Jaane Jaan has created quite the stir online because of what people are calling a confusing storyline. But we would like to clarify that those who have read the book know that it is just a matter of terrible text-to-screen translation. First of all, we would strongly recommend that everyone read the book The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashimo. Secondly, once they finally understand why it is such a brilliant story, they can check out this list for movies better than Jaane Jaan.
1. The Devotion of Suspect X
Frankly, depending on your convenience and taste, we would say that you can watch any of the remakes of this film because it cannot be denied that Jaane Jaan botched up the details that were crucial to the understanding of the character’s motivations. You can check out Kolaigaran (Tamil, 2019), The Devotion of Suspect X (Chinese, 2017), Perfect Number (Korean, 2012), or Suspect X (Japanese, 2008). We are quite sure that they have all done a better job than Jaane Jaan. A stellar star cast and a better budget are supposed to elevate things and not downgrade them, but Bollywood has a history of missing the brief, so we will take our expectations and standards elsewhere. The novel by Keigo Higashimo deserves a far better execution than what Jaane Jaan delivered, and we would recommend that you give a chance to any one of these other movies.
There is an uncanny similarity between these two movies, and that makes this all the more intriguing. This movie also has multiple remakes across the states in India and in other countries as well. This is the power of good writing and proper execution, which Jaane Jaan so terribly missed. We have seen the Indian versions of the film, and we can vouch for the tight writing and the stellar acting. It is a balm on our hearts that burned due to the lack of explanation of the details in the movie that made The Devotion of Suspect X so good to begin with. We don’t think too highly of the sequel to Drishyam, but the first part is unmissable.
All the promotional blurbs got it wrong when they said that Kareena Kapoor played a ‘mysterious woman’ in Jaane Jaan. We know everything about her right off the bat, so there is absolutely no element of mystery, but the same cannot be said for Talaash. There is a reason we often say that there is no one quite like Kareena Kapoor, and Talaash is proof of that. Till the very end, you don’t realize what is going on, and trust us when we say that the ending is genuinely shocking. It all even makes sense when you look at it with a bird’s-eye view. If memory serves right, Talaash was not as appreciated as it should have been when it was released, but it has certainly aged well; therefore, do give this a watch if you haven’t already.
4. Haseen Dillruba
It would not be completely right to call this movie a mystery, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat. If we were to talk about devotion, Rishu matches Ishinagi (Naren) any day, and in fact, he is the show stealer in the entire film. The love story is represented as a journey, and the supposed ‘mysterious’ woman is shown with all of her flaws, making her so human and so much easier to love and understand. This movie was a moment, and it is just sad that it is not talked about or discussed more. When it was released, it was the wrong moments that got attention, and now it seems to have gone under the radar. While Haseen Dillruba is not a better story than The Devotion of Suspect X, it is a better movie than Jaane Jaan, and you should watch it if you haven’t already.
5. Raat Akeli Hai
It is while compiling this list that we have realized how many gems Indian cinema has produced in recent years. It would be unfair to call them unsuccessful, but they have certainly not gotten the kind of enduring credit that they deserve. Raat Akeli Hai was a layered story brought to life by sensitive actors and addressed some of the harsher secrets of society the way it should have. There is a love story woven into this movie, and while it doesn’t take center stage, it is still a huge motivating factor, and it also helps that the actors have actual chemistry between them. On that note, did anyone else feel like they would have liked to see some romantic chemistry between Kareena Kapoor and Jaideep Ahlawat in Jaane Jaan? It was present between her and Vijay Varma, but the film may have been a bit more effective if we had seen that with Jaideep Ahlawat as well.
6. Chor Nikal Ke Bhaaga
Honestly speaking, we don’t remember why we approached Chor Nikal Ke Bhaaga with a bias, but it was alright. However, instead of ‘true love,’ this film deals with love gone wrong. It is somewhat predictable, but engaging enough. But the cast was the show stealer. Sunny Kaushal had us convinced of his helplessness or treachery, and Yami Gautam was a surprise like no other. We hold it against the film that it did not give Sharad Kelkar more time on the screen, but the story remained the hero. Also, the soundtrack is beautiful to listen to if you are feeling annoyed by the autotuned Jaane Jaan.
If you don’t like knowing what is happening until the very end, then Badla is for you. We would say that you should watch it for the cast itself. We were not expecting to like the pairing of Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan so much, but that is what happens when you bring two effortless actors together. On a different note, this film does not have a love story, at least not in the way you would think, going by the list. It is also a remake of The Invisible Guest, which is a Spanish film, and we suppose the point of watching this is not just the story but the knowledge of what a remake should look like. There is a reason Jaane Jaan was a bad adaptation or remake, but Badla wasn’t, and that makes it worth a watch.