Jai Ho Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

jai ho poster Rating: 4.5 Stars
It’s by now a tradition — and the film fraternity looks forward to it big time — to have a Khan starrer create new benchmarks at the BO year after year. While Aamir Khan and SRK had a film release each in 2013, Salman Khan did not. Of course, the charismatic actor hosted a popular reality show on television last year, but one did miss him on the big screen. The year 2014 now kick-starts with the Salman starrer JAI HO, directed by his younger brother Sohail Khan, who returns to the director’s seat after more than a decade.

Let’s come to the point right away! JAI HO does not fall into the WANTED, DABANGG, READY, BODYGUARD, EK THA TIGER or DABANGG-2 space. And yet it does! This one focuses on a conflict and how the protagonist takes it up, which is reminiscent of the much-admired MUNNABHAI series. One can also draw parallels between JAI HO and the current political scenario, since it looks at the power the common man yields today. Additionally, JAI HO carries a noble message that could bring about a change in the society for the better, with Salman playing a righteous Samaritan. Concurrently, there are episodes — especially the ones when Salman challenges the opponent or gets into a duel with the henchmen — that makes JAI HO similar to the above-mentioned masala entertainers, besides pleasing the legion of ‘Bhai fans’ who expect their fav star to roar and fight like a lion, besides deliver lines such as ‘Aam aadmi sota hua sher hain, ungli mat kar, jaag gaya to cheer-phaad dega’.

For the uninitiated, JAI HO is a remake of Telugu film STALIN [2006], starring Chiranjeevi, Trisha, Khushboo and Prakash Raj and directed by A.R. Murugadoss, which, reportedly, was inspired by the Hollywood film PAY IT FORWARD [2000], starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment.

Jai [Salman Khan], an upright common man, is fighting a solitary war against corruption and injustice. Honest and incorruptible, he has made it his mission to help as many people as he can. His mantra is quite simple — help somebody and then request that person to lend a helping hand to somebody else — thus forming an ever-growing circle of people helping each other.

In a strange twist of fate, he finds himself pitted against a powerful politician [Danny Denzongpa] and his vile family. Jai, who is an ex-army officer, will not shy away from a battle, however bloody it may get and firmly believes that you do not have to wear a uniform to serve your country. As the politician unleashes his violent goons on braveheart Jai, Geeta [Tabu], Jai’s sister, realises the horrific consequences this can have on her brother and the rest of their family.

She persuades a reluctant Jai to make peace with the politician. But when this leads to humiliation being heaped on him, Jai loses his cool and declares all out war. It is an unequal war — on side side is the politician with his numerous henchmen and on the other side is Jai — all alone. However, unknown to Jai, a silent revolution has already begun. The voiceless public, he has helped in the past, is gathering force. It finally has a voice and this voice cannot and will not be silenced.

Although a remake, JAI HO follows the Rajkumar Hirani formula of addressing an issue, but at the same time Sohail Khan makes sure that the audience, especially the die-hard fans of Salman Khan, gets its dose of entertainment. Salman is *not* the prototypical superhero or the tough guy you expect him to be, in the initial portions of the film. The first half focuses primarily on the sub-plots, beginning with his relationship with his mother [Nadira Babbar], sister [Tabu] and sweetheart [Daisy Shah]. He’s the aam aadmi who’s making attempts to make the world a better place in his own small way. The conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist comes to the fore only towards the post-interval portions, when the two factions collide. It’s at this point that the film changes tracks, with Salman donning the avatar of the avenger and setting things right.

Salman is like one of those fabled characters in the second half of JAI HO. Besides, the writer integrates the message of what goes around comes around, with the Salman brand of entertainment smartly intertwined in the absorbing screenplay. The emotional punches, fighting the baddies with his iron fist, acidic and punch-packed dialogues delivered in high energy, volatile confrontations… JAI HO serves it all. The cynics and naysayers may argue, well, haven’t the spectators watched Salman doing all this earlier? Why again? Sure, there are certain attributes and characteristic synonymous with the actor and JAI HO serves it unabashedly. It’s 2.25 hours of Salman, Salman and Salman doing what he does best, including going shirtless, flaunting his well-toned physique towards the final moments of the film [a brilliantly executed action sequence].

