Jab Tak Jai Jaan Movie Review by Sputnik

Director: Yash Chopra

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Anupam Kher

The main prayer twist is inspired/copied from The End of the Affair starring Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore. The daredevil bomb defuser character of SRK is inspired/copied from Jeremy Runner’s character from The Hurt Locker. The “retrograde amnesia” is inspired from Memento which was already used in Ghajini. But it also borrows another thing from Ghajini. Anushka reading SRK’s diary and the SRK-Katrina flashback is similar to Jiah Khan reading Aamir’s diary and the Aamir-Asin flashback. A couple of scenes seem inspired from Yash Chopra’s own Dil To Pagal Hai and the bank scene of Katrina and Anushka reminds of a scene from Silsila.

Some scenes are excellent like the opening credits sequence, the dance leading to Ishq Shava and some of the subtle emotional scenes between SRK and Anushka like the one where Anushka confesses being in love with him and the airport scene. The end credits showing Yash Chopra directing with the title track is also very good.

Now the flaws. Why does Meera Thapar pray to Jesus in a church? Initially I thought Katrina would have a Caucasian mother (the common excuse/justification for taking Katrina in a movie) but her mother turns out to be an Indian. And this Indian child is a blonde as a kid! It also seems odd that Anupam Kher, a Indian, decides for a arranged marriage with a gora. The prayer twist is also silly but at least there is some character justification for that. But the memory loss thing is completely ridiculous.

SRK saves Anushka, a swimming champion from drowning! Even though they tried to use the cool sounding “retrograde amnesia” made popular by Memento this is the old school “Yaaddash Chali Gayi” which goes at a convenient point in the movie only to come back at another convenient point later in the movie. The scenes involving the doctor and the drama that they do to revive his memory are cringe worthy. Stupidly the British cops just allow some random Indian guy to come and defuse the bomb because one of them thinks SRK knows what he is talking about.

Shah Rukh Khan did not look like a 25 year old from any angle in the London parts. He not only looked old but also fat surprisingly. May be it had something to do with the clothes he was wearing. He was trying too hard to put on the dimple charm. He probably could have pulled this part very well in the 90s but he is now too old for it. SRK was pathetic while dancing and this has to be the worst dancing he has done in a movie ever. In contrast SRK not only looked good in the bearded part but also acted very well in this part. There are some scenes which reminded of his Chak De India act.

Katrina looked gorgeous in the first half. She looked hot in the Ishq Shava part and danced very well in the dance leading up to Ishq Shava. She was again bad in some parts of Ishq Shava. As far as acting is concerned it seemed like she had only one expression on her face – an expression of being confused and partly sad through out the movie.

Anushka acts very well in some scenes – the scenes where there were some emotional moments between her and SRK – but she was also overacting and quite annoying in other scenes. She was overdoing the whole talkative bubbly part which she has been typecast into. Some of her dialogues were very cheesy and corny. Her character also reminded of Karisma’s character from Dil To Pagal Hai. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh cameos were ok. Anupam Kher had only a couple of scenes and not much to do.

The songs should have been used only in parts. The Challa song with the lip syncing and being in Punjabi seemed to take up a lot of time. Heer, the best song of the movie is well shot. Ishq Dance instrumental was excellent and Ishq Shava should have been used only in part because it seemed to stretch on. Saans song was excellently shot.

Background music by Rahman was excellent especially in some portions like the bike ride scenes and bomb defusing scenes. Cinematography by the late Anil Mehta is excellent and the Leh locations are beautifully shot. Namrata Rao is supposed to be the editor but it seems that the movie was not edited at all. One gets the feeling that they decided to release the whole unedited movie shot by Yash Chopra just because he died.

