Sizzle This: Everyone’s Too Nostalgic For a Movie That Just Turned 10
In ‘Sizzle This,’ The Swaddle team adds to the noise around the pop culture moment of the week. This week: ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ turns 10.
In ‘Sizzle This,’ The Swaddle team adds to the noise around the pop culture moment of the week.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was, in some ways, a cultural reset; in other ways, it was a regular coming of age rom-com. From the manic-pixie vibes of bespectacled Naina (and her transformation), the forever coming of age Bunny, the iconic ‘farewell’ saree, the banger tracks, and the fanfics about Deepika Padukone’s and Ranbir Kapoor’s relationship, social media is gripped with nostalgia about this film. But does retrospect make the heart grow fonder? Everyone has opinions about the 10-year anniversary of this film. Here are ours.
HK: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is a trope on trope on trope pastiche of what Bollywood does best — sell an idealized version of reality. I may be biased because I did not like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani much even back when it first released, but I do believe calling it a “disruptive piece of cinema” is a little bit of a stretch — it doesn’t need think pieces and long essays calling it groundbreaking when the only thing it successfully managed to do is increase the tourism of Manali (and possibly Udaipur).
I am not a fan of the girl with glasses-to-girl without glasses makeover, nor the trope of a ‘good’ girl helping a ‘bad’ boy get over his commitment issues. I do however hold admiration for the minor characters (and their moments) in the film, specifically the dad, Aditi’s definition of love, and the complexities of friendships. I think this film released keeping a millennial demographic in mind, and struck a chord with our cultural sentiments. The nostalgia attached to the film makes it worthy of rewatches, but in no way does it make my heart grow fonder (maybe this is just because neither did my Manali trip materialize, nor my solo traveling plans).
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, for me, represents a vision of our twenties that we’re still chasing — much like a mirage.
AP: While I was quite a fan of the movie when it first came out (sorry), all the nostalgia feels a bit forced. But it does remind me of a time when we were all smaller and the world felt larger, so I don’t really mind it.
SM: Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar being the gold standard for rom-coms today explains the intense nostalgia for Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. I said what I said.
VP: I am pretending to like this movie for my friends.
DR: I think our preoccupation with this movie just speaks to how saturated we are with hypermasculinity, and how desperately we need another semi-good, elite upper-class romantic comedy — to relate with, and get fashion inspiration from.
AB: While the recurrent trope of the nerdy-to-hot pipeline is fixated on removing spectacles, Naina’s treatment of her poor glasses infuriates me to no end — don’t sleep with them on, it hurts! Other than that, I genuinely can’t differentiate this movie from the dozen lookalikes that year, or maybe it was my fast-forwarding through it looking for something interesting. Maybe I’m missing out on a key cultural touchstone, but I just don’t get the hype.
AS: This 10-year anniversary should be used to recognize the film for what it is: overly-romanticized. Leave aside the walking-talking stereotypes and average storyline that heavily relies on the most cliched tropes (although you’d have to try really hard to turn a blind eye to those), it’s the dialogue that gets to me everytime. All I remember is visibly cringing everytime Bunny walked on screen and said things like: “Tumhare jaisi ladkiyaan flirting ke liye nahi, Ishq ke liye bani hain.” Blech.