In the recent times, Bollywood has seen some of its most accomplished filmmakers failing to live upto expectations; Dilwale, Tubelight, Befikre are examples of big-name directors failing to excite the audience. With ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali known for classics like ‘Jab We Met’, returns with two of the biggest names in the industry; Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. Will the director deliver a romantic classic that lives upto the hype? Does Shah Rukh Khan still have something new to offer in the romantic genre? Let’s find out!
Story: The story of ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is about Harry and Sejal’s journey across Europe. Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) takes visitors on a tour across different European countries. He’s a bit aloof, rude and finds it difficult to maintain long lasting relationships. Sejal (Anushka Sharma) is a tourist who has taken the services of Harry along with her entire family. She gets engaged during the trip to Rupen. Her engagement ring goes missing and she refuses to go back to Mumbai until she finds it. She compels Harry to help her find the ring and he agrees to do so.
Review: ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ starts well with some good interactive fun between the lead pair, which does remind you of some of Imtiaz’s earlier films. The proceedings in the first hour are fairly well-paced with some ear-pleasing songs like Safar, Radha and Parinda. A special mention to the episode leading upto the Hawaayein song as it brings Shah Rukh Khan back to his romantic roots.
However, the film fails to move with its storyline and the plot related to the ‘lost ring’ is stretched beyond its elasticity. The second hour begins on a very average note and it is through these portions that the film begins to drag. The writing lets the film down big-time, which is surprising because most Imtiaz Ali films – Tamasha, Highway and Rockstar in particular – have improved in the latter half. The climax is the weakest link of the film, which also ends pretty abruptly.
The only silver lining in this otherwise disappointing tale of Harry and Sejal are the performances. Shah Rukh Khan delivers a likeable performance, but is let down by a film with a wafer-thin plot line. Harinder Singh Nehra had the potential to be Ved Vardhan Sahni of Tamasha, but unfortunately the same hasn’t been explored by Imtiaz Ali during the last hour. With all due respect to the legend and the evergreen ‘King of Romance’, after having achieved everything and more in the romantic genre, it’s time to do roles with more substance at this stage of his career. His legacy and stardom deserve better films than this.
Anushka Sharma is excellent as Sejal, she plays the role of a Gujarati girl to perfection. The supporting cast comprising of actors like Chandan Roy Sanyal takes the graph of the film down. In fact, the movie would’ve probably worked better without the whole ‘Illegal immigration’ angle involving him which fails to raise any laugh and ends up making the film feel longer.
The music is pleasing with good cinematography thrown in even when the screenplay doesn’t require songs. Radha, Hawaayein and Raula (the unreleased Diljit Dosanjh Punjabi track) are the songs that stands out. But too many songs, as many as eleven, can test the viewer’s patience.
On the whole, even though Jab Harry Met Sejal travels through 6 countries in those 145 minutes, the film fails to take you on an emotional ride that you expect from an Imtiaz Ali – Shah Rukh Khan film. The charisma and acting prowess of the lead pair make the film watchable, but ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is a romantic film that lacks soul. When you don’t feel for the characters or want the lead couple to fall in love and be together, it makes the whole film pointless.
‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ is one of the biggest disappointments so far this year.
What works in Jab Harry Met Sejal:
- Performances by the lead pair
- Some good songs
- Visually beautiful
What doesn’t work for Jab Harry Met Sejal:
- Lacks soul, all style with little or no substance.
- Imtiaz Ali’s direction
- Poor second half
- Some dialogues and scenes that can make you cringe