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Posted at: Aug 4, 2017, 5:01 PM; last updated: Aug 4, 2017, 6:32 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - JAB HARRY MET SEJAL

A meeting best forgotten

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Film: Jab Harry Met Sejal

  • Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma
  • Director: Imtiaz Ali
A meeting best forgotten
A still from Jab Harry Met Sejal

Nonika Singh

As the trailers have already revealed, Jab Harry Met Sejal begins on a rather peculiar, almost absurd, note. She has lost her engagement ring, he is going about his life of a tourist guide with business as usual. She seeks, nay forces, herself on him to make her find the lost ring. That’s how Harry and Sejal truly meet, not the most romantic setting and certainly not a revelation when the rest of the film unfolds.

An old fashioned love story rarely packs any surprises, we agree but it does get its love potion right. Trust Imitaz Ali, the love balladeer of modern day romance, to show you the deeper shade of love by cutting across the class and caste divide. Why, he turns around the notion of romance on its head too. Is romance going down on your knees and proposing to your beloved or is it an emotion that emanates from the deepest recess of your heart?  

Imitaz often takes us where we can plumb the depths of love and our own hearts through its lovelorn lovers who find themselves through love. The point is does he manage to do the same with his latest offering? The answer sadly is only intermittently, in flashes. 

With the Badshah of romance, Shah Rukh Khan, at the helm, you do expect many a moment that will make you go weak in the knees. If you are a true blue SRK fan, he does not disappoint and makes your heart somersault with his adaa, that inimitable look and more. There are no doubts about his charisma or Anushka’s acting capability, who plays the bindass Gujarati lass so well that you are tempted to hum Dil le gai kudi Gujarat di. 

Imitaz’s women characters are well rounded and so seems Sejal. But strangely enough she goes all over Europe literally scrounging for the ring. 

Yes, indeed, ring is a metaphor for what we seek within us. But in telling this story of lost and found, it tries too hard to be love wise. Certainly love completes us. But there are forced interjections riding on a skeletal storyline that dull your senses rather than filling you with that loving feeling. Within the beauteous environs of Europe, a gifted superstar Shah Rukh Khan and a talented young actor Anushka do keep you engaged. For the first half at least there is some mirth and a fine pace. Thereafter SRK fan or not, it becomes hard to flow with the path the lovers follow. 

The template of Imtiaz’s previous films trails this one but with little force and impact. Remember the passionate kiss of Jab We Met? Well, here too love is sealed in a similar fashion. Only Jab Harry Met Sejal isn’t the rollicking ride of Jab We Met which per se isn’t a bad thing. For no two films are meant to be so, only it makes you so wish it were.

This might be Imtiaz Ali’s brand of love as SRK and Anushka have said, only it’s not even half as flavoursome or soulful as his previous outings. A love story that doesn’t make your heart sing and soul soar can hardly be an affair worth remembering. So much so even the delectable song Hawayein written by Irshad Kaamil and composed by Pritam gets lost and can’t hold love in the air.      

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