Right from our childhood days, we've been taught lying is bad and only truth prevails. But come on, haven't we all lied at some point or the other? And especially frivolous lies which don't cause anybody any harm.
After JAANE TU YA JAANE NA, Abbas Tyrewala comes up with yet another refreshing romcom in the form of JHOOTHA HI SAHI. It's a nicely written film, with good performances and inspiring music. Though we've seen such films in the past, it's Abbas' fresh treatment which makes it an exciting watch.
Siddharth aka Sid (John Abraham) runs an Indian bookshop named 'Kagaz Ke Phool' with his Pakistani friend Omar (Raghu Ram) in London. Kutika (Manasi Scott) is his girlfriend who never leaves a chance to dominate him. One night, Sid starts getting calls from unknown people who are attempting to commit suicide. He later comes to know that his number was mistakenly printed on fliers of an Indian emergency suicide helpline. Now, it's upon him to answer and help callers who want to end their lives.
One such caller is Mishka (Pakhi), who after a while becomes Sid's close phone friend. Sid knows her name, but Mishka doesn't. He meets her when she visits his book store. But Mishka doesn't know that Sid is actually her phone friend. So, Mishka starts dating Sid in the day and shares her experiences with him in the night on the phone. Sid manipulates Mishka to fall for him with the information she shares during the night talks. Does this continue forever or Mishka eventually finds out about his lies is what follows.
The story bears a faint similarity to films like DIL HI DIL MEIN and NA TUM JAANO NA HUM. It's predictable but Abbas' narrative is fresh and keeps the tempo up. The slice-of-life moments keep you entertained. However, it's extended and highly exaggerated climax is difficult to grasp. Even the entire Kabir (R Madhavan) track is hideous.
Some really hilarious scenes stay with you like the one in which Sid accidently buys porn films leaving him embarrassed in front of Mishka who's at the cash counter. Then, the scene in which Omar and Krutika land up in the same Chinese restaurant where Sid is with Mishka, is uproarious.
A R Rahman's music slowly grows on you. Cry Cry and Do Nushaaniyan are appealing. Manoj Lobo's impressive cinematography shows London in a new light.
John Abraham is excellent in his geek role. You fall in love with his quaint mannerisms. Pakhi gives a good performance but falters mildly in the emotional moments. MTV Rodies fame Raghu Ram impresses and how! He performs his role with ease and panache. Manasi Scott is decent. All the other characters including Anaitha Nair, Alishka Varde, Prahsant Chawla and George Young are excellent in their small roles. Voice cameos by Imran Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh are passable. R Madhavan's cameo fails to amaze.
JHOOTHA HI SAHI works for its fresh approach and superior performances. It proves lying isn't that bad, after all. JHOOTHA is SAHI!