New OK Jaanu Song! I am Conflicted

Remember how my whole OK Kanmani review was wondering what they would do with all the Tamil specific stuff that helped build a connection between the characters while they were both exiled in Bombay?  Well, this new OK Jaanu song shows the way the new movie might possibly have found a way to do the same.  And I am not sure if it works or not, because I am still so stuck in the previous one.

This song is clearly replacing one of my favorite songs from OK Kanmani, which is brilliant both musically and character-wise.  Dulquer and Nithya missed a train and have to split a hotel room.  Dulquer shows her a new feature on his tablet that sets up a beat and lets you record and then loop anything.  Dulquer records his voice whispering “just like that”, and Nithya sings a lovely little bit of classical Tamil music.  And then the two voices repeat and mix and soar and the two of them dance together.  And then go to sleep in separate beds.  It’s a great visual way of showing how their connection is deeper and more complex than just sex, that their first night together was about their characters melding into art, not sex.

So, here’s the original:


So, how did they do it here?  Well, they used “Humma Humma”!  Which kind of works I guess?  It’s an all India hit, and it’s about having sex, so it’s kind of this in joke between the two characters, singing an older song that they both know that is super sexy, and then not having sex.  You miss out on the idea of them creating something new, but replace it with the idea of them remixing something old together.


UPDATE: Okay, Ryan C. in the comments just asked something which made me realize I had stupidly assumed everyone was as familiar with “Humma Humma” as I am.  And the context in which it was originally used.  Here is the song:


For context (without too many spoilers), the couple in the original are this sweet pair who fell in love in southern India and eloped to Bombay.  For various reasons, although they are married and living together, they haven’t been able to have their “first night” until now.  So there is the contrast between the wild sexual dance going on outside their window, and this sweet excited pair of innocents inside.  All of which adds a different layer to the use of “Humma Humma” remix in this particular scene in OK Jaanu.  It’s another young couple, from Bombay, but instead of splitting the sexuality between the outside people and the inside people, they are both sexual and innocent in this case.

8 thoughts on “New OK Jaanu Song! I am Conflicted

  1. Great post. I am totally with you on this. In a vacuum, this new song would probably be a lot more enjoyable. I’m not familiar with the song they’re remixing, and that adds an extra layer, but it is a pleasant, catchy song. Their dance around the room is cute and in the same playful spirit as the OK Kanmani number. However, that scene from OK Kanmani was one of my favorite parts of the film. It felt so innovative and interesting, the percussion built up on an iPad from scratch with little kisses, moans, chest pounds and sighs. It was such a lovely moment that felt so intimate and captured that feeling perfectly. I need to let this new one sink in a bit more, I’m sure it will grow on me. This just reinforces the fact that OK Jaanu has some pretty big shoes to fill!


    • Before anything else, you HAVE to watch Bombay! It’s emotionally draining, but beautiful and amazing and a nice gentle intro to some current events in India. Well, gentle-ish.

      Bombay was such an amazing film, and such a landmark in Indian cinema (and, in some ways, Indian history), it honestly didn’t occur to me to put in the original version of Humma Humma! I will add it to the post right now. Along with a discussion of how it might relate to this sequence.

      It’s also really gutsy for OK Jaanu to risk comparisons with such an old classic (and another Mani Ratnam film!), considering they are also already being compared OK Kanmani.

      On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 12:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • You know what? After watching the original song and reading that helpful bit of context, I liked the OK Jaanu song a lot more. I appreciate that the director is trying to add something different to the story (by way of revisiting something older, yet still paying tribute to Mani Ratnam.) It’s clever and a wink to the audience, who will undoubtedly be familiar with the original song. This is one of the aspects I love about Indian film. A newer viewer can appreciate the movies on a surface level, but there are many more layers that can be peeled back and enjoyed as years go on and knowledge and familiarity grows. I will watch Bombay as soon as I can. Thanks!


          • I just finished Bombay. What a powerful, beautiful, horrifying and heartbreaking work of art. There was an interesting dichotomy at play between the two halves of the film. It was effective, to introduce the issues on a smaller, personal level and then show them playing out within society, in grand scale, post interval. I thought Manisha’s performance was devastating. I have only seen her in Dil Se and Akele Hum Akele Tum, but I thought this was her finest of the three. She manages to convey such deep and profound sadness, just with her eyes. I was an absolute wreck for most of the second half (pretty much from the moment the twins got doused in gasoline and nearly set aflame just before the intermission.) The separation from their sons, amidst the absolute chaos and breakdown of reality, hit home in a big way. My oldest son is six, the same age as the characters. The scene where the brothers finally find each other and their little smiles return, was wonderful. The ending had me in tears.

            I really liked the build and setup to Humma Humma. After two years of being apart, they finally reunite, marry and come home to… a bunch of kids staying in the room! I can’t imagine! They did a great job playing off the frustration, building the tension with the stolen touches around the room, kisses through the laundry. I loved the shot of the newlyweds relaying messages to each other by way of the many children between them! I liked the song even more in the context of the film, as is usually the case. What a release!

            Thanks for the recommendation! I thought the name Raj Thackaray rang a bell when you mentioned it. After reading his wikipedia article I realized that he was involved in the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Fawad Khan controversy pre-release. I will have to do some further reading on the Shiv Sena and the riots.


          • Wow, you were so fast to respond to my recommendation! Oh, and I have to make a small correction to myself, it’s not Raj Thackaray, it’s Bal Thackaray. Raj is his nephew (I think). Bal died a few years back.

            If you want to get really serious about learning about this stuff, try to find a book by Thomas Blom Hanson, I think it’s called The Saffron Wave. Or, Maximum City by Suketu Mehta.

            And if you want more Manisha, check out 1942: A Love Story. It’s not as devastating a movie, but it’s similar, and Manisha is just glowing in it.


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