Review: JAB TAK HAI JAAN Jerks A Few Tears, Earns A Few Jeers, Caps A Career

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer

It’s difficult to talk about Jab Tak Hai Jaan without putting it in its proper context. Not only is the the final film of one of Bollywood’s most beloved auteurs, and the author of the modern romantic cinema in which so much of India still revels, Yash Chopra, it’s also the latest film from one of the Hindi film industry’s biggest stars, Shah Rukh Khan. It couldn’t be lugging around heavier baggage. There is the temptation to sentimentalize about Chopra’s career and allow that feeling to seep into any kind of critical response to the film, a reaction to which I may not even find myself immune, however, Jab Tak Hai Jaan delivers exactly as it is supposed to on all levels, and that’s not too shabby for a film with so much expectation to live up to.

The story line of Jab Tak Hai Jaan is not at all easy to compress. The film is 176 minutes long, which is even long by Bollywood standards these days, and Chopra uses all of that time to expand a ten year long love story to its emotional acme, leaving audiences drained by the time the credits roll. We’ve been up, we’ve been down, we’ve seen fire and we’ve seen rain, and by the time the film closes out with a behind the scenes montage of Yashji on set working on his final project, it’s just the topper that put me over the edge and threw me into emotional freefall. Yes, I fell for this film and I fell hard.

What I find most amazing about Jab Tak Hai Jaan is that the entire time I was watching it I was picking it apart, but in the end it resonates more deeply that it perhaps deserves. Aditya Chopra’s script is ridiculous. Coming from the man who penned and directed the defining film of modern Indian romantic cinema, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, the script for Jab Tak Hai Jaan is something of an embarrassment. Characters act in ludicrous ways right from the word go, insane coincidences determine every single plot turn in the story, and every few minutes I found myself thinking “what the f…” at the things going on in front of me; not least of which is a pivotal scene in which London Police allow a civilian Shah Rukh Khan to defuse a bomb on a commuter train just because he seems to know what he’s talking about.

Scenes like that pepper the film, and if it weren’t bad enough that they are there at all, sometimes they play major roles in the narrative. There’s nothing lazier than dropping unlikely (or downright impossible) plot devices into a film just because there’s seemingly no other way to move the story forward. Adi Chopra should know this, and his dad, Yash Chopra himself, should have questioned it. Neither of these guys are rookies, they’ve been around, and there are some seriously amateur-hour antics in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. That being said, the film doesn’t completely collapse like the house of cards that it is, instead it is saved by an unusually strong performance from Shah Rukh Khan as our lovelorn lead, Jagdeep, and a bouncy and rousing performance from Anushka Sharma, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite mainstream actresses simply for the energy she brings to every role.

SRK’s Jagdeep begins the film as a take no prisoners leader of an Indian Army bomb disposal unit. He doesn’t wear protective gear, and he’s obviously never made a mistake because he’s still alive and in one piece. He’s introduced via a particularly ham-handed piece of expository dialogue between two nobodies who dutifully inform the viewer that he’s defused 97 bombs and is known as “The Man Who Cannot Die”. However, as one would expect in a film like there, there is some underlying pathos behind his devil-may-care approach to his very dangerous job. Leave it to the inquisitive Akira (Anushka Sharma) to uncover his history via an accidentally pilfered diary which leads into a ninety minute flash back explaining his tragic love story with a woman named Meera played by Bollywood coat rack, Katrina Kaif.

Akira, our deus ex machina, interferes with Jagdeep in order to both get his story out of him and get him to fall in love with her. As one should expect at this point, it all backfires and Akira winds up in love with the emotionally unavailable Jagdeep, which makes them a perfectly tragic Bollywood couple. A few more twists, turns, and unlikely coincidences occur, and we’re left with a whirlwind of a final hour, which cannot be revealed without giving up major spoilers. Suffice it to say, the plot kind of spirals out of control around the 150 minute mark, and as a result, the ending feels very rushed, even though we’ve already had two and a half hours to resolve the story. Instead of smooth transitions from one element to the next, the film nearly heads off of a cliff in the final reel while trying to tie up loose ends.

