Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya
Jab Harry Met Sejal, one of the most anticipated Bollywood movies of 2017, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma has finally released today and it is nothing less than a festival for all the ‘Baadshah’ fans out there.
The Imtiaz Ali film was expected to be highly entertaining with the add-on magical essence by the ace director. But, somehow Jab Harry Met Sejal has failed to to give that magical impact, despite having certain quintessential Imtiaz Ali elements. The film has turned out to be a little less satisfactory than his previous works.
Anushka Sharma portrays the character named Sejal Jhaveri, who is a Gujarati self-claimed selfish woman. Sejal goes on a tour in Europe with her family and her faceless fiancée Rupen, who is seen only in the second half. During the tour, she loses her engagement ‘ring’ and having involved in a fight with Rupen, Sejal decides to stay back and search the ring.
Shah Rukh Khan a.k.a Harry or Harinder Singh Nehra is a Punjabi self-claimed ‘cheap’ and ‘womaniser’, who happens to be the tour guide of Sejal and her family. Eventually, Harry finds himself reluctantly stranded alongside Sejal in her quest to find the ring. On Sejal’s demand, the two decide to trace back the entire holiday and revisit all those places in hope of finding the ring. As the duo starts retracing the steps, they fall in love with each other amidst constant mushy fights over silly things. Throughout the film, the tagline ‘What you seek is seeking you’ plays as a constant reminder to its viewers.
When it comes to making a romantic film, Imtiaz Ali is a class apart. His films are always realistic and he never focuses on fantasy-romance. One can always relate to Imtiaz Ali’s films as the director always keeps his story real. But, this time, it’s a lengthy, lumbering, baggy and pointless love story.
The first part of the film is pretty interesting with some interesting comic elements. The slow build-up in the first half provides Shah Rukh Khan sufficient time to showcase his typical ‘lover boy’ skills and the ‘King of Romance’ surely gets the viewers’ hopes high as they witness the dimensions of his character. But, alas, the eventful moment doesn’t last long and the second half of the movie proves out to be highly disappointing. Imtiaz Ali has simply dragged the second part of the movie that eventually feels like consuming the same wine served in a different bottle.
However, when it comes to acting the actors have done good job. Anushka Sharma is marvelous. Sharma is no longer the Yash Raj debutante anymore and she lightens up the screen, standing all in her own tower of talent. Over all, she has done justice to her character with almost perfect Gujarati accent. Shah Rukh Khan as Harry is funny and relatable because for once, he’s not playing the over-the-top romantic lover character unlike his other romantic films. The SRK fans will get to see his trademark sense of humor but it’s got a sarcastic edge.
Music is one of the best things that you can expect from an Imtiaz Ali film. And, this film is not an exception. The songs titled ‘Radha‘, ‘Butterfly‘, ‘Beech beech mein’, ‘Safar‘, ‘Hawayein’ have all topped the music charts within weeks of its release. But, when you see them together in the film, the songs simply come and go. They don’t really register unless you go with your lovey-dovey partner and it a let-down too. People have a lot of expectations from the music as well because Ali has always given us some fabulous songs which work by way of telling us more about the story, about the people singing those songs, about their motivations.
Lastly, the frames of this film are really beautiful. Be it the picturesque locations of Prague, Amsterdam and Budapest or the rustic beauty of Punjab, Imtiaz Ali has unfolded the scenic beauty brilliantly through the lens. If only the film had a story substantial enough to hold the construct together and drive it forward, Jab Harry Met Sejal might have been a good watch.
But, before ending let me tell you that if you’re a fan of Anushka and Shah Rukh Khan, you would love Jab Harry Met Sejal. But if you’re a fan of Imtiaz Ali, you will surely yearn for more depth in terms of story and screenplay. So, if you are planning to watch Jab Harry Met Sejal this weekend…go ahead but don’t go in with any expectations and you should have a whale of a time.