Movie review: Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Published: 14 November, 2012 09:30 IST | Janhavi Samant |

"If I kiss you, will you slap me?" asks the hero of the heroine at a subway station. Then before the latter could answer, he says with a smile, "I don't think so" and proceeds to kiss her. (Really? Is that what we expect from a Yash Chopra hero?)

The heroine, of course, lets him. The hero in question is Samar (Shah Rukh Khan) and the heroine, Meera (Katrina Kaif). But because she is already engaged to someone her papa has chosen for her, she makes our hero promise not to ‘cross the line’ in front of God or face His wrath!

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

The heroine is a businesswoman in London with a habit of trading wishes with God: she has given up chocolates because God blessed her with a honours degree and will quit smoking if He grants her wish that a certain Indian suitor will reject her!

Hero agrees to her conditions. And then ‘crosses the line’ and meets with an accident. And so heroine promises God that she’ll never ever meet him again if He makes him better. God delivers on her wish and so heroine breaks up with hero.

Eventually, our hero gives up his struggler life in London to return to India to hold your breath join the Indian Army! At the ripe age of 25, mind you, the hero gives up all his hoteling and food industry experience, to take to defusing bombs with his bare hands without a protective suit in sight.

He courts danger to lie in the lap of death just so he can show his long-lost girlfriend who is the boss. Because the hero is SRK, even God doesn’t want to bump him mid-film. As the result, he always knows which wire to cut first.

Meanwhile, a meddlesome irritating media student or a trainee desperate to work for Discovery Channel becomes interested in the bomb defusion squad more importantly the squad hero himself and falls in love with him while shooting a docu.

This video prompts hero to return to London after ten years and have another accident and cross paths with the heroine again. But heroine has still not come to her senses. And our poor hero has to recoup his lost memory.

By this time, you have quite given up on the film. The plot, as you can see, is as ludicrous as it sounds. Although peppered with slight humour in some places, Yash Chopra’s final magnum opus is over three hours long and essentially a flat landscape: no highs or lows of drama or passion or comedy.

Quite frankly, the pace sucks. It just crawls slowly around. The heroine is so needlessly guilt-ridden and the hero so completely passive that it fails to strike a chord. Anushka's Akira, although pesky, is the only character who sparkles in this love story.

The thing about JTHJ is that it employs all the Yash Chopra clichés the long conversations with God, the discourse on love outside of traditional relationships, the talk about unrequited love, the indecisive heroine with a golden heart but in a most dry un-Yash Chopralike style.

As a Yashji film, it completely misses the point. Where is the romance, the tension, the brooding, the reverberance, the poetry? Well, we’ll never see it again. JTHJ marks the end of an era. Farewell, Mr Chopra. 

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