When one of the greatest storytellers of all time composes a swan song it would seem rude to point out that they did everything right except add a sense of logic to the proceedings.
So we’ll just play along and pretend that cheesy dialogues and vaguely hummable music was what we wanted all along. It’s not like the concept of rich brats falling for waiters off the streets has been beaten to death. And yes, amnesia and fateful promises to God may have become outdated in the 1990s but they still make for a great story twist. The rest we leave for you to read between the lines.
One Oscar winning composer, A R Rahman. One iconic romance idol, Shah Rukh Khan. Two sizzling ladies, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. One master storyteller, Yash Chopra. So cheesed were the makers with the line-up for their new film Jab Tak Hai Jaan that they simply sacked the scriptwriter and ran a Google search on best Hindi movie clichés instead. Because at the end of three long hours, that’s all you are left with: A truckload of clichés designed to ensure that soft hearted cinegoers tear up and go aww at all the right places.
Apart from a string of sentimental poetry, the trailer of Jab Tak Hai Jaan refused to breathe a word about the movie’s storyline. Being the smart alecs that we are, we sort of just guessed that SRK and Katrina would meet and fall in Iove over a couple of cheesy songs in London, after which she would probably die tragically in some terrorist attack, causing SRK to turn into an embittered soldier until Anushka would come along and breathe a ray of sunshine in his dull life.
Except that, Aditya Chopra refused to credit the audience with that much intelligence and instead penned down a script that stands starkly in contrast to the masterpieces he’s delivered over the past. If Veer Zaara saw the leads being separated due to tragic circumstances, a half baked promise to Jesus Christ keeps our hero and heroine apart this time. If Dil Toh Pagal Hai saw our leading ladies in flowing salwar kameez, Anushka Sharma looks ready for a day at the beach in her progressively skimpier shorts and Katrina Kaif smoothly enjoys a smoke every now and then and demonstrates her ability to curse fluently.
The movie starts ordinarily enough with SRK playing the embittered Samar Anand, the bomb disposal expert of the Indian Army, a desi version of He Who Cannot Be Killed. Enter Akira Rai, (Anushka Sharma, reprising every movie role of hers post Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) a feisty documentary maker who stumbles across his diary where he has conveniently recorded his past life at London, along with extremely detailed recollections of his steamy encounters with Meera. Enter Katrina Kaif, the hidden wild child with Rolls Royce and Gucci stamped all over her, who miraculously falls for a 20 something waiter off the streets. (When in reality, you know that any rich kid worth her Jimmy Choos wouldn’t soil her hands with anything less than an entrepreneur with a ten digit salary). As a British brat, Katrina lives up to her usual standards; her dance moves remain impeccable and her expressions as porcelain as ever.
The movie’s saving grace is its direction; Yash Chopra comes through with his signature scenic locales and that old world charm that only he can pull off. Through those heartrending dialogues and the delicate poetry, he tries his best to set right the damage the script inadvertently causes. Not that it matters though; we know that JTHJ will still receive the royal treatment at every award function, just as we know that this review will not win us many favours with the SRK fan club.
Bottom Line: If you are a hardcore Yash Chopra fan, Samar and Meera’s story will assume the crowning glory of your repertoire of mushy romances. However, to the discerning viewer, Jab Tak Hai Jaan in all its clichéd glory may be hard to stomach; side effects include development of murderous tendencies towards the scriptwriter for holding up Yash Chopra’s otherwise mellow swan song!
MTV Rates: 3/5