Have not seen The End of the Affair but it is based on a 1951 novel of the same name and it is set in 1946. So the praying part and sacrificing to meet might seem apt in that movie but it just does not gel in a movie set in 2002. It also seems to me (I could be wrong) that the character praying to leave him for his life in return is partially associated with the guilt of cheating on her husband. Here the Katrina fiance relationship is hardly developed at all and it does not seem that Katrina has any guilty feelings about cheating on her fiance.

The first half is excessively long and tedious. It goes on and on and should have been trimmed by at least twenty minutes. The second half is comparatively better with the army portions and Anushka’s bubbly character but the climax is plain stupid and could have been been completely avoided. The first half should have had the intermission at the accident scene itself with Katrina leaving. This way there would have been some suspense in the movie and also SRK thinking that Katrina is coldhearted would have made sense. The Katrina praying part should have been shown in a flashback in the climax. It seems that the Ralph Fiennes character finds out about the prayer thing later in the original too.

Yash Chopra had said that he wanted to make “A film which has an old soul but a young heart.” when he announced the launch of this movie. The problem is that the old soul and the young heart don’t gel here. The old soul seems out of place and the young heart seems too wannabe. Many times older filmmakers who have no idea of how young people behave add scenes of wannabe coolness.

They could just make a period movie instead – set it in the era they are comfortable in. Jab Tak Hai Jaan could have been a good movie (removing the stupid memory loss climax) if it was set in a older time period may be the 70s or even 80s. But since it is set in modern times many will not like it – find it ridiculous and boring. It might still appeal to women and people who are old school.

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39 Comments
  1. Tulmul 7 years ago

    😀

  2. Baba Ji 7 years ago

    very good review sputnik.Agreed on almost all counts. I think VZ was almost a period piece? had great songs too.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks. Have seen only last hour of VZ but Wikipedia says Veer is in jail for 22 years so the SRK-Preity track has to be from 82. Yes Veer Zaara songs were great.

      I liked only Heer and Challa to some extent when the music came out. All songs looked good in the movie because of the visuals but they did not stay with me after leaving the theater.

  3. mate 7 years ago

    Sputnik ji, what’s your rating? Because Babaji agreed upon you on all acounts, and his rating is 0. So can you tell us plz?

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      I have stopped giving ratings. Read my review in full you will know what I liked/disliked.

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      you shouldnt see ratings in a review. you should see what it is written in it. Sputnik had praised ishq shava and the locales. I liked the song too but it was undone because i hated katrinas character in the film As spuntik said she had the same painful expression throughout . Again, I am not here to give brownie points because ladakh is a good looking place and so on. These are secondary trivial aspects of a film. Pehle film mein dum hona chaiye ,phir koi in sab cheezo pe dhyaan dega.

      • mate 7 years ago

        Baba ji, it’s fine Bro. I did’nt force Sputnik ji to give rating. Btw I read the review with deep attention and I assume a certain rating in my head. But your comment force me to ask about the rating. Anyway, no worries. Even I like your review, for some time I got emotional after reading your review, but I controlled my emotions. 😉

  4. mate 7 years ago

    Though I disagree on many points, nonetheless a great review. 😉

  5. Author
    sputnik 7 years ago

    Here is the trailer of The End of the Affair. One can tell from the trailer that she does not tell the reason why she leaves him. She has some justification for not telling too.

  6. Serenzy 7 years ago

    “Here
    the Katrina fiance relationship
    is hardly developed at all and
    it does not seem that Katrina
    has any guilty feelings about cheating on her fiance”

    Exactly… Shah Rukh tells Katrina to get More Outgoing, Calls Up Some Maria girl and Next Scene we know, Kat is already there in Sexy Clothes.

    Is this YC Romance?

    Where are the Little Subtle Moments[Except the Train Station Scene]?
    Where is the Loverboy Wooing the Girl!

  7. hithere 7 years ago

    Why is formatting of front page wrong on IE?

    It is alright now.

