We never thought the day would come when we would see “The Devotion of Suspect X” by Keigo Higashino, adapted into a Bollywood movie. People who have read the author’s work know that this is his most acclaimed work, though a personal favorite of ours is “Salvation of a Saint.” Regardless, this is something to look forward to, and for those who haven’t read the book, the cast of the movie is what is exciting. It looks surprisingly fresh, with Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma being the actors they are, which comes together with Kareena Kapoor Khan’s enduring star quality. There is absolutely no scope for this film to be mediocre. It will either knock it out of the park or be a huge disappointment. The autotune of the main song, Jaane Jaan, has already served as a letdown of sorts, but luckily, that has not affected our hopes for the film. As we discuss how the story by Keigo Higashino has likely been adapted for the screen, we will make it a point to keep the narrative of the book away from it.
Story And Plot
True to its name, the Jaane Jaan trailer promises a lot of love among the three people: Maya D’Souza, Karan Anand, and Naren. From what it looks like, Karan and Maya seem to be attracted to each other, while Naren definitely likes Maya. The way Karan tells Naren in the trailer that there is nothing between him and Maya, we suspect that at one point, Naren gets serious about Maya and the possibility of there being something between them. He must have told this to Karan for the latter to look so guilty while denying it. Or it could be that Naren and Maya are actually together, and this would tie in with the hints that Maya D’Souza is some sort of femme fatale. Naren says that he knows what he saw. This was in an interrogation room, from what we could perceive. He was either talking about something related to the case at hand or this could be the accusation against Karan. In the case of the former, for him to get that angry and stern, he was either defending Maya or himself.
This brings us back to the first thing that we see in the trailer, which is the cockroach scene. Maya D’Souza has definitely killed or hurt someone, or maybe there has just been a scuffle, though that doesn’t seem likely since we see a charred dead body at a later point in the trailer of Jaane Jaan, and we believe that it must be the victim. Our point is that Naren had said that he ‘knew what he saw,’ so did he see how Maya was disposing of the body or some other hint of it? Or did she come up with an elaborate ruse to throw him off so that he would become her alibi if needed? Naren is obviously playing the role of the gentle professor, and in literature, these are people with supposed hidden depths of intensity and cruelty.
If we are going by this stereotype, then maybe Naren is more than an obsessive lover and innocent bystander. Perhaps he helped Maya get rid of the body, or even better, maybe he was the one to kill him. The latter situation could play out in two ways. We saw in the trailer that Maya demanded to know from someone how they found her. Perhaps she is on the run from someone after doing something bad, which could also imply that she is living in Kalimpong under a fake identity. That is why, when the person found her, she did not ask for help and said that she was dealing with a cockroach.
Maybe after the man left her house, Naren followed and killed him because he did not buy the cockroach story. Or maybe he heard the man inside, and when he went to investigate, that person tried to attack Maya or say something derogatory, and Naren killed him in a fit of rage. Now, Maya has to help him because she can’t have her secret revealed. This would imply that she is trying to flirt with Karan Anand because she wants a way out of the situation with Naren. Perhaps, at the end of it all, we will be told that right from the beginning, she played this game to get away with whatever she was planning. Basically, we are expecting a gracefully convoluted plot, and we are not ready to be let down.
Cast And Characters
We never realized how much we wanted to see Vijay Varma and Jaideep Ahlawat together until we actually saw them in the trailer. While the camera will always love Kareena Kapoor, it is her co-stars who are expected to be the highlight of the show. Vijay Varma plays the cop who is investigating a missing person case, and Kareena Kapoor Khan is the singer with bad autotune who is at the center of the mystery. Then there is Jaideep Ahlawat as Naren, the silent man with oceans of emotions underneath the surface who is expected to dictate the narrative of the movie in his own way. This is an exciting team, and we cannot wait for it.
When And Where to Watch
Netflix did something good by buying the rights to this book by Keigo Higashino and turning it into a film for their platform. While it releases on September 21, 2023, we hope that if it is a success, perhaps the platform will release it as a series as well at a later date.
It will be hard not to compare this film to the book “The Devotion of Suspect X” because of how iconic the latter is. Expectations are already high, for the readers and the non-readers, even though it is for different reasons. There also seems to be an awareness of the harsh standards that are being imposed on this film, which may invite criticism and forgiveness in equal measure. Jaane Jaan has big shoes to fill, and looking at the cast, it seems to be halfway there. Then, it takes a step back with its poor choice of music. Were Sunidhi Chauhan or Shreya Ghoshal really not available? Was there no other option other than autotune? We hope that such terrible creative liberties were not taken with the story itself because there will be no excuse for it. We just hope to have a good time with this.