
Music & Other Departments
Cinematographer Sidharth Kale, who also provides extra input to the script, keeps the lighting sparse, and yet, manages to make Jamun’s ramshackle flat come alive. Deepak Arora provides an effective background score that never lets the screenplay gets downbeat. Harshit Sharma is okay with his cutting. Ram Chavhan’s art direction is decent.
There are individual scenes that make you want to tear up—Jamun receiving a Carvaan radio that Amar had ordered for him, Kewal and Jamun bonding to Kishore Kumar’s “Zindagi kaisi hai paheli…” and so on.
A few portions in the screenplay get too melodramatic at times.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
You can watch this with your family. Keep a few handkerchiefs ready.