Is JAB TAK HAI JAAN inspired by THE END OF THE AFFAIR?
November 17, 2012 11:29:02 AM IST By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Glamsham Editorial
A friend who read my review brought this to my notice. The End of The Affair is a 1951 novel by the British author Graham Greene, its story seeded in wartime London. Two Hollywood films based on the novel and with the same title have already been made. It was also adapted into a chamber opera in 2004.
THE END OF THE AFFAIR and JAB TAK HAI JAAN
The first film was made in 1955 within a few years of the book's publication. Edward Dmytryk directed it, and Deborah Kerr, Van Johnson, Sir John Mills, and Peter Cushing acted in it. In 1999 another film was made by Neil Jordan, starring Julianne Moore, Ralph Fiennes, and Stephen Rea. Julianne Moore was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 1999. The film received many more nominations and awards for its cast and crew and its cinematography was particularly appreciated.
Going by the normal Bollywood trend, it's the 1999 film that may have been the real source of inspiration for the writers of JAB TAK HAI JAAN. Interestingly, just like JTHJ, the Hollywood films and the opera are also set in London. However, JTHJ does not acknowledge the book or the films in its credits in any way, neither as sources of its story nor of its inspirations.
The obvious similarities of the plot and the premise of the book and the films with JTHJ do not seem to be mere coincidences. Of course there are deviations, distortions, and additions to the story to turn it into a typical Bollywood hokum and a box office money-spinner of debatable cinematic and artistic credentials. Was the late YashJi aware of it? He was quite forthright regarding sources of his inspiration if one goes by some of his TV interviews about his earlier films. It is quite possible that he may not be aware of how and where his screen writers were looking for ideas and stories.
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)