Movie Review: JAB TAK HAI JAAN by FENIL SETA
‘A Yash Chopra Romance’…that’s what the poster of Jab Tak Hai Jaan reads. And that was one of the hugest reasons to catch the film ASAP, besides of course the wonderful cast comprising of Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. A R Rahman’s music, Gulzarsaab’s lyrics and Aditya Chopra’s touching poem added to the excitement. And not to forget, the untimely demise of Mr Chopra couple of weeks before the release of the film gave a huge shock to moviegoers and a further impetus to catch the film as soon as it’s in theatres. After all, it’s the master director’s final stroke of brilliance! And thankfully, Jab Tak Hai Jaan does fulfill the expectations. It’s 179 minutes long but keeps one hooked effortlessly. Several scenes touch viewer’s hearts immensely. But alas, the film has its share of glitches that dilutes a bit the impact of Mr Chopra’s final directorial venture.
The story of the movie: The makers haven’t revealed the plot of the film. Then who am I to spoil viewer’s fun and curiosity? So for a change, no revealing of story!
As aforementioned, Jab Tak Hai Jaan’s 2 hrs 59 mins length doesn’t spoil things. Yash Chopra is a master when it comes to handling lengthy films and Jab Tak Hai Jaan is no exception. The narrative isn’t crisp and racy…it’s gradual but smooth. The entry scene of all the three protagonists is exhilarating. Special mention should be made of Anushka Sharma…dhoom macha diya! The film keeps one hooked from the first scene and turns for the better as SRK-Katrina love saga unfolds. The manner in which they fall for each other and face some huge problems is worth a watch. The intermission comes at a strategic point. The second half commences in a fun manner and although the story dramatically shifts totally to a new setting, one doesn’t mind. Film actually gives a jolt when the story shifts back to London and tragedy takes place. Here’s when the film gets totally unpredictable with viewers constantly asking, ‘What next?’. Things get damn exciting from here on till the bomb scare scene at London station.
However, after that, the film just falls in the finale. As Bollywood movie buffs and lovers of Yash Chopra brand of cinema, one expects the ending to be befitting and the best part of the enterprise. Jab Tak Hai Jaan had immense scope for it but it isn’t utilized and instead, the climax is too thanda. Something better was really expected, especially since the film attains dizzying heights at several places. And moreover, it was Yash Chopra’s final film and hence it would have been great if Jab Tak Hai Jaan would have turned into his best film till date.
It wasn’t an easy character to portray but Shah Rukh Khan performs it with ease. It wasn’t easy either to play a fun Punjabi carefree munda – something that SRK has done before many times – but the actor does it well and at the same time, one won’t be reminded of his previous similar roles. He especially looks dashing in the army wear, riding a bike, singing ‘Challa’ in solitude and challenging death in the beautiful terrain of Kashmir. Not the best performance from the actor but surely a memorable one. Great work, as always, SRK!
Katrina Kaif looks beautiful and sensuous and delivers a bravura performance. In few scenes, she shines the most out of all three. Most importantly, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is an indication that she has evolved as an actress and how! Hats off! Anushka Sharma wins hearts from her entry scene itself. To be honest, initially she seemed a bore and over the top. But post-intermission, she proves viewers wrong! Again, not an easy role but she does it in a flawless manner. After Band Baaja Baaraat and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, here’s another outstanding performance from Anushka!
Anupam Kher as always is dependable. Sarika as the doctor is fine in the supporting role. The film also features Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor is an extremely lovable cameo and contrary to reports, they are NOT playing Shah Rukh Khan’s parents! The actors who play SRK’s army colleagues, Katrina’s fiancé and SRK’s roommate give their best shot.
A R Rahman’s music like his other album took time to grow, at least on me. All songs have soul and somehow, Heer is the best song of the lot! The lyrics, setting and everything else were just too good! Saans is sensual while Ishq Shava, Challa and Jiya Re are energetic and all beautifully executed. And thanks to that, songs don’t seem to be unnecessary obstacles. And as for Jab Tak Hai Jaan – The Poem, it’s just kickass!
Rahman’s background score works beautifully. Anil Mehta’s cinematography is terrific and the beautiful locales add to his advantage. Action, VFX and sound designing are upto the mark too. Technically, film is as good as it can be! Aditya Chopra’s story had the Veer-Zaara, Kabhi Kabhie, Chandni, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge etc hangover which is absolutely fine. However, story had its merits and something fresh and new to offer as well. Aditya’s dialogues were undoubtedly the best part of the enterprise…very simplistic and one that instantly touch hearts. Aditya Chopra-Devika Bhagat’s screenplay is effective for almost the entire film, except the climax. Even Mr Chopra’s direction somehow couldn’t save the situation. Maybe on paper, it seemed an apt culmination to the tale but on screen, it seems as if something’s missing! But nevertheless, a great film and thanks to Chopras for once bringing alive the idea of love!
Some of the best scenes:
1. Entry scenes of SRK, Katrina, Anushka
2. SRK-Katrina’s learn guitar-learn English classes
3. All songs of the film
4. SRK-Katrina at Charing Cross Station (terrific scene!)
5. SRK-Katrina make a promise
6. Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Kapoor’s sequence (another sixer!)
7. The intermission point
8. Anushka befriends SRK
9. SRK back in London
10. Anushka meets Katrina
11. SRK-Anushka on a bike ride in London
12. Bomb scare on a London station.
On the whole, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is a great love saga that needs to be savoured and remembered, despite the glitches in the script and narrative, particularly the climax. One hoped for an ultimate romantic classic from late Mr Chopra’s final venture and Jab Tak Hai Jaan surely fails to do that. Yet, it is an interesting tale and most importantly, it teaches about love in the simplest and most effective manner possible. And that is a huge thing in today’s times when romantic films seems to have ceased. Hence, go for it, with your loved one that too!
My rating-*** ½ out of 5!