Banner: Red Chillies Entertainment
Producer: Gauri Khan
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aru Verma
Writer: Imtiaz Ali
He’s been part of so many love stories and is, in fact, known as the ‘king of romance’. She’s been part of so many love stories and, in fact, started her career with him. We are talking about the leading pair of Jab Harry Met Sejal – Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.
The third most important person linked to the film is its director, Imtiaz Ali, who is known for making love stories and winning hearts. So when the three of them come together and make a film like Jab Harry Met Sejal, you expect it to be a love story to cherish for all time.Sadly, the film is a sheer disappointment as Imtiaz Ali has failed not only as a writer but also as a director with this film. When you have the best pairing in romantic cinema working with you, how could Ali have botched it so badly? Worse still, how did he falter so badly when he has successfully been making romantic dramas and entertaining the audience for so many years?
So what went wrong this time? May be it seems like Ali didn’t take his job seriously this time because he assumed that his lead pair would do it for him. Well, the audience will not spare even a filmmaker of Ali’s calibre.
Despite Ali’s shortcomings, Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma try their best to divert the audience’s attention from a faulty script and the way it has been shot. But even they couldn’t keep up the charade for long. That’s why the first half of the film, which has many fun moments, gives way to a very shoddy second half.
As with all Ali’s previous movies, Jab Harry Met Sejal follows two lost souls – Harry and Sejal – who connect as they travel through various locations in Europe. Oddly enough, even though you start to grow tired of the constantly changing locations, they don’t!
One would think that this is a fantastic opportunity to show some gorgeous montages. But Ali, who usually masterfully captures the journey of his protagonists against the backdrop of exotic locales, fails to capture the surrounding beauty in his quest to bring his contrasting characters, Harry and Sejal together. Remember Ali’s work in Highway and how he captured the stunning beauty of Kashmir? Remember also his last release Tamasha and how he had explored the most scenic places of Europe in that film?
Once again, like all his previous movies, the premise is simple – boy meets girl. The two confused souls don’t know what they want from their respective lives and end up falling for each other. In this movie, Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) is a reluctant tour guide, who offers his services to Indian tourists visiting Europe. And there’s Sejal (Anushka Sharma), a Gujarati girl hailing from a rich diamond merchant family, who has lost her engagement ring while touring Europe and has hired Harry to help her find it. How these contradictory characters find each other during their journey forms the crux of the film.
As mentioned earlier, what is really appealing is the crackling chemistry that Khan and Sharma share in their third outing together. Despite having worked together before, they are refreshing and make a beautiful on-screen duo. Their rapport is funny and effortless, and Ali masterfully captures the vulnerable undercurrent between the two as they start falling for each other. The return of the Baadshah of Bollywood playing the quintessential lover boy who can make any girl go weak in the knees is welcome, as is Anushka’s breezy effervesce. However, the script doesn’t match up to the actors’ enthusiasm!
The screenplay, also written by Ali, explores his tried and tested formula of boy meets girl, the latter already engaged or about to get married; they fall in love and go their separate ways, only to reunite. Jab Harry Met Sejal follows the same route but, unlike his other films, the director doesn’t really make any extra effort to build on his characters.
We don’t know their back stories or why they are the people they are. That apart, the script doesn’t have any twists and turns, or ups and downs, to keep the audience engaged. Having said that, the film does have some beautiful moments and witty lines (especially in the first half) between Sharma and Khan.
Apart from the leading jodi, music is the other USP of this film. Right from the song that plays during the opening credits, Safar, to the Butterfly number which plays during the end credits, Pritam’s music breathes new life into the film. A special mention to the lyricist Irshad Kamil. Cinematography is good. Editing by Aarti Bajaj is crisp and keeps the film light and breezy.
Performance-wise, Shah Rukh Khan wins our hearts, yet again. He not only knows how to make his heroines fall in love with him, but also the audience. He is totally drool-worthy from start to finish, acing every scene. Anushka Sharma nails her Gujju accent and delivers one of her finest performances to date. She looks lovely in every frame and even outshines Khan in some scenes. Chandan Roy Sanyal makes a brief appearance but manages to make an impact. The film is not crowded with too many characters and the rest of the cast supports well.
Verdict: Go watch it only for these two fantastic actors – SRK and Anushka.