JAB HARRY MET SEJAL
Writer Director Imtiaz Ali’s first and only true commercial success was the delightful romcom JAB WE MET. And in the last ten years, he has unsuccessfully tried to recreate the magic of JAB WE MET in all his creations. JAB WE MET had a credible story, superb dialogues (for which he won the FilmFare award), fantastic acting, a break neck speed of storytelling and some very hummable foot stomping songs. All his creations have also centered on the lead characters stumbling onto each other accidentally and without themselves realizing that they are actually on a journey of trying to discover who they are or what they really want in life. This is a very fertile theme for weaving a beautiful love story and mounting it on celluloid. Imtiaz Ali managed to achieve his JAB WE MET magic to a very large extent in LOVE AAJ KAL in 2009 (which was also a good commercial hit) and in HIGHWAY in 2011 (whose theme didn’t go down very well with the masses).
Working with SRK for the first time, Imtiaz Ali tries hard to get his act straight in JAB HARRY MET SEJAL. And succeeds remarkably well in the first half despite the weak story and not much of a support from the usually dependable Pritam on the music front. The dialogues are chirpy and SRK and Anushka Sharma emote very well. But post interval, everything about the movie goes wayward and the writer’s bid to drive the film towards a logical conclusion begins to look extremely contrived. And just as Sejal (played by Anushka Sharma) tries to desperately look around to get to her ring, I kept looking forward to a quick end to my suffe(ring)! How I wished that Imtiaz Ali had packed in some credible twists and turns in the road rather than just hurtling us down the road of self-destruction!
In movie making, the cardinal rule is that how the movie is in the second half is what dictates audience perception. My summary, therefore is watch the first part of JAB HARRY MET SEJAL, and walk out to do some self-exploration: Who is your real Harry or real Sejal? That may be a more rewarding experience!
RATING: 3 out of 5
August 4th, 2017