The bottom line is this: if you like Bollywood melodrama, Jab Tak Hai Jaan may be the film for you. I do, and so the above mentioned faults, major though they might be, are merely bumps in the road that don’t derail my emotional investment in the film. I’ll admitI giggled a few times at some particularly hokey dialogue, and I couldn’t help laughing every time I saw an Indian Army solider haphazardly waving a rifle around pointing at nothing in particular when he was supposed to be on patrol, but it was all in good fun. Yash Chopra was never one to make subtle films, and his history, dare I say mastery, of bombast is unparalleled in Bollywood. Just when you think a moment has reached its emotional peak, leave it to Yashji to throw in a couple more corkers just to make sure he wrings every last tear from your poor dehydrated carcass, and I’ll be goddamned if it didn’t work on my more than once.

It’s been about eight years since Yashji’s last film, the cross-border interfaith romance Veer-Zaara, but it’s been even longer since the man who pioneered Bollywood’s obsession with picturesque European locations actually set a film in one. In fact, apart from a few moments here and there, I can’t even remember one with a major location outside of India. As such, Chopra’s view of London in 2012 seems firmly stuck in the ’90s Hindi film aesthetic of the west. Sure, he updates the morality to that of modern Indian twenty something’s by allowing Anushka Sharma’s Akira to speak freely about sex and wanting to fuck guys with different accents and showing in unusually forthright detail the illicit sex lives of Jagdeep and Meera, but the settings look like never left the late ’90s.

Yash Chopra was never one to shy away from hot button items. Whether it was infidelity in the Amitabh Bachchan starring Silsila, stalkers in the masterful Darr, also featuring SRK, or the interminable divide between India and its mortal enemy, Pakistan, in Veer-Zaara, Chopra was always keen to give the audience something to chew on, and I think that in spite of the updating of sexual mores in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, he plays it rather safe with the content. Sure, the plot has plenty of twists and turns and doesn’t shy away from the occasional kiss on the lips from SRK (who hasn’t done that in a film in as long as I can remember), but there’s little universal about the story, it is all very contained, which I guess isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

I had read several tweets and off-the-cuff reactions to the film before walking into the theater so I was prepared for the worst. I’ll be honest, even upon immediately leaving the auditorium, I was rather dubious about the whole experience. However, the more distance I put between myself and the nit picky things that bothered be about Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the less they bother me. Ultimately what I came away with, after all nits have been picked, is a deeply resonant emotional experience helped by an incredibly strong performance by a movie star who actually shows some acting chops for the first time in a while. Jab Tak Hai Jaan is by no stretch Yash Chopra’s finest work, however, it is a fine coda to a long career spent giving the people what they want, which is a little bit of everything and a lot of tragic romance.

 

http://twitchfilm.com/2012/11/review-jab-tak-hai-jaan-jerks-a-few-tears-earns-a-few-jeers-caps-a-career.html

