In Jaane Jaan (Suspect X), a competent cop finds himself in a battle of intellect against his former classmate, who is attempting to protect the woman he loves. The thriller film is based on the Japanese novel The Devotion of Suspect X and is now streaming on Netflix.
Maya D’Souza (Kareena Kapoor) runs a cafe in Kalimpong, a town in West Bengal. She lives a simple life with her daughter, Tara.
In truth, Maya ran away from her husband, Ajit, a corrupt cop who had sold her to a strip club as a stripper. Maya’s neighbour, Naren (Jaideep Ahlawat), is secretly in love with her and visits her cafe every day.
When Ajit finds Maya once again, and threatens to take their daughter away to sell as a stripper, a tussle ensues, which ultimately results in Ajit’s death.
Naren, a genius mathematics professor, realises that the murder has been committed and offers to help the mother and daughter in hiding the crime.
However, the situation worsens when Karan (Vijay Varma), a proficient cop, arrives to locate Ajit. He is also incidentally a former classmate of Naren, whom he fondly calls Naroo.
This starts a back-and-forth battle as Karan attempts to find the truth, while Naren goes all out to protect the woman he loves.
Kareena Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat and Vijay Varma play the three central characters of the narrative and are impeccable in their respective performances.
Kapoor excels as the single mother who desperately wants to save her family but isn’t clever at all. Maya is dependent on her neighbour throughout but has to keep a stern face and Kapoor portrays that convincingly.
Acting through heavy prosthetics, Ahlawat still manages to impress all through the film. Although this limits his expression, he uses his experience and versatility to tackle the character of Naren.
Varma is at extreme ease and breezes through the role of Karan, a cop who is rather laid back in his attitude, but is exceedingly competent and doesn’t miss anything in his investigation.
Apart from the terrific performances from the lead actors, Jaane Jaan has a lot of other factors going for it.
Although an adaptation of a Japanese novel, director Sujoy Ghosh manages to give the viewers a truly indigenous flavour by unravelling the story in Kalimpong.
From the start, the film builds suspense. It gives enough background of the characters and emphasises their personalities.
The twists and turns will keep you hooked if you are unfamiliar with the novel or its multiple film adaptation.
The setting of Kalimpong adds the to film’s aesthetic as well as gives it an eerie atmosphere. The views are beautiful and the uneasiness can be felt through the screens.
Some of the dialogues do not work too well, especially those of Naren. His mathematics references get a bit forced at a few points.
The conclusion is completely changed from the novel and takes away from the narrative. The ending is clearly suited to an Indian audience but is far less impactful.
Jaane Jaan is a well-crafted adaptation of a beloved novel and a sincere attempt at bringing the story to a local setting. That said, the changes to the storyline do not improve it at all.
Jaane Jaan (Suspect X)
Director: Sujoy Ghosh
Date Created: 2023-09-21 12:30