  8. FS 7 years ago

    Nice Review Sputnik. Almost same as mine but may be you disliked the movie more than me 😛

    Also, I cannot login from mobile, it appears in mobile formatt but cannot login nor could comment as a visitor. Whenever i try to switch to normal format it shows error from mobile. Is there any problem as earlier i use to comment via mobile but from past 2 months i cannot.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      hmm Did not know there was a issue since 2 months. I will look into it.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      There is some issue with the latest version of the mobile plugin and the previous version that works is not available for download. So I deactivated the mobile plugin for now.

      The website will show up in the same format as on desktop/laptop and should work now.

  9. Aditya007 7 years ago

    @FS
    Yeah yaar the Same Problem with Me from Mobile but for NG. Any solution?

  10. Shinji 7 years ago

    Well at my end i shall be frank NG is not opening since 2 days properly.

  11. Jasper 7 years ago

    NG always has that stupid database error problem. Haven’t faced any problem with TQ till date.

  12. TopShot 7 years ago

    This is what my freiend posted on my wall –
    One Oscar winning composer, A R Rahman. One iconic romance idol, Shah Rukh Khan. Two sizzling ladies, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. One master storyteller, Yash Chopra. So cheesed were the makers with the line-up for their new film Jab Tak Hai Jaan that they simply sacked the scriptwriter and ran a Google search on best Hindi movie clichés instead. Because at the end of three long hours, that’s all you are left with: A truckload of clichés designed to ensure that soft hearted cinegoers tear up and go aww at all the right places.

    If you are a hardcore Yash Chopra fan, Samar and Meera’s story will assume the crowning glory of your repertoire of mushy romances. However, to the discerning viewer, Jab Tak Hai Jaan in all its clichéd glory may be hard to stomach; side effects include development of murderous tendencies towards the scriptwriter for holding up Yash Chopra’s otherwise mellow swan song!

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      As I said they should have totally avoided the ridiculous memory loss thing. They just wanted Katrina back in the movie – he was already in London and all they had to do was to somehow make him bump into her. Praying thing is also silly but it could have worked if they had built some suspense with Katrina leaving and then revealing it in climax.

      Aditya Chopra is the major culprit but Yash Chopra also deserves blame for approving the script.

      The movie is too long at 3 hours and its boring – it should have been 2hr 20 min long. A bad movie can work better as time pass than a boring movie in India.

      • Ritz 7 years ago

        I dont think one should blame Aditya too much without knowing what actually happened. Afterall it was Aditya who gave us memorable films like DDLJ and RNBDJ. Yash Chopra was giving mundane films starting from Darr – well thats my opinion, but even Darr was boring barring SRK’s act.. But Aditya atleast connected with me.

        Havent seen Mohabbatein but only today realized it was by Aditya – not by Yash. It looked cringeworthy from promos so didnt see it.

        I think Yash Chopra is to be blamed mostly for all the lame things here – not anyone else. Even I dont agree with ppl blaming Rahman. It was maker’s choice to take wrong person and forced him to give certain type of music. Had Rahman got the freedom like he gets in a mani film – he would have done wonders.

        • hithere 7 years ago

          I think after Darr, Aditya has major hand in most of the Yash Chopra movies. I have read at many places where Yash Chopra gave most credit to his son.

        • Author
          sputnik 7 years ago

          Even RNBDJ had that silly wife not recognizing husband thing and then the second half stretched a lot and involved lot of “Rab”. I did not like Mohabbatein at all. Yes Darr was long too and worked mainly because of SRK and his scenes.

          The music is neither here nor there – its not Rahman’s style nor Yash Chopra’s style. Shiv Hari’s music was more Yash Chopra’s style. To me Yash Chopra movie is associated with that trademark “la la la la” “Aa Aa Aa Aa” chorus and this one did not have that.

  13. Serenzy 7 years ago

    ” Had
    Rahman got the freedom like
    he gets in a mani film – he
    would have done wonders ”

    Yes.