While JAI HO carries the tag of being a typical Salman fare faithfully, it falls short in its music department. Tuneful and melodious music are a given in a Salman fare, but the soundtrack of JAI HO could’ve been better. Barring ‘Apna Kaam Banta’, which has power-packed, hard-hitting lyrics, the remaining songs are ordinary, unlike Salman’s previous endeavours which were embellished with a harmonious, lilting soundtrack. In fact, the two romantic tracks lack fizz, while the song at the engagement ceremony is passable.

Directorially, Sohail Khan remains faithful to the original, well aware that one cannot experiment much in a standard format. Yet, one cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that a number of sequences do leave a stunning impact. I’d like to mention two here: Salman’s confrontation with Danny, which is outstanding. The penultimate moments — a sea of people get assembled outside the hospital — moves you no end and can be termed the highpoint of the enterprise. It leaves you awestruck! Also, Sohail’s handling of the emotional sequences deserves mention. It makes you moist-eyed on several occasions. Dialogues are aimed at making the Salman fans get a high and they do serve the purpose. Cinematography is top notch, while action sequences are well orchestrated. The background score is perfect.

JAI HO is a Salman show through and through and the actor rises above the script to deliver a bravura performance. The actor fires on all cylinders, standing tall and dwarfing everything and everyone in sight. You cannot take your eyes off him, he’s simply incredible. Tabu returns to the masala zone after a hiatus and the choice of film couldn’t be more appropriate. For, there’s ample meat in her character to stand out. Daisy Shah doesn’t really get much scope, but you cannot ignore the fact that she’s a terrific and graceful dancer. Danny Denzongpa enacts the evil politician with gusto. Sana Khan leaves a mark in a role that has negative shades. Genelia Deshmukh is wonderful in a brief but significant role. Nadira Babbar is first-rate. Pulkit Samrat is efficient. Naman Jain, who enacts the role of Salman’s nephew, is super. Suniel Shetty appears in a cameo.

The film has a strong supporting cast, which includes Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Mohnish Bahl, Sharad Kapoor, Mahesh Thakur, Mukul Dev, Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Varun Badola, Vatsal Sheth, Tulip Joshi, Haroon Qazi and Sudesh Lehri. They enact their respective characters well. Santosh Shukla makes a confident big screen debut. Also, the actor who enacts the part of the drunkard stands out.

On the whole, a noble, well-intentioned message narrated in an entertaining format in a Salman Khan movie, who, as we all know by now, is the much endeared hero of the masses, makes JAI HO a sure-shot winner. In fact, it won’t be wrong to state that JAI HO easily ranks amongst Salman’s better films. This one has the potential to emerge a Blockbuster at the box-office.


  1. Author
    aryan 10 years ago

    Jai Ho Movie Review by Sukanya Verma

    Salman is let down by Sohail Khan’s uninspiring direction

    What could have been a relevant crowd-pleaser with a little effort from Sohail Khan and his writers is mostly a tedious and overcrowded drivel that shamelessly depends on Salman Khan’s strapping charisma to tide them over, writes Sukanya Verma.

    You won’t be able to get past the front gate, a portly lady warns a bunch of hoodlums.

    In Bollywood masalas, whenever elderly folk or smart-ass kids pop up from nowhere to caution the pompous villain, be sure to bump into Salman or Sunny just around the corner.

    Fully aware of where this is headed, I look around to examine the goons instead. They look familiar. Perhaps they are the same guys Salman Khan beat up in Bodyguard, Wanted, Ready, Dabangg, Ek Tha Tiger?

    My utterly random chain of thoughts is disturbed by the sound of bumps, thumps and dents.

    Salman Khan has emerged from underneath a car in slow motion. He blocks the bad guy’s Ferrari, smashes its front, snarls, smirks and promptly bangs the fellas across the screen like tennis balls against a background score (Sandeep Shirodkar) that’s so loud your ears will cry for insurance.