Post Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

forzest tadalafil canada furacin pomada indicaciones venta de cialis en miami protonix medication pantoprazole doctor canadian no scrip pharmacys cialis canadian pha does generic propecia work doxycycline 50 mg for rosacea bevispas tablets with keyboards ladies viagra tablets in india where to purchase low cost levitra ventolin inhaler coupons dicyclomine 20mg bentyl side effects depakote medication for migraines synthroid thyroid medication doctor binozyt antibiotic cefuroximeblupillblycolin tadalafil compare prices misoprostol pharmacy famciclovir side effects roaccuntane buy mobicox tabletas en cialis 20mg preis cialis lowest price canada malegra dxt online purchase synthriod without prescription orlistat froom china cheapest antibiotics canada macrobid 100mg capsule viagra prix en pharmacie what is prandin 2mg forpravachol mentat himalaya herbals cialis medication teva alendronate sodium side effects erectalis tadalafil generic buy clomid tablets online rocket launch today vandenberg air force base buy alli weight loss pills clamida pills online nebivolol 5mg reviews can cialis be purchased wellbutrin and alcohol seizure abilify weight gain abilify medication inconveniant du viagra safe online cialis colchicine treatment for arthritiscombivent estrace estradiol for ivf how many viagra can you take mincorp inc robaxin dosage amount sildenafil pfizer 50 mg erectalis tadalafil tablets inderalici 40 viagra fast uk flomax medication side effects buying cialis cheap where to buy vibramycin syrup cialis my canadian pharcharmy cialis and weed viagra singapore buy cheap cialis generic online doxycycline for sale india finpecia results flagyl buy tretinoin gel 0.01 15g venlafaxine er 37.5mg capsules side effects prometrium progesterone reviews sertraline 50mg tablets reviews bactroban nasal ointment side effects nolvadex shipped to canada prednisone 50 mg for 5 days tinidazole 500mg tablets viagra alternative gnc omeprazole 20 mg capsule price buying viagra in usa viagra farmacia de canada colchicine with no prescription samonas realty greenland nh generic viagra forum costco flovent non prescription hydrochlorothiazide minimum age for taking viagra doxycap dosage adderall weight loss drug levoxyl vs levothyroxine synthroid buy 5 mg cialis pills online buy diovan from india does arimidex and weight gain venda de viagra online citalopram reviews for anxiety ibuprofen for dogs veterinarianimiquimod bactrim ds tablets sertraline 50mg tablets for depression non prescription colchicine online viagra livraison rapide cyrux dosis de amorcytotec norfloxacin dosage in dogs vilches radio shack hoodia diet pills appetite suppressant minomycin 50 mg viagra valtrex overnight delivery medoflucon 150mg equals doxepin side effects weight gain hyzaar 100 25 side effects flonase otc fda methylprednisolone 4mg dose pak 21 increasing breast milk supply olmesartan om line skelaxin abuse medication kamatra gelish gel viagra pills for sale navidoxine information pulmicort side effects in children insulin glargine generic name fluconazole canadian pharmacy lisinipril no rx 2 5mg cheap ed trial packs diamox side effects acetazolamide mechanism anastrozole 1 mg for men septra india ez online pharmacy buy viagra usa fertomid 25mg hydroxyzine for dogs allergies aurochem viagra ramipril 10mg side effects berifen 100 srw canadian pharmacy viagra paypal cyrux pastillas de leche revatio 20 mg for erectile dysfunction aggrenox side effects capsule buy mifepristone prometrium 100mg serophene and multiple births repronex revatio medication price mail order amoxicillin cialis generic best price and delivery walmart pharmacy drug list ambien dosages 20 mg lasix water pills canadian pharmacy benazepril hcl medication for cats provigil online pharmacy androgel reviews oxybutynin chloride 5 mg tablet comprar misoprostol en mendoza therapy dog certification texas grifulvin griseofulvin cymbalta coupons that are printable north american cialis buy antabuse online hytrin terazosin diclofenac sodium gel 3 drug prices at algodones mexico leconfield wineskin no prescription required drugstore precose contraindications pravachol without prescription benazepril hydrochlorothiazide pictures doxycycline hyclate 100mg for dogs coumadin side effects coumadin vitamin k foods celexa withdrawals legitimate india pharmacies discount cialis from canada doxyval prix zinoxime vial necklace canadian family pharmacy buy xenical canada buy diflucan with mastercard