This one just fails to connect – 2.0/5.0

It is bad to speak ill of the dead. Yash Chopra, with his untimely death, has in one stroke managed to blunt out a volley of criticism his latest and now last outing can elicit out of even the most ardrent fan of his films. So this one goes out with a sincere apology to the man’s memory, cause he is not around to defend himself. Jab Tak Hai Jaan is laborious and extremely tedious watch.

SRK is Samar Khan, a Londener doing odd jobs to meet ends, he falls in love with Meera, a rich man’s daughter who loves to bargain with God , making promises to leave things which she loves in return for her prayers being answered. An accident happens, and Meera promises to forget Samar in return for his life. Ten years hence, Samar is an Army Major, and Akira a wannabe Discovery journo is recording his bravado of being the bomb detonator par excellence. She falls for him, only to have Samar and Meera face to face due to circumstances. Confusing? Wait, I haven’t even spoken of the retrograde amnesia and finding Chandramukhi-esque sacrificing of love. JTHJ is a convulated mess that desperately needs some deft handling form the master of Romance.

Yash Chopra is known for his handling of relationships, creating moments that defy logic yet speak to the heart. Cinematic liberties never seemed to rattle since the love was so strong you would root for the characters to meet despite all odds. JTHJ suffers from the crucial flaw of having zilch for chemistry between the lead actors, to the extent that you are least bothered when Meera “sacrifices” her love for Samar or when Akira is caught between her love and Samar’s happiness.

For the sake of argument, even Veer Zaara was a hakneyed week script that was salvaged by the maestro to eternal glory aided by some lilting music. JTHJ sadly is one of YRF’s worst scores in recent times. Rehman is totally out of his element, not one song is worth listening as a stand alone album, neither does it work in the movie. I am still recouping from the jarring soundtrack which seems to fill a lot of the movie.

When Simran ran through mustard fields into Raj’s embrace, When Pooja ran into Rahul’s arms in Dholna, when Chaandini went into her Shona’s arms in the alps, your heart skipped a beat. When Katrina runs across Londons streets to the music of violins on an overdrive, into SRK’s arms, all one can do is squirm in his seat. For all of Katrina’s charms and beauty she is just not capable of channeling the passion her role and the film required. Her Meera is quintessentially Yash Chopra, and Katrina can only manage to look all shimmy legged and beautiful.

Anushka on the other hand compensates for Katrina’s lack of acting by hamming to the core. Her character is Band Baaja Baraati on meth, made so tomboyish to contrast her from Katrina’s attempted coy girl act, that it is almost as if Samar turned gay for a man named Akira. She deserved better am sure.

This brings us to the man, SRK- desperately looking for a romantic ressurrection. SRK as Samar is a pale shadow of all of his past Raj Rahul acts, he looks smashing as Major Samar, too old for the act of a carefree Samar singing an obnoxiously voiced Challa, and is desperately trying to put in some fire in the scenes with Katrina. Given a better co star may be, SRK wouldnt have come out this as bad. For as things are right now, Badshah khaan looks as tired as the story itself.

Is JTHJ a total washout? Perhaps no, cause SRK has nary looked as good in recent times, he is enough eye candy to get die hard fans walking into the theatres. Sadly, there is nothing more to hold them engaged once inside. One wishes Yash Chopra hadnt called it The End so soon, for we definitely would have liked to remember him by with a better film. This one just aint worthy his swan song.

By: Ameetbhuvan


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