    Only the guys seated next, one after the other choose to join the ear-splitting scenario with their excited squeals and shrieks.

    Whether *you* like his movies or not is inconsequential. What you can count on is an eager, raucous audience, copious action and our hero’s shirt coming off in the film’s third act. Of course, it’s a brazen take it or leave it. And this shall be the norm till the shtick stops working.

    Salman’s last release Dabangg 2, directed by brother Arbaaz Khan, was devoid of novelty and his latest, Jai Ho, directed by brother Sohail Khan, has an honourable premise (based on Chiranjeevi’s Telugu super-hit Stalin) but doesn’t hold up for want of deft filmmaking and sleek aesthetics.

    Salman’s Jai doesn’t run a Deva Ki Adalat like Sunny Deol in Ziddi but believes in the same ‘help the needy, whack the baddie’ lifestyle of his Jeet co-star.

    Though he works as a car mechanic, Jai is essentially an ex-armyman who got sacked for disobeying the high command but lives in a plush bungalow with his chatty mother (Nadira Babbar appears to be acting out for another era, another movie).

    Still since aam aadmi andolan excites him more than auto repair, Jai’s doodle calculator comes up with this bright concept of paying it forward — one good deed should be responded with three others and so on. (Though for a guy who’s so socially conscientious and furiously protective about his sister’s izzat, he strangely sees no wrong in teasing a girl about her lingerie.)

    Between Salman’s blaring introduction, transforming a war zone into a battle at Mukesh Mills and an anti-apathy propaganda, Sohail shifts the limelight to Jai Ho’s leading ladies, a mantle shared by Tabu to lend the proceedings heft and newcomer Daisy Shah (imagine a taller, broader Rani Mukerji android) to insert lame jokes and lacklustre songs.

    I will not say I am disappointed to see Tabu squandered in a role that could’ve been played even by Tanaaz Currim/Irani because I am relieved it’s not Tanaaz Currim/Irani.

    Co-stars, junior artists, crowds, everybody sports a unanimously vapid expression as Salman takes centre stage to pounce on his enemy, roars into his ears and speak more dishooms than dialogues. There’s a sense of boredom, a hint of exhaustion in the manner he finishes it off.

    While some of the stunts on the bike are engaging, they feel rather substandard after his exhilarating antics in Ek Tha Tiger.

    There’s no effort from the director to develop any other character or even extract a performance. Guess with so many of them — the Khans have roped in a few Bigg Boss contestants of the past (and perhaps future?) — Mukul Dev, Sharad Kapoor, Aditya Pancholi, Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Sameer Khakhar (Remember Khopdi from Nukkad?), Vatsal Sheth, Santosh Shukla, Sana Khan, Varun Badola, Tulip Joshi, Nauheed Cyrusi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Mahesh Thakur and Resham Tipnis — it must be hard to keep up.

    There’s also Suniel Shetty unleashing a Chuck Norris brand of appearance that is so absurdly awesome, I wish this were the movie I had watched instead.

    What could have been a relevant crowd-pleaser with a little effort from Sohail Khan and his writers is mostly a tedious and overcrowded drivel that shamelessly depends on Salman’s strapping charisma to tide them over.

    And does he? At the end of this movie, as I walked out of the theatre and reached the mall exit, two teenaged boys approached me to inquire if I had misplaced any key. Indeed, I had accidentally dropped the house keys near my seat. They not only informed me but also assisted me in retrieving them from the Lost and Found section of the multiplex. And this is what they said when I expressed gratitude “Bhai ka film dekhne ke baad, itna toh banta hai.”

    Whatever I rate the movie; this is Salman’s real Jai. Ho?

    Rating: 2 Stars.


  2. Author
    aryan 10 years ago

    Jai Ho Movie Review by Raja Sen

    Salman Khan does his thing like only he can in Jai Ho. And the crowd responds. Raja Sen shows us, in his review.

