Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

In recent times, I think, this is the only film for which people went crazy to decipher the story from its trailer and song promos. May be, the makers wanted this. For which they never released any dialogue promos of the film. With superstars of our times acting in it, this film has already had enough commercial weights associated with it and only left us waiting for a kind of love story for which the late filmmaker is famous, to come our way.

It is the parallel characters that we find who drive the modern eternal love stories: Rockstar, Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya (to mention some of my favorites). Not that they should be too sentimental but with enough depth to carry the emotional void that makes them to live or die for each other. We find such characters when we catch the girl, who is smoking cigarette in isolation on her engagement ceremony, and a waiter, who is doing his double shift of his work apart from singing on London roads, in a convincing conversation. The girl, Meera (Katrina Kaif), is god-fearing, lets Jesus rule her life (quite overdone, though), doesn't wish to get married to an Indian man, and has a promise to keep with his father (played by Anupam Kher, who has his own unsuccessful love story as a sub-plot here). Whereas the guy, Samar (Shahrukh Khan), has a dubious background: he was sent to London by her mother after his family lost all the men in army battles, where he does jobs like washing cars and working in stores but is an electronics genius, we learn that in the latter half of the film when he becomes Major Samar Anand, Bomb Disposal Squad, Indian Army.

The film being of over 180 minutes runtime has to have a juncture midway before which we were indulged in its character-driven story, leisurely told, and as written by Samar in his diary and read by Akira (Anushka Sharma). That juncture being called as intermission, we then enter the second half of the film which shifts dramatically to being a compromising state of plot and characters with forced predicaments, and loopholes spread equally throughout.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan speaks about love, its aging and maturity, and no Jesus is mightier than love. (We are taught this by one of the most charming and beloved couple of Hindi cinema: Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh in their cameo role of Imran and Pooja (Meera’s mother) in a scene set in a vintage garden.) The lead is encountered with another love situation. This time with Akira (a very unimaginatively written character and played over-the-top by Sharma) who taunts him as old-fashioned. His love may be old-fashioned but that’s eternal. And that’s how the director balances the contemporariness with his seasoned and vintage style. Though some subtlety was needed in writing, we feel as we are dragged in elaborated scenes. Also some more time could have been spared by doing away the songs but each is enjoyable nonetheless.

Late Yash Chopra has his own legacy. This film comes as a contribution to it. The grandiose title song plays with the end credits showing some footage of the making of the film, we see his active involvement and realize he’s "The Man Who Cannot Die".

No comments: