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Jab Tak Hai Jaan Movie Review
The lover boy is back!
Gulzar and Aditya Chopra
Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma
November 13, 2012 07:33:17 PM IST By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial
The late Yash Chopra is known for grandeur and an eye for detail. His last outing behind the camera is lavish on both counts. The splendor of Ladakh and London is captured beautifully - the detailing of scenes is impeccable. The late director infuses romance into every situation; capturing the mood of even the flowers in the vases! Every scene has a connotation to the ones preceding or the ones gone by. Only the length is a bit tiring as he labours to bring the love story to its ultimate end.
However, Yashji had a brilliant opportunity to stun the audience in the last scene as Major Samar (Shah Rukh Khan) goes about diffusing his last bomb. A change in the fate of this situation would, to my mind, have catapulted this film from a simple love story to an unforgettable one.
Major Samar heads the Bomb Diffusing Squad in the Indian Army. He has diffused 98 bombs so far, all without a protective gear. We soon learn that there is a method to this madness of his. At every turn, he is embracing death, challenging the one above, because the love of his life Meera (Katrina Kaif) has decided to stay away from him so that he lives a long life.
The story begins with Samar diffusing one such bomb and then rushing into the cold waters of Leh to save another! This one is Akira (Anushka Sharma). Without so much as a backward glance, Samar moves off on his bike after rescuing Akira and putting on his jacket on her. Akira chances upon his personal diary in which Samar has penned his love story.
JAB TAK HAI JAAN then moves to London where Samar is making ends meet juggling between three jobs. He runs into Meera when he is cleaning the front of a Church.
The establishing of Samar and Meera and the blossoming of their love story is quick and to the point. The late director does not waste time in getting Samar make his feelings known to Meera and Meera recipocrating.
But here is when the twist in the tale appears. Meera is all set to break off her engagement to her childhood friend, when things go wrong for them.
Samar is forced to return to India. In retaliation, he joins the Indian Army and embraces death at every given opportunity.
Akira, a student learning the ropes of television journalism, who he had saved, gets to spend two weeks with his camp and here is when she does a Samar on him. Meaning: she expresses her love for him just as Samar had done with Meera at a London station - at a time least expected. But for Samar, there cannot be another Meera.
Akira's documentary on Samar gets her a ticket to Discovery Channel, but for that she has to get Samar to London. He agrees after first refusing. Once in London, things go wrong for Samar again.
Meera's help has to be sought as Akira goes in search of her. It's 10 years now since he last met Meera. What would the situation be like?
The styling of the film is super. No efforts are lacking in making it look and feel grand. The Music By A R Rahman, though not ranking among his best, does get you grooving. The choreography is splendid, especially the dance track where Meera lets her hair down with Samar. Awesome.
Shah Rukh Khan is back to his basic form - that of a lover boy. He essays his character effortlessly; carrying the weight of someone who can be dumped with bravado and then brooding over his lost love with aplomb. He balances the shift in roles with ease and even handles the advances of an enthusiastic and optimistic Akira with maturity.
Katrina Kaif is fabulous. Her transformation from a rich girl trapped in a fancy world who gets to let her hair down is fantastic. She carries off the farce while exposing who she really is on the inside is very emotional.
Yash Chopra had mentioned that this would be the last film he would direct. He has left a lasting impression with this one.
Will it be curtains now for grand romances? Only time will tell.
But for now, relish JAB TAK HAI JAAN!
PS: There is one huge flaw in the script that sends the film nose-diving. Akira making a mention of Meera to Samar in the most serious of situations. This, too, when their relationship has not yet been established. To the director's credit, he quickly submerges the flaw. But still, it does stick out like a sore thumb.
Anushka Sharma's character too is forced. Probably, if her character was done away with, the film would have been crisper.