    Like with Alok Nath jokes, it all began with Maine Pyar Kiya.

    That Sooraj Barjatya hit had characters (with ‘friend’ written on their baseball caps) moronically state that friends don’t thank each other or apologise, a preposterous declaration which must have led the next generations into an era of boorish dickishness in the name of dosti.

    Not much has changed 25 years later as Salman Khan, in his latest film — an uncredited and inexplicably violent take on Pay It Forward — starts telling people not to say thanks, but instead help three people in need, and tell them to help three other people, and so on. (In the film, this leads to Salman passionately drawing stick figures while people stand around him, cheering as they help him multiply numbers by three. Um, yeah.)

    Sohail Khan, Bhai’s bhai and the director of Jai Ho, obviously likes the idea and extends this welfare policy charitably towards familiar but out-of-work actors, thus negating the need for extras.

    Everyone from the rickshaw-wallah (Mahesh Manjrekar) to Nameless Corrupt Cop No 2 (Sharad Kapoor) is a recognisable face; even the neighbourhood drunk is ‘Khopdi’ from Nukkad.

    In the middle of this world stands Salman Khan, playing himself.

    Khan, Bollywood’s real-life answer to Derek Zoolander, does his thing like only he can. And the crowd responds.

    Sitting in a single-screen theatre, the air was filled with shrill, thrilled whistles as soon as the censor certificate hit the screen. The first glimpse of Khan — via braceleted wrist — had the crowd in paroxysms.

    Imagine a movie theatre full of 14-year-old girls getting their first glimpse of Michael Jackson (Or McCartney. Or Bieber. Pick a generation) except with grown men shrieking instead of preteen girls. (During the climactic fight sequence, these men raucously yelled ‘kapda utaar’, breathlessly exhorting their bhai to peel off his shirt and make their day. It’s more blatantly than any of our leading ladies get objectified, that’s for sure.)

    People get attacked; Salman helps.

    People need stenographers; Salman helps.

    A little girl needs to go to the restroom; Salman helps.

    Someone grabs his sister’s collar, Salman snarls.

    You get where this film is going, yes?

    In his own lunkheaded manner, perhaps this very choice of film is Salman being sensitive. Perhaps he feels that people watching his film will go out and help other people… But to what end? Despite the hamfisted direction (at one point Suniel Shetty shows up on a highway and starts shooting people with a goddamned tank), the film’s main problem is that Jai Ho isn’t about being a samaritan or paying it forward; it’s about a man who can smash the system all by himself. Not entirely relatable, nope.

    Meanwhile, amid the sea of familiar faces peeks the new girl, Daisy Shah. She makes her way onto the screen doing pseudo-Indian classical dance steps while wearing cowboy boots. She’s trying really hard to be MTV but is only applauded, rather disturbingly, by middle-aged folks while the kids watching don’t seem to care.

    After some silly bickering — and a ghastly recurring joke about her innerwear — Salman falls for her, but it isn’t as if she matters. There are too many characters, you see, to create and set-up and conveniently resolve, and mercifully a lot more screen-time is given to the lady who plays Salman’s sister. Tabu’s still got it, and as evidenced by the seetis from my neighbours, when she did a brief jig, she can still rock it hard.

    The one thing that left me truly touched, however? The fact that Sohail Khan took forward that lament from Austin Powers, that “people never think how things affect the family of a henchman” and showed a goon, who had been beaten up watching TV with his family and lamenting his actions. It’s… It’s hard to make up, really.

    As for Khan, there’s nothing new to see here.

    But that’s probably the point.

    For a man who’s pushing 50, he’s looking spry and seems to be having fun playing to type, though the absurd amounts of money his movies rake in obviously help.

    Having said that, my one and only laugh in Jai Ho came when Khan punched a car window and — in a film where he throws people through all manner of doors and walls and vehicles — explained himself saying he didn’t know it had been rolled up. Does he really want to be in on the joke now? Or maybe he already is.

