Tuesday, November 13, 2012

There is no Jaan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Yash Chopra will be remembered in the history of Bollywood Jab Tak Hai Jaan. His movies have redefined love and romance for the nation of a billion. 

Let us talk about 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'. The movie is a longish affair with a flawed narrative. There is a fundamental disagreement in the plot. SRK, an ageing superstar falls on his head while he plays a twenty-something lover boy. It was uncomfortable to watch him romance with a vivacious actress, Katrina Kaif, who his half of his age. 

Jab Tak Hai Jaan is simply a lovely fluff. It could have been shorter, and quicker. However, it's absolutely worth a watch at least once, and only for Yash Chopra.

Anushka Sharma is a documentary filmmaker. She discovers a diary storing a ten-year-old romance of a man who cannot die and decides to shoot a movie on him. She will do this shoot for the Discovery Channel. And the good result of this documentary can only make her entry in the channel as an employee.

The man in question is Samar Anand (Shahrukh Khan), he has lost his heart to a flawless beauty (Katrina Kaif) while shoveling snow outside a grand cathedral in the United Kingdom. He describes her as 'Shahzadi ko barf par teherte hue' (I vaguely remember this dialogue). Katrina Kaif is in the habit of trading with God by making small-scale sacrifices (will give up chocolates, fur) in order to realise her wishes. So the crux of the plot is how this habit of hers costs her (and us) too heavy.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan is an elegant movie for a good part. However, the obsession to garner a larger-than-life feel by rehashing the Veer-Zaara typical narrative where lovers stay apart over foolish reasons makes the movie a little tiring to watch.

So the movie goes smooth with clear and sparkling visuals. Now it's winter-time in London 2002, and Samar, a waiter will teach Katrina Kaif, who is a rich heiress, sing a Punjabi Song on her daddy's birthday. She has always wanted to impress her father by speaking fluent Punjabi. In return she trains Samar on Spoken English.

SRK-Katrina's intense chemistry fails to create any magic. Also, the love making scenes look really bad. And this is unsual as SRK has romanced with a bevy of actresses in many flicks. And he has famously refused to get intimate on screen.

Until now, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is a pleasant treat. One would think that the rich-poor divide would take the narrative ahead. However, what takes the narrative ahead is a ridiculous twist. And this is certainly a childish one.

SRK faced an accident, and Katrina out of her habit prayed that Samar gets his life back, and she will abandon him. So Samar gets his life back. And now Meera (Katrina) confronts Samar that he would need to leave from the city and forget her. SRK rushes to Ladakh and Kashmir where he joins Indian Army as a part of Bomb Squad. And there he becomes popular as a man who cannot die. As he would diffuse bombs left, right and center, and all the time he would be lucky. The movie is lengthy and illogical.

Often we await a Yash Chopra heroine. However, Katrina is let down by a weak, unimaginative role. Though Anushka scores better in her typical Band Baaja Baarat-reminiscent style. I would therefore sum it that 'There is no Jaan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan'.

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Faraz Salat

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Admirer of all things that make up a global human society.