Planet Bollywood
Jab Tak Hai Jaan
 
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Yash Chopra
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma
Music: A.R. Rahman
Lyrics: Gulzar
Genre: Romantic
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 13 November 2012
Reviewed by: Kaushik Ramesh  - Rating: 5.0 / 10
More Reviews and Analysis by PB Critics:
    • Feature Review by Lidia Ostepeev - Rating: 6.5 / 10
 
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  • It’s no wonder that the late Yash Chopra was a legend; a great director and the unparalleled King of Romance. Having made classics like Silsila, Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie, Trishul , Darr, Dil Toh Paagal Hai and more recently Veer Zaara (last three with SRK), he was definitely one of Bollywood’s leading filmmakers. When such a director clubs with maestro A.R. Rahman, Gulzar and SRK, you expect something magical and fantastic. Sadly though, Jab Tak Hai Jaan clearly fails to work up to the escalated expectations. So what went wrong?

    **Spoiler**

    The movie is about the love story of an officer in the bomb defusing department of the Indian Army. A documentary filmmaker Akira (Anushka Sharma), reads Major Samar’s (Shahrukh Khan) diary, and thereby learns of his love story that goes 10 years back. London in 2002 gives you a fairy tale setting where a waiter, Samar and Business Heiress Meera (Katrina Kaif) bond well with each other when Samar agrees to teach Meera a Punjabi song in return for which Meera would teach Samar to speak English. The song in question is for Meera to sing for her father (Anupam Kher, who is seen in the film for scanty timings and disappears altogether post the interval without any justification given this fact) on his 50th birthday.

    In Samar’s company, Meera discovers her Gali Ki Gundi personality (much like Heer from Rockstar, though Rockstar had portrayed this transition in a far better way). Both fall in love with each other but Meera who is already engaged and not wanting to hurt her father, shows reluctance at first. Meera is shown to have ‘give and take’ trade relations with God (sacrificing things or habits dear to her) to fulfill her wishes but can this concept of hers keep her with Samar forever?

    By this time, you start eagerly yearning for the interval, but this is just the beginning of the boredom trail. The film proceeds further at a snail’s pace to 2012 with Samar, the carefree street performer cum menial worker now as Major Samar, a depressed genius prodigy record holding bomb defuser of the Indian Army. How did a waiter become such a talented army man? Well this question remains unanswered. Here Akira, the all cool girl, while shooting her documentary on Samar, falls in love with him. The story goes on with a lot of not-so-likeable twists and turns and leads on to a very easily predictable and typical climax. Sigh!


    The concept that love remains unaltered even after a long span of time is yet again brought out here after Veer Zaara. The difference is that in Veer Zaara it was cast out well and here, the loose script just suppresses the message. What must be noted is that the basic plot however was brilliant but the haywire screenplay and the slow pace in the second half spoiled it.

    The film does start off well with the majestic intro of ShahRukh Khan clubbed with Chopra Junior’s title poem and Rahman’s strong music, giving you a very good first impression. The first half indeed is successful from the love story point of view. It does contain the old age charm of selfless romance. Ignoring the length, the first half can be considered as one of Chopra’s commendable jobs. A notable green patch is the song coupling of “Ishq Dance” and “Ishq Shava”. The classy beats of “Ishq Dance” along with excellent choreography followed by Rahman’s experimental song “Ishq Shava” efficiently displays Meera’s transition from her initial depressed reservation to being herself. But, on the other hand, the post interval part of the film proceeds in a bizarre direction.

    The dialogues simply manage to serve the purpose; they are just average and a few are extremely typical. When you hear such lines, you start wondering if you have already seen this film before. There is of course a lack of logic in many scenes. You certainly can’t enter an army camp and start shooting films when everybody is trying to defuse a bomb and are gripped by the fear of death. And ShahRukh Khan’s Samar somehow manages to clip off Hi-tech bombs as easily as if he is repairing your mobile phone. More implausibility arrives when Samar gets hit by a truck and loses his memory. Then he hears that there is a bomb in a railway station, and miraculously gets his memory restored like a lost and found pen drive! So Sharukh plays the role of Samar who is a waiter, guitarist, a talented singer, a lover, a poet, a chef, a genius bomb defuser-simply everything possible.

    However, what must be appreciated is the flawless performance by the lead actors. SRK has delivered one of his best performances in this movie and even Katrina manages to act better than in her previous movies. Anushka plays well according to what her character demands. But what I would say about the character of Akira is that, her care free personality has been exaggerated in the film. Well, we accept she is cool and ‘Bindaas’ but wait, everything has its limits. Beware the extravagant show of her playful and modern nature reaches intolerable irritating levels!

    One extraordinary aspect of the film is its powerful background score by the great A.R.Rahman. Though the songs were not believed to be up to the expectations of the audience, the rich background music has covered up for that. Throughout the film, whether the story interested you or not, the music definitely catches your attention. The appropriate use of slow thunder strings promoted the scenes.

    As a whole, Jab Tak Hai Jaan may not be a flawless film but it will surely be liked by the romantic cinema fans. It might impress Yash Chopra’s ardent fans leaving them in tears as the end credits roll by accompanied by Javed Ali’s voice. But for the general public, whilst the first hour is promising, you will be deluded to expect that level of consistency from the rest of the film. When you reach the interval, you are half-tired and by the end of the film, you are half dead! Generally speaking, this really isn’t the fitting finale we had all hoped for.

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