THERE have been various film adaptations of Keigo Higashino’s Japanese novel The Devotion of Suspect X in different languages.
This Bollywood version recently had its world premiere on Netflix. When a murder takes place in a small, picturesque hill town, a single mother and her daughter rely on a reclusive genius teacher living next door to cover it up. It isn’t long before a smart city police officer lands up in the locality looking for the man who has been killed and commences an investigation.
What follows is a game of cat and mouse between a determined mother, a reclusive professor seemingly in love with her, and a cop determined to uncover the truth. Writer/director Sujoy Ghosh quickly introduces the trigger point for the plot and what follows is a mystery powered by winning performances from the cast.
Although Kareena Kapoor Khan is good as the lead protagonist, Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma are brilliant as contrasting characters, who may be on a collision course. Both steal the show with terrific turns.
There is plenty of tension and a gripping atmosphere as the plot progresses, but after a while it becomes apparent the film won’t offer up the huge twists that it promises.
Those big, anticipated moments where you imagine it will spark into life, just never arrive. The story is unnecessarily stretched with scenes that are not entirely needed, which means the movie gradually starts to lose momentum. Jaane Jaan kind of just fills time until a surprise ending that perhaps isn’t as amazing as the writer/director thinks.
The well-rounded characters, story and setting could have offered up so much more than it does. What remains is a movie that doesn’t quite deliver on its promise and will be another Hindi film dumped straight onto a streaming site that will quickly be forgotten.