    ………

    RNBDJ is Marginally Better than Crapfests like Darr, DTPH, JTHJ.

    And, VZ Betters RNBDJ.

    DDLJ is the ‘Epitome’.

    And, Yet to Watch Mohabbatien.

    😀 😀

    Johar Makes Better Movies than Adi Chopra.

  14. FS 7 years ago

    Test from mobile —

    I like the original format than mobile format as one can read from side bars n reply instantly.

  15. Aditya007 7 years ago

    The prablem of ‘Data base error’ of NG always created when Big Movies ComeOut .
    Mods should be try For solution for It.
    & TQ haven’t any error for it btw both running through ‘wordpress’.

  16. shan 7 years ago

    Good review Sputnik. Agree with almost everything you said.

    “The old soul seems out of place and the young heart seems too wannabe. Many times older filmmakers who have no idea of how young people behave add scenes of wannabe coolness.”

    Perfectly summed up!

  17. Serenzy 7 years ago

    Sputnik,

    In Barfi! those Moments where Ranbir Cuts Tree Trunks to ‘Test’ his Friendship with Friends..

    Is that Thing Copied??

  18. Shinji 7 years ago

    @sputnik i dont the level of respect for rangan on this forum, but i genuinely respect this guys reviews… i like them, if possible if u can create a post on this it might be good. A request.

    Baradwaj Rangan, on JTHJ.

    At first, we think it’s empty hero-giri. Samar (Shah Rukh Khan), a classic loner, is not with the others of his bomb-defusing team, one of whom struggles to make sense of the tangle of wires in an explosive device at a Leh marketplace. Samar rides in on his motorbike alone, a little later, and when he gets to work, an onlooker remarks that he will not wear a bomb suit. After all, he hasn’t worn one while defusing close to 100 bombs thus far – a record, which fetches him the title The Man who Cannot Die. More remarks follow that build Samar up, in our eyes, as some sort of outrageous superhero. The onlooker says, “Iski aankhon mein aaj tak maut ka dar nahin dekha,” that he’s never seen in Samar’s eyes the fear of death, and he adds that Samar walks up to explosive devices as if walking into a girlfriend’s arms. It all seems to be little but empty hero-giri, the kind of image-stoking, ego-massaging scenario that every big star writes into his contract.

    But slowly we see that Samar is no reckless hero, that he has a death wish, that he’s really The Man who Wants to Die. For love, naturally. Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan (co-written by Aditya Chopra) is something of a companion piece to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (which the younger Chopra directed). Here too, we’re treated to two flavours of Shah Rukh Khan – one silent and withdrawn, one the exuberant embodiment of life itself. Here too, we have Anushka Sharma, playing a Discovery Channel filmmaker named Akira, torn between these two personas – except that, this time, she falls for the introvert. And here too, the big guy up in the sky plays a pivotal part. This time, though, it’s a different god, one who hangs on a crucifix and whom Samar refers to as Sir Jesus. In other words, we’re watching Christ Ne Bana Di Jodi, which could be the title of the translation of Graham Greene’s novel The End of the Affair.

    http://baradwajrangan.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/jab-tak-hai-jaan-837285-8735/

    • Ritz 7 years ago

      Well if someone like Bharadwaj Rangan does not dismiss the film then I will surely see it.

      I had seen RNBDJ reluctantly and I ended up loving it.

  19. bunty 7 years ago

    IMPORTANT UPDATE

    Mumbai, Nov 17, 2012

    Dear BMS-ers,

    Some shows in Mumbai & other parts of Maharashtra state may stand cancelled over next 2-3 days until further notice. We are deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray. As per the instructions of the local authorities, the organizers for some shows may decide to cancel shows in Mumbai to be held today, Nov 17, 2012 and over the next 2-3 days.

    Don’t be disappointed. For all cancelled shows, refunds will be processed. We will be getting back to you in 48 hours with complete details on the schedules of the same. We are in talks with the organizers.

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