benemid probenecid 500mg craigslist glasgow cialis online india digoxina in english translation cefamor 500 sumycin tetracycline hydrochloride similar to propranolol for anxiety side effects mexican pharmacies online cheap buy 160 mg viagra tablets fanegada colombia earthquake finasteride on sale no prescription misoprostol fast shipping sofilex antibiotics carprofen 100 mg cheap sildenafile citrate 100mg prix antivert medication side effects altace blood pressure pills nolvadex cycle mg cialis black 800 mg venlafaxine 37.5mg and weight loss diazepam for dogs dose for anxiety order online propranolol 40mg remeron withdrawal symptoms medication prednisolone for cats treatment vomiting in cats lamictal medication for seizures obat nexium compare prescription prices in florida baristanet bloomfield nj restaurants no prescription drugs canada cialis farmacia haldol dosage for terminal restlessness equality of men and women in the us can i take 2 cialis levomax 500 uputstvo zantac side effects on infants what deos xypresy feel like top rated generic viagra pharmacy artane medication for dystonia rimadyl for dogs overdose yasminelle ulotka biedronka valium information drugs periactin for migraines in children where to buy izoniazide levitra canadian online pharmacy buy cialis cheap viagra gold 800mg buy canadian cialis vicodin addiction symptoms drug himcolin dosage zyvoxid spc diflucan 150 mg en espanol xatral od side effects glipizide er 10mg beconase nasal spray side effects cialis viagra overnight delivery saroten retard 50 mg actos diabetes capoten dosage and administration sublingual viagra cialis free trial every 12 months propecia buy online benicar generic substitute sifrol pramipexole treatment tegretol 200mg pictures where can i buy zovirax natija dyal 9wilbat aliviosin dyal gholdson cialis on sale pay pal doxycycline side effects rash actavis cough syrup uk takeda duetact coupon viagra jelly next day delivery viagra pills cost ipharmacy android diflucan over the counter cvs enalapril medication for cats canadian pharmacy windsor viagra in farmaciea what is terramicina oxitetraciclina polimixina b buy viagra online in india where to buy roaccutane retirides 0 025 puretone hearing aids az regenon romania pentru cialis 20 mg best price mexican pharmacies to buy brand viagra tramadol side effects medications dogs mesterolone steroid cycles asthma attack and no inhaler cipralex causes weight gaincipro epharmacy online games pilule viagra diane lane measurements metformin er 500mg weight loss homemade pheromones to attract men nexium 40 mg capsules purchse vilches radio flyer buying generic viagra online viagra hk cialis price paypal decadron dose pack dosage generic viagra visa debit donepezil online order rualis 20 buying viagra in toronto new zealand domperidone prednisone without a scrip abilify medication aripiprazole zyrtec side effects after stopping forum ordering clomid online uk buy metformin xr eutirox 50 mg signs of zanaflex overdosezanaxzantac levaquin side effects medication flagylindia paypal advair hfa inhaler price fraces de futbol tijuana mexico pharmacy cipro with out script buy metformin without a script eldepryl manufacturer coupons crestor prices at walgreens microzide hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg side effects buy prescription drugs online india buy buspirone for cats canada micardis medication telmisartan bentyl dosages generic nexium without prescription tizanidine 4mg the little blue pill healthpoint pharm support group drug aprovel irbesartan drugstore prednisone 12 day dose pack directions septrin antibiotic suspension reliable uk site to buy nolva viagra advertised on sirius claritin reditabs ingredients sildenafil prilocaine topical ointment albuterol inhaler dosage frequency avelox generic substitute zantac 150 mg abilify side effects weight gain duloxetine without rx south african hoodia gordonii side effects cipla pharmaceutical company india buy viagra at walmart express shipping tinidazol paroxetine hydrochloride drug side effects generic alli weight loss lexapro weight gain lexapro side effects 50 mg viagra potassium permanganate uses can you buy viagra in europe isoniazid and vitamin b6 prednisone online with no script canadian health mall doxycycline hyclate 100mg online amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium and alcohol zestril 20mg tabletszetia mercadolibre venezuela cipa pharmacies online viagra ajanta haldol classification and use viagra usa without a prescription geriforte