    Rating: 2 Stars


  3. sputnik 10 years ago

    Jai Ho Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 2

    January 24, 2013

    Cast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Tabu, Danny Denzongpa, Nadira Babbar, Genelia D’souza, Ashmit Patel, Aditya Pancholi, Mahesh Manjrekar

    Director: Sohail Khan

    Salman Khan goes into messiah mode as he rescues innocent children from a terrorist outfit, returns a kidnapped baby to its harrowed parents, writes an exam paper for a handicapped student, and repeatedly takes down swarms of bad guys who dare stand in his way. He’s ‘being human’ – make that ‘superhuman’ – in director-brother Sohail Khan’s well-intentioned but frankly naïve drama Jai Ho.

    Salman plays Jai, the neighborhood good Samaritan who shows up at a moment’s notice each time someone’s in any sort of trouble. But after a tragedy that occurs because of people’s general apathy towards each other, Jai encourages everyone he’s helped to repay three strangers with kindness, and to keep this “madat ki chain” going so as to make the world a better place.

    It’s not a half-bad premise (happily ‘borrowed’ from the Kevin Spacey-starrer Pay It Forward, though the film itself is a remake of the Telugu hit Stalin), but one that’s abandoned midway to make room for the numerous action sequences that dominate this movie. Presumably because Salman must break bones, wring necks, and punch chests every few minutes, Jai Ho turns into a gruesome revenge saga of sorts. So when goondas affiliated to a political party are brutally thrashed by Jai for harassing his sister, matters spiral into a full-blown war with a corrupt Home Minister (Danny Denzongpa).

    To offer respite from the wall-to-wall punch ‘em-ups, there’s the inevitable romantic track, with newcomer Daisy Shah. Alas, her chemistry with the film’s leading man is colder than a frozen popsicle. And while she makes up for her complete lack of acting chops with her impressive dancing skills, it’s a shame elevator music is more memorable than the abysmal songs in this film.

    To be honest, very little stays with you when you leave the cinema, aside from the unpleasant aftertaste that comes from being shamelessly manipulated. From exploiting limbless little girls, to showing us beggar children being assaulted, the film stops at nothing in its attempt to move you to tears. If your heart does go out, it’s to the few good actors who’re wasted by being made to stand around and participate in this silliness. The abundantly gifted Tabu, in the part of Jai’s sister, oozes grace despite the thankless scope of her role. And it’s a pity Nadira Babbar as Jai’s mother, and Mahesh Manjrekar as a kindly auto-rickshaw driver, didn’t have more substantial parts. Only pint-sized Naman Jain (of Chillar Party and Bombay Talkies) gets a few light moments to shine, even if they do mostly involve a running joke about the color of a young lady’s innerwear.

    Aside from them, it’s as if every out-of-work actor in Salman’s zip code was offered a walk-on part: Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Vatsal Seth, Nauheed Cyrusi, Tulip Joshi, Mahesh Thakur, Aditya Pancholi, Sharad Kapoor, even Sunil Shetty. It’s a whole bouquet of stinking violets.

    Naturally then, it’s up to Salman Khan to hold it all together. He roars and fights and even weeps on cue. In one scene, he kicks an ambulance into motion. Closer to the end, he rips the shirt off his back for a mano-a-mano with another muscled hunk. It’s a committed performance, but he deserved a smarter film.

    For all the references to the aam aadmi and the solutions it offers to inspire change, this film ultimately is about the victory of a man who lets his fists do the talking. Muddled message there.

    I’m going with two out of five for Jai Ho. It might have its heart in the right place, but the brain appears to be missing.


  4. sputnik 10 years ago

    Jai ho Movie Review by Pratim D. Gupta

    Jai ho: in the name of bhai

    Jai Ho is Salman Khan’s most autobiographical film. According to the big soch of the movie, a remake of 2006’s Telugu film Stalin starring Chiranjeevi, you show your gratitude towards someone by helping three other people. Isn’t that what Salman has been doing for years now? Helping his three siblings –– Arbaaz Khan, Sohail Khan and Alvira Khan –– by letting them produce or direct his movies.

