When my sister called me suddenly on Diwali evening saying she had got tickets for “ Jab tak hai jaan” from someone, I should have guessed that something was amiss- I mean how come we got tickets for the first day ( not sure if it was the first show though). Anyway, romance crazy woman that I am, I quickly finished lighting the lamps and met her at the theatre ( there was no question of asking the husband to come along. You see the invitation did not include him). I looked around for the BIL- he was not there. “ Just the two of us” she said . Now when I think back I am so glad that we left the husbands behind ! Why you ask me? Read on..
Yash Chopra movies as all of us know are like eating “double ka meetha” – sweet and best handled in small quantities. But this was like being handed a huge tub full of the stuff- it just refused to get over !
SRK attempts an AB in the opening scene when he mutters some heavy romantic sounding dialogue in the back ground while he drives around in Ladakh on his motor bike. But sadly, he is unable to get that “ Main aur meri tanhayi” tone of Big B in Silsila. Anyway, what is it that he does for a living? A Major in the Indian Army – he diffuses bombs without any protective equipment using just an electrician’s pliers!
And then we have Anoushka Sharma being introduced (literally), with a splash-she jumps into the Pangyong lake after stripping to her bikini. Wow! I have been to the banks of the lake in May and it was so bitterly cold that I had to be coaxed out of the jeep by the husband to pose for that family snap. But then, I guess I am not Anoushka.. ! SRK watches till she almost sinks. He then jumps in and rescues her and leaves the place draping his jacket over her. The pocket of the jacket of course has his dairy in which is written his love story ( oh, how I wish I could hand write those stories I type in Kaleidoscope and hope that a publisher would find them in my jacket in some exotic location ).
The love story begins with Katrina running through snow fall wearing a pink lehenga ( why?) into a Catholic church ( I thought England was largely protestant.. but then a catholic church looks more impressive on screen I guess) and make deals with Christ as SRK who is sweeping the snow follows her inside and eavesdrops. SRK is an immigrant sharing a flat with a fellow immigrant from Pakistan –Punjabis sharing the same culture from both sides of the border ( wonderful marketing strategy Yashji!). SRK, waits tables, delivers fish and also sings for his supper.
So the love story develops as he is hired by Katrina during one of his singing sessions to teach her to sing a Punjabi song. He in turn tries to get her to “let go” and be herself. They fall in love and she continues making her deals with Christ ( yes at the same church) that she will give him up and not cross “boundaries” in the relationship. She is of course engaged to a good friend who she is planning to marry just to please her Dad. And in the midst of all this we are introduced to her mother who had left her when she was a child to “follow her heart” and live with the man she loved. So we have Neetu Singh the mom and her lover Imran managing a Vineyard in England ( now don’t tell me that vineyards are found only in Mediterranean locales- remember it is a Yash Chopra movie). The gorgeous Neetu and her obese real life husband Rishi Kapoor enact a mushy love scