Jab Tak Hai Jaan – A Review 2 Years too Late

I rarely watch Bollywood movies anymore. The rate of Bollywood movie consumption dropped dramatically in early 2000s and eventually reduced to maybe 1 or 2 movies a year. I only watch when someone who I know that knows my taste suggests a movie. Most of the time it works. Sometimes, they sneak in something that is not up to par. Jab Tak Hai Jaan was one of those.

I had no intention to blog this. It started as a Facebook status update, but I thought it was a bit too long for that. So I decided to bring it here; after all it is the BlogEtcetera.

Since the release of Jab Tak Hain Jaan, I had been told to watch it. “It is such a great move, Yaar.”, “Qasam se Yaar…. It is very good film.”, they kept telling me, followed by consistent follow ups whether I did or not. Eventually I decided to give it a try. It was horrible.

Dear Shah Rukh Khan fans, When Shah Rukh Khan is in a movie, it doesn’t automatically make it a good movie. It is a fact of life that you have to deal with somehow.

Adding to my shock was Katrina Kaif’s performance. It was the first Katrina Kaif movie I watched, I think (unless I have seen one that was so bad that I no longer remember). She may be ‘hot’, if you are into that kind of thing, but as far as acting is concerned…. she is not!

When you tell someone a certain movies is “great”, it means it is 9/10 or 8 at the least. New story line, innovative cinematography, exceptional characters, astonishing cast and great set of songs in case of Bollywood, unprecedented story, or if Sanjay Dutt is in it. Any combination of two of the above might work.

In JTHJ, the only good thing was the song, Challa. The video clip was not bad, except the guitar playing. It was as if he didn’t try to learn the cords.

The movie is full of fails and epic fails. I would have liked to start from the worst one but I think I will go in the order of scenes in the movie. Mind you, I am just picking the ones that I thought was major stuff-ups!

Fail No. 1 – She is drowning: To win a bet, Akira dives into a river and the water is so cold and then she cannot swim and is about drown. Samar saves her. She later on mentions that she was national level swimmer.

Fail No. 2 – Sir Jesus: They thought it would sound cute if Shah Rukh used this to talk about Jesus Christ. It is not cute. It is silly.

Fail No. 3 – One of the most typical scenes, riding away on motorbike, turning around to say I love you and the accident. Then, the girl making a deal with God to save him.

Fail No. 4 – Saving Akira from the explosion: Akira was supposed to film him during action, but she is busy filming something else while listening to Music. She is so out of it, that she doesn’t see or hear Major Samar. Then she walks backwards. Major Samar runs away from the explosives towards Akira but then explosion happens on the other side away from the car where the explosives were. Let’s not forget that the explosion didn’t happen with Major Samar pulled the wire to uncover the detonator. No wonder he had defused about 100 explosives to date.

Fail No. 5 – I am not a journalist and I have not worked in any major media outlet, but I am pretty certain Discovery channel wouldn’t ask an Indian major to fly all the way to London to verify his story. There are easier and cheaper ways.

Fail No. 6 – The accident number 2: This is the 3rd time he saves Akira. At some point one has to wonder how had Akira managed to stay alive before meeting the major.

Fail No. 7 – Memory Loss: Are you kidding me? This is probably the most overused and abused scenario in Hindi movies and the best one is probably Ghajini, which is a ripoff of Memento. I will not go on about this. If you are familiar with Bollywood movies you would know how ridiculous some of those memory loss scenarios are.

Fail No. 8 – Putting down the Pakistani guy: “Yeh Jahel Lahori?” I am sure they could have come up with something that the word Lahori in it. How about just “Yeh Jahel?”, “Ye Ulloo ka Patha”, “Ye bewuqoof aadmi”. The subtitles, don’t say “this ignorant Lahori” it just says “this Lahori”. Bravo for making sure your racism is not discovered by none-hindi speakers.

Fail No. 9 – Should we tell him?: The scene where the three women are discussing whether to tell Samar the truth is extremely poor. The acting is bad! The dialogue is ridiculous. The worst is, when Dr Khan says that she wanted to do this in another 2 weeks time but maybe it is a good time now. Maybe? Are you a doctor or an astrologer? Three sentence later she says it is the best chance. What is it? Maybe now or two weeks or now is the best chance? All cannot be true at the same time.

So when Akira meets Samar and pretends that she didn’t know him before and when they were going around filming. It hit me. I just knew how he would gain his memory and this leads us to fail No. 10 and the worst of them all.

Fail No. 10 – The Bomb in the Train: So as I mentioned, I knew this would happen. Believe me when I tell you that I had not read about this or watched the trailer or anything. I just knew it that major Samar will defuse a bomb in London and will get his memories back. The whole thing is ridiculous but let me tell you the worst of them all. London cops, underground train station, let a man who appears middle eastern, south-central asian near a bomb to defuse it, simply because he mumble some technical jargon? If he had discovered the bomb before cops showed up, then that would make it a tiny-little-bit plausible, but this was too much.

It should have been the last straw, but I thought let’s just watch on and hopefully he will ditch Meera and hook up with Akira. I knew I was only lying to myself to watch this to the end.

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