A friend of mine who saw the latest Bond film SKYFALL remarked that the Bond he grew up with is “gone”. Similarly, the SRK I grew up with is gone, but unlike my friend who liked the new Bond I dislike the new SRK-Yash Raj film I just saw. Sure, this seems to be time for super-hero’s of all kinds to reflect, resurrect, and move on. We saw this with the Dark Knight, James Bond, and now with Yash Chopra—when Katrnina Kaif is the new Chopra heroine you know Bollywood romances have entered the dark ages. Unfortunately, with due respects to Yash Chopra, he fails miserably to resurrect the musical-emotional love stories for the new era. I am a simple guy, I don’t mind characters questioning the relevance of their existence, but all I want is a movie that entertains—Jab Tak Hai Jaan fails to entertain. Period.
I hereby propose two theories: first, Mr. Chopra an 80 year old man himself must have been suffering with some sort of senility and forgot many fine points. Just like his protagonist, he too seems stuck in the past—Shahrukh Khan is apparently 25 or 28, earning part-time wages, he is a waiter, but looks more like an owner of the restaurant, he simply joins the Indian Army, leaves it to go to London in less than 24 hours notice and rejoins it as though the bomb diffusing squad has been contracted out to a private firm. Thus, the film is a product of Yash Chopra’s own senility. Second, Aditya Chopra who shares the credit [and in my opinion, the shame] for story actually directed this movie [btw, it is quite common for assistant directors to handle the affairs on behalf of the director]. When Papa Chopra was shown the film, he simply couldn’t believe what he saw and you know what happened.
Ok, enough of my theorizing. Samar Anand [SRK] is a young lad doing part time wage jobs in London, falls in love with a rich girl Meera [Katrina Kaif] who is about to be engaged, she too falls in love, accident, Meera prays that if Samar lives to the see the next day then she will leave him, which he does so Samar heads back to India to join the bomb diffusing squad. Please do not ask me where he acquired the skills to diffuse bombs because what he was doing in London was selling fish, singing songs and as waiting on people. Akira [Anushka Sharma] is irritatingly energetic and falls for what she considers to be old-school love compared to her date-today and break-up tomorrow kinda love. Again, accident in London, Samar loses memory, Meera helps out, and then after 10 years of separation [and apparent celibacy] they unite. By this time, Samar has diffused 108 bombs in the Kashmir Valley and Akira has become a major documentary film maker for Discovery Channel [I expect the channel's image to take a beating after this]. All this shown in 2 hours and 56 minutes…the editor must have worked hard to cut down 4 minutes of the movie.
All his life, Yash Chopra showed the beautiful hills of Switzerland and for his last film he decides to show the Kashmir Valley infested with bombs!—did he really think it will help Kashmir tourism? Katrina Kaif is most comfortable in London-based movies and looks hot in the dance sequences where she wears a two-piece, thats it. Anushka repeats her usual Delhi-type character. A R Rahman’s music is just fine with Jiya re Jiye being the best. Shahrukh looks like a fool faking the guitar in the song Challa. For some reason A R Rahman does not augur well for SRK films. Aditya Chopra proves once again that the affairs of Yash Raj films (YRF) are in his most incompetent hands, but miracles do happen when some bright young director dishes out something fresh for YRF.
And now, coming to Shahrukh Khan. Since the 1990s, for romantic films he is the Batman, Superman, Bond all combined. In 2012, SRK the romantic character has run its course as he looks totally jaded [too many cigarettes, perhaps] and out of sync with his character. While Om Shanthi Om shined on the creative power of its director, SRK really needs to play roles like he did in Chak De or Swades. It is interesting to see how rudderless SRK has become at 45, while his contemporaries Aamir Khan and Salman Khan after losing out to SRK in the 90s-mid 2000s finally seem to have found their mojo! Aamir will make intelligent movies and Salman will make complete massala entertainers. What SRK needs is to first start looking fresh and healthy. Next, he needs to start thinking about what roles he will play, stories he will select because he certainly cannot be playing these idiotic roles. This film is officially the last film for SRK as a lover-boy. Every super-star goes through this phase and I hope he is lucky enough to get a director who can understand this and turn around his image. In my view, Chak De and Om Shanti Om was his previous peak. As an aside, all of SRK’s hits include either all or a combination of the following elements: mother sentiment, a scene where he is running with long coats, and a fight sequence where he bleeds profusely from the mouth. Jab Tak Hai Jaan had none of them.
Sure, Jab Tak Hai Jaan will collect a ton of money, but that is not the point anymore. In the times we live today, even Golmaal-type movies list in the top earners! This movie is a flop and with SRK will have lost so much more charm with the masses. For those in India, watch Son of Sardar and for those in US…watch this film on Soku! For those who are Yash Chopra’s fans, revisit his classics and forget this one.
Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down!