By: Omair Alavi
Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali has been known for his ‘different’ style of film making where he has delivered epics like Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar, Highway and even Tamasha. Each film tackled life in its own way and people who saw one Imtiaz Ali film became his fan for life. Until he came up with Jab Harry Met Sejal and ended the honeymoon period of his career!
Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) is a tour guide in Europe who has a long list of ex-girlfriends and is on the verge of deportation from the continent for his flirty ways; Sejal (Anushka Sharma) has lost her engagement ring during her trip to Europe and wants Harry to help her find it. They go on a mission to search for the ring but end up finding each other, hence starts the romance. Do they end up with each other or they break up as in the Imtiaz Ali way … watch the film to find out.
The soundtrack seems to be the only good thing about the film that was bearable until the interval and unacceptable afterward. The cinematography is at par with Hollywood but it would have been better had the story offered something to the audience. Yes, the audience loves travelling Europe at the price of a cinema ticket with SRK but if they don’t get something out of it, they will stay home and watch Travel channel instead.
There was nothing new in this Imtiaz Ali offering which sort of disappoints the audience and his fans. This is easily the worst performance of Anushka Sharma in her decade long career and although her character comes out as a bold one, one isn’t able to relate to her like they did to the leading ladies of Imtiaz’s earlier films. Be it Kareena’s character in Jab We Met, Alia’s in Highway and Deepika’s in Tamasha, people were able to relate to the girl but not here. SRK seems too old to play a tour guide although he has the best lines in the film; he could have made the role into something epic but SRK knows his limitations and that’s what kept him at bay. It was like watching a re run of his old films where he travels Europe (DDLJ), dances in a field (Chalte Chalte), waits for the heroine to turn back (Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman) etc.
Verdict – 1.5/5
I still fail to understand as to how Imtiaz Ali came up with the idea of this film after giving countless hits and epic films. The pace was slow, there was no chemistry between the two characters and the audience ended up being bored than entertained, such predictable was the story. The film was well shot but not well thought like an Imtiaz Ali venture who seemed to be under pressure for one reason or another.
The character of Harry needed a younger actor who would have passed on as a flirt and a ‘cheap’ – the role would have suited SRK 25 years back when Amitabh Bachchan was on the decline and SRK was on the rise. Now it w its SRK’ave suited SRK 25 years back when Amitabh Bachchan was on the decline and SRK was on the rise. The table search for ‘s SRK whose career seems to be going down and he needs to follow the footsteps of Big B by going for young to old roles rather than ‘never old’ roles. Anushka was a disappointment as well and one wonders whether Deepika Padukone would have carried the role in a better manner. Imtiaz Ali should forget about this film and move on from where he left in Tamasha because that’s the kind of film he loves to make and the audience loves to watch. Never ever has a Hollywood-inspired title touched the audience’s heart and he should refrain from going there in the future – for his sake and his career’s.
Story first published: 7th August 2017