Jai Ho is a letdown due to lack of a story and not enough entertainment – 2.5/5.0

By: Nikhil Arora

Verdict – Jai Ho is a letdown due to lack of a story and not enough entertainment
Salman/ Sohail Khan’s new “productionz” is called Jai Ho. A well-intentioned film with a message that could be tweeted about than made a movie on. It’s a celebration of all things Salman, except it’s more of publicity stunt than a movie. But then who comes to watch a movie when you have Salman Khan on screen? People want to watch the man. You get what you ask for. I love watching him do things only he can do but I ask for a little bit more. Just a little bit.

We have seen Salman Khan the lover-boy in Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) and Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994). We have seen Salman Khan the funny man in Andaz Apna Apna (1994), Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004) and No Entry (2005). We’ve seen Salman Khan the star in Wanted (2009) and Dabangg (2010). Now we are subjected to watch Salman Khan the philanthropist. I loved him in the lover-boy avatar and enjoyed some of his comic and star-driven films as well. The persona is what people come to watch. Even in these three phases of Bhai films, there were some misfires. This film is not a complete misfire but it’s a major letdown. Mostly because it doesn’t have that one thing I love – a story.

Salman Khan makes his trademark entry with his bracelet showing up before his face is introduced. He is the biggest fad Indian cinema has ever seen. When his shirt comes off, you will hear whistles even when there are 10 people in the theater (which is not possible on the first weekend). I’m not sure about those cheap colorful Ray-bans though.

Then enters Tabu, I hoped the film would improve but there is till no sight of a story. Daisy Shah plays the love interest but her arms cover her facial expressions and we don’t see a thing. Her Kamli-like introduction is lackluster and everything she does after it is plain weird.

The film is about a country-loving bloke who wishes to make some change in the society. The concept of asking people to not return a favor but pay it forward has been taken from a film called Pay It Forward (2000). This was further made into a masala film down South called Stalin (2006). He becomes people’s godfather of sorts. A slew of events take place where people come to him for help and he growls at each opportunity. It failed to catch my interest. I’m not dissing on a man’s good intentions or character. The message that the film delivers is not done with the aid of a story. Furthermore, the filmmaking is so amateurish that the message doesn’t just get distorted but not delivered at all.

3 Idiots (2009) also delivered a message to the audience. It also told a story and enetertained everybody’s pants off. It made us feel and connect to the message. A film’s primary job is to tell a story, a good or a bad one is secondary. Here is there no story. It’s one actor either doing good deeds or beating people up. The interval could have been the ending of the film and it wouldn’t look odd.

The songs don’t click; barring a few that can be heard without any strong reaction of love or hate. There is a string of cameos – Generlia D’Souza, Ashmit Patel, Pulkit Samrat, Sunil Shetty, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vatsal Seth, Nauheed Cyrusi, Monish Behl, Mukul Dev, Aditya Pancholi, Tulip Joshi and Varun Badola. Some of these are extended cameos but who cares.

There is a running joke throughout the film involving the color of underwear and the use of the word “Gando” which means different things in Hindi and Gujarati. This seems relatively amusing, as the rest of the film doesn’t do much. Although, post interval, the villain played by Danny Denzongpa makes matters slightly interesting for 10 minutes. Salman finally shows his star-power when his shirt comes off. He also kick-starts an automobile all by himself. No, I mean he literally kicks a van and it starts. The last half hour is relatively better than the rest of it. The key word is: relatively. It is ultimately too little too late.

Salman’s brothers – Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan have always capitalized on his brother’s success. They fail sometimes but the phase he is in right now, even a turd would turn into gold. The elder one made his smart move and now the younger one goes out to get some. It’s not personal, it’s business and business is a-booming.

There is one change I hope Salman Khan films bring to the world of movies, if not the world. Good movies. A change in these run-of-the-mill blockbusters is essential. If they can’t produce good ones, the change will come when some bad ones stop working at the box office. Jai Ho will mostly work at the box office but I’m not a trade analyst. I can only tell what I liked and what I didn’t. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Wanted or Dabangg, but I didn’t hate it as much as Bodyguard. It’s somewhere in the middle, which is nowhere. Jai Ho is half a hoot for Salman Khan fans and major let down for those who seek entertainment.


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