Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love love stories; Jab tak hai Jaan.

To me, Yash Raj Films have always stood for the two things that hold the whole world captive: dreams and love. I am mostly referring to the Yash Raj flicks of the late nineties and after as I haven't seen too many of their earlier productions. The films I am referring to are rarely directed by the late Yash Johar, instead employing the talent of younger filmmakers who often tell lighter, youth-oriented urban romantic comedy-style tales. Some of these films flopped, but most went on to do excellent business if not turn into mega blockbusters, often despite their silly or unreasoable plot lines. I'm talking of the likes of Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge, Mohabbatein, Hum Tum, Saathiya, Salaam Namaste, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai, etc.
And of course the ones directed by Yashji himself - Darr, Dil to Pagal Hai, Veer Zara.
I loved them all, and no matter what anyone says about my sad taste in movies, I can watch a Yash Raj Film anytime, every time, and thoroughly enjoy it.
In a way, they were my first exposure to the possibility of a perfect world, where a perfect love story can unfold to culminate in a perfect happy ending. The heroines in these movies are often so much like me, yet so different. Other times, they were everything I wanted to be.
Candyfloss Yash Raj movies were the perfect complement to my teenage diet of cutesy young adult novels and Hollywood Rom-coms. I was addicted to love stories. Still am, in fact. They make me believe in that elusive possibility of romantic love despite never having experienced it myself. They make me believe in happy endings, and song and dance and the outlandish idea that somewhere out there, there IS a guy who can be my Mr. Right. All my friends make fun of my somewhat adolescent obsession with love stories and all things romantic, even more so after I acted in my own two-minute cheesy love story film which in retrospect is quite hilarious to watch. But none of that has ever changed the fact that I do love love stories, no matter how stupid, childish or cliched they may appear to other people. That is why I was super excited to watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan ever since the first promo released. Unfortunately, I had to wait almost a month to finally go and see it and to be honest, I was disappointed but still liked it.
To start with, it is terribly edited and just way too long, which makes it boring and draggy in the middle.Secondly, the central plot is sort of stupid, something I doubt most young people today can relate to. Thirdly, and most importantly, BOTH the female lead characters are just SO shallow. On one hand, we have Meera who does little apart from look pretty, and on the other, we have Akira who is oversexed and in-your-face bubbly. Neither represent the true modern woman of today and are caricature-ish, to say the least.
It was only Major Samar Anand who stole my heart and held the film together. I don't care what people say about SRK, there's a reason he is known as the King of Bollywood. At least he doesn't try too hard like Aamir Khan or overdose on the stupidity like Salman Khan. Yes, he does go overboard on the romance, but that's what he does best so...
However, SRK on his own is not enough to be a saving grace for the movie. Just like a Mills and Boon novel, a YRF film has to be a certain way and that's where Jab tak hai jaan fails, in my opinion. There are no grandiose declarations of love that mark this genre of Indian cinema; instead, everything is all very casual and 'cool' and hence unbelievable. In the quest to be appear 'modern', the story ends up being shallow. A few dialogues are nice and the songs tend to grow on you, but the background score definitely steals the show.

On the whole, boring and average, it's a movie only SRK fans will be able to tolerate. Nonetheless, I love love stories, and I love YRF. Jab tak hai Jaan. :P

1 scribbles scribbled back to me:

Savvy Mom said...

Just watched JTHJ. And got on the net to read the reviews :) ...after watching the film!!

Anyway, I loved what you wrote and I completely agree with what you wrote. It's SRK's film all the way.

And being a Christian...I didnt like the "Jesus Sirjee" bit...nor the scenes/drama in the church.

But good job on the review.