Not The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Sex and the City. Not Veere Di Wedding either. Not even close. Writer-director Kamal Pandey’s Jahaan Chaar Yaar tries to say too many things at once and struggles.
A trip to Goa with friends is a standard Indian dream. It comes a little too late for this group of four women, but trust us when we say they need it more than anyone. Caught up in domestic chores, cheating and overbearing wives, these three – Shivangi (Swara Bhaskar), Neha (Shikha Talsania) and Sakina (Pooja Chopra) are surprised as they leave their family to meet their fourth childhood friend Mansi (Meher Vij), who apparently is dying and his last wish is to have his friends by his side in his last moment.
As they leave their families reeling in UP and take a train together to Mumbai, it turns out that it’s not a final reunion, but an intervention by their friend Mansi. The friends land in Goa. But the idyllic vacation gets a rude jolt as a firang man they befriend on the beach is murdered. As the police investigate the case, the four friends must stay put and help find the killer. Painfully slow, the film’s plot goes from one direction to the other, touching on themes of infidelity, friendship, and feminism and all getting lost. Even Mika showing up with the What The Luck number can’t save the day.
The storyline is choppy, and attempts to pull together too many strands leave the story hopelessly tangled. The portrait of the cop is a caricaturist. Swara Bhaskar is a beautiful actress and this time she plays a religious woman and devoted wife, who is tagged dasi. Shikha and Pooja, as aggrieved wives, strive to live the one-dimensional characters that come their way. Meher, too bravely, stands up to live a role you neither love nor hate. Girish Kulkarni tries to save the day with his acting skills, but the sloppy writing gives him away too. In the age of body positivity, you find it rather hard to appreciate the true portrayal of women with all their bodily flaws because the characters just don’t feel real. The humor is coarse, the dialogues aimed at making people laugh are forced.