The doyen of Bollywood Romances, Yash Chopra, has bowed out of life with his boots on. That’s what the title of his last directorial venture seems to connote. The title is an extract from Hema Malini’s hit song from SHOLAY : Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Main Naachoongi and in this case, he seems to be wanting to say: So what if I have turned eighty, I can continue to visualize and film fairy tale romances in a manner which is in sync with today’s times!
The best parts of JAB TAK HAI JAAN (JTHJ) are those that exude romance. The songs (music by A R Rehman and lyrics by Gulzar) blend beautifully with the movie and sound better than in the plain audio version. The settings are gorgeous and all the actors are, as is the norm for Yash Raj Films, dressed impeccably: even the poor and jobless turn out in well tailored dresses!! Anushka Sharma, who has excelled till now in roles which portray her as a spunky young bindaas girl (remember BAND BAAJA BAARAT?) is called on once again to play a similar character and is easily the best performer in the movie along with Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh who make a brief two minute cameo appearance. Shah Rukh Khan tries hard, and his best expressions come out in the scene when Katrina refuses him in the pre-interval stage. Katrina looks beautiful, but her intense romantic scenes also seem to lack the passion demanded; she is at her best in the street dance sequence which requires her to dance in gay abandon. In the rest of the scenes too, the frequent fluttering of her eyelashes acts as a distraction. And despite the fact that the entire movie hinges on their romance, the Shah Rukh-Katrina pair does not display the chemistry required in a deeply romantic movie. Chemistry is much more than a few lip-lock sequences!!
We could have borne with all this happily and JTHJ had the real potential to be termed as Yash Chopra’s true swan song, but two persons are to be held primarily responsible for what JTHJ actually has turned out to be. One is Aditya Chopra, the story writer, who has injected so much hyperbole that it begins to jar at several places. Granted we are looking at a romantic fairy tale, but even Yash’s deft handling of the romantic scenes is unable to save the movie from slipping into prolonged periods of disbelief and boredom, particularly in the second half. And this is despite the chirpy Anushka’s presence in most of the second half. The second person, who has to share responsibility for this let-down is the young editor Namrata Rao, whose skill in brilliant and crisp editing in BAND BAAJA BAARAT and KAHAANI is totally missing: was it out of respect to the Chopra family that she hardly did any trimming? The end result is JTHJ stretches for nearly three hours! A less convoluted story and crisper trimming could have caused this movie to be remembered JAB TAK HAI JAAN!
RATING: 3 out of 5
November 13th, 2012

About The eternally happy Vijay

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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