syrup reviews allegra carpenter attorney cheap zofran online yasmine galenorn sisters of the moon series in order generic pay pal podofilox solution user reviews buy fentanyl uk buy diapers with echeck duphalac lactulose solution paracetamol contraindication pregnancy sinequanone roberta biaxin antibiotic 500 mg xylocaine injection drug how to use minoxidil 5 for women amiloride furosemide cerazette desogestrel side effects metoprolol side effects mayo clinic purchase flagyl mupirocin ointment usp 2 used to treat athletes foot cheap retin a caffeine pills vs coffee januvia merck patients metformin free trial viagra without prescriptions cost of zyvox pills zeprexa without perscription lasix 12 5 mg for dogs yellow get cialis without aprescription www canadia pharmacy health flagyl 500mg antibiotic dosage buy cialis paypal payment z pack dose 5 day overnighted tiotropium bromide inhalation powder generic drugs relafen 750 usesremeron suhagra 100 rx canada top legitimate online pharmachies wellbutrin xl vs wellbutrin sr lotrel medication what is betanoid tablets used for adderall xr dosages for adults canadian pharmacy cialis generic best price on levitra 20 mg terbutaline sulfate 2.5mg lipitor side effects seroflo diskusi sifrol pramipexole xenical diet pt estradiol side effects avana apartments league city morphine side effects elderly plavix generic in usa coumadin diet restrictions alcohol avelox 400 mg cost buy clomid in australia online diltiazem er medication drugs aciphex rabeprazole sodium generic increasing sperm count diet hyzaar 50 12.5 hydrochlorothiazide generic singulair buy keftab without a prescription flonase vs nasonex symptoms macrobid for uti treatment aviane birth control reviews nexium otc strength cheap isotretinoin is diflucan over the counter on line pharmacy viagra 24hr canadian pharmacy diclofenac potassium 50mg vs diclofenac sodium 50mg glipizide er keflex side effects in dogs zofran medication over the counter ropinirole medication finpecia vs propecia clindamicina pretty glipizide er 10mg tablet mozilla2f5 0 user agent buy cheap amoxicillin best otc erection lidocaine ointment usp 5 for hemorrhoids albuterol inhaler side effects doctor nasonex side effects medication nasonex nasal spray cheap finasteride india mefenamic acid 500mg how can i get my gout meds cheaper naproxen vs ibuprofen side effects oxybutynin chloride 5mg name of viagra tablet in in cialis dosage strengths berodual prezzo actos warning fda alli diet on amozon vicodin overdose amount utilisatrice de cialis femme ciplafield eas req statusuri vente cialise antidote for mestinon overdose buy inderal online buy cialis without a script orlistat over the counter alli noroxin antibiotics amoxicillin or zithromax for sinus infection lasuna pants size pfizer pharmaceuticals viagra canadian family pharmacy legit suhagra 100 india online buy viagra ae propranolol hydrochloride 20 mg lumigan 0.03 eye drops lexapro dosage 30 mg walmart cialis cost sunsuria avenue kota damansara map oracea 40 mg capsule coupon macrobid for uti best rated generic viagra site doxepin for sleep reviews amlodipine besylate 10mg tab side effects valtrex india difference sotalol and sotalol af vand viagra amlodipine medication tab 10 mg sertraline hcl 50 mg tab cytoxan chemotherapy for lupus viagra malta danazol 200mg brahmi herb plant picture mexican pharmacy with no diamox sequels vs diamox buy cialis online bestellen order bupropion uk brahmi herbal medicine abilify coupons without insurance mexico pharmacy metrogel coupon walgreens adalat tv serial acheter viagra pharmacie levitra brand for sale acyclovir ointment 5 over the counter online apotheke deutschland cialis atrovent hfa inhaler 12.9gm arthritis foundation atlanta seroquel dosage for insomnia prescription drugs without a script isoniazid pronunciation symbols pain killers online buy erythromycin 250mg tablets no rx overnight to usa 2 mg estradiol illegal diet pills tsx danazol drug interactions kamagra usa estradiol blood test for men pentrexyl 500 mg dosage famciclovir for shingles dosage buy viagra without a script moduretic dosage for melatonin stopping zoloft going to cymbalta side zyban smoking medication buy kamagra jelly india beconase aq nasal spray antabuse pills levitra 20mg pills meclizine 25 mg tablet overnight atenolol on line furolin medicine effexor reviews side effects amoxicillan without a prescription dosage for zyban to quit smoking novaldex india buying cialis in montreal carprofen dose for humans rocket lawyer complaints