    Because truth be told, Bhai doesn’t need anybody anymore. The man who used to work with directors like Sooraj Barjatya and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, now lets a Sohail Khan stand behind the megaphone. Sohail Khan who made films like Auzaar, Hello Brother and Maine Dil Tujhko Diya.

    Bhai doesn’t need a heroine, too. The man who used to pair up with Miss Universe (Sushmita Sen in Biwi No. 1) and Miss World (Aishwarya Rai in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) now romances Miss Dombivli (that too just Miss Photogenic), Daisy Shah! Daisy Shah who stood in the third row of background dancers in Garam Masala.

    All that Bhai needs to do is come and stand in the frame (self-confession in an interview to t2 with this writer) and his job is done. Because he doesn’t shout, he roars. And when he punches someone, he leaves tiger claw marks on his gaal. And when someone punches him, that someone pisses in his pants. And when he punches that same someone back, there seems to be a waterfall around that guy. Not sure what that water is.

    Now Bhai is a hard-worker. He said he needs to work harder because Chennai Express made so much money. So Bhai has taken SRK’s “don’t underestimate the power of a common man” route. [Aaj khush toh bahut hoge, all the King’s men?] His version? “One man can make a difference!” Hindi version? “Aam aadmi sota hua sher hai… ungli mat kar!” And because he is Bhai, he doesn’t even have to be a common man in the film!

    Salman plays an ex-Army guy who is such a good soul that no physically or financially challenged person can evade his sight. He will go and help that person and ask that person to help three other people, each of whom would have to help three other people. This triplicating progression is done live in an arithmetic scene where suddenly everyone in the frame is multiplying numbers by three. Dekho aami parchhi Mummy!

    For a film so noble in thought, the heroine’s underwear colour is the running joke of the film. Plus, Bhai gives tips on when to take hot showers and when to take cold showers to an eight-year-old. And in a bizarre moment, Miss Dombivli Photogenic is rubbing her head against Bhai’s crotch. Jai ho indeed!

    Under all the goodness garb, it’s a done-to-zombie honest man-versus-corrupt minister film where almost every member of both families is under attack one by one, but only Bhai’s parivaar survives unscathed. No sorry, one kidney short, which actually reunites Bhai’s Maa with her son-in-law. Patakha gurda!

    A zillion action set-pieces punctuate –– and pulp –– the fiction. In a few of them, Salman goes into Twilight mode biting off chunks of dirty, sweaty necks. There’s one where Suniel Shetty appears in a war tank in the middle of a Mumbai road and does a salaam like one of those Subhash Ghai appearances. Puro sholo Anna!

    If you haven’t yet quite figured out the Jai Ho experience, imagine being locked up in Salman’s Bigg Boss house with Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan, Pooja Mishra, Sambhavna Seth, Raja Choudhary, Dolly Bindra, Kushal Tandon and Armaan Kohli for days on end and without an option to be voted out.

    Salman himself looks tired, the double chin floating all over the close-ups and the body bulgy and bulky in the wide angles. Even when the shirt is taken off, the shots are mostly chest upwards. There’s, of course, no attempt to act or get into character. Bhai hai, bhai!

    Tabu as the sister looks disinterested and her unsavoury close-ups distressing. Danny as the big bad daddy is dull. And Miss Dombivli Photogenic must disappear in the background again.

    There’s only one fun activity during the film which is to identify all the forgotten actors and stars who pop up in cameos. Besides Suniel Shetty, there’s Genelia Deshmukh, Ashmit Patel, Vatsal Seth, Nauheed Cyrusi, Mohnish Behl, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vikas Bhalla, Aditya Pancholi, Sharad Kapoor, Mukul Dev, Tulip Joshi and Sameer Khakhar (the drunkard from Nukkad).

    If you look very carefully at the tiny human figure drawings in the posters of the film, inspired from the sketches Salman makes on a piece of paper in the movie, the aam aadmi looks like the hangman figure. Yes, the writing, er sketching, is on the wall. Hang on or hang. Jai hok…


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