Direction: Imtiaz Ali
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Shah Rukh Khan, Aru Krishansh Verma, Chandan Roy Sanyal and Evelyn Sharma.
When I say the disaster followed, I mean it. Neither did it have a great beginning nor a perfect ending. Being slow as compared to other Imtiaz Ali films, Jab Harry Met Sejal might make you think – Did Imtiaz Ali finish this film in a hurry? And if so, why? WHY???
Being a fan of both Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, this new flick was quite a disappointment. Even though the film had it all – two great leads, a wonderful director, exotic locations, extravagant travel, phirangis and a gala wedding – Jab Harry Met Sejal fails to keep you glued to the seat. It rather makes you want more – more action, better script, the slow-blooming love and a little bit of life into the supposed ‘piece of life film.’
The story starts off with Harry (Shah Rukh), a tour guide in Europe bidding farewell to his latest group of Gujarati travellers at the airport. While riding back from the airport, he encounters a young member, Sejal (Anushka), from the group who forces him to join her in finding out her lost engagement ring (or she might register a complaint against him for not cooperating)! Having had issues with his job, and in the fear of being deported from Europe, Harry has no choice but to tag along with the irritating nightmare of a character.
Imtiaz Ali had always helmed loud and quirky female protagonists, and Sejal is one heck of a piece. (Personally, I have a strong dislike for annoying people, and watching one on the big screen, initially I wanted to get in there and strangle her!) Like most of his films, Ali maintains the theme of travel, love and fun in Jab Harry Met Sejal, but eventually things fall apart and you take back no memories or beautiful sequences with you, the way you did after watching Jab We Met or Highway.
Both Anushka and SRK, brilliant actors otherwise, seem to overreact tad bit. Sejal’s Gujju accented Hindi dies out during emotional scenes, and sadly SRK’s charming presence fades away while portraying Harry (What!! How could that ever happen??). JHMS has a predictable plot, like most rom-com films, but only that, overall it is not satisfying. The film sort of goes downhill, post interval! Things mostly happen the way we expect them to, only it takes a roundabout route. The expected rom-com is only in parts a comedy, one might have to search for the blossoming love in the story. Sejal tries hard to make the audience laugh – sometimes she succeeds but mostly it looks like she’s desperately trying to crack you up with those clingy-demanding dialogues.
The film is unnecessarily lengthy; there are times when one might feel that certain scenes or dialogue exchanges weren’t required at all. The character portrayed by Chandan Roy Sanyal seemed additionally attached to drag on the story-line, even though it causes some major developments in the relationship between the two protagonists. But there are surely some fun moments that you can count upon, like the escape scene from a bar.
Some of the songs do sound good when you listen to them in the radio, but in the film they don’t quite blend in that well, and as every minute passed by it made me fidget in the otherwise comfortable seat wanting to step out from the theatre ASAP.
Finally, JHMS is only a one time watch, even if you are head-over-heels in love with SRK. In case you have already bought tickets, brace yourselves before stepping into the theatre. We can always hope for better films from the team of JHMS. If only they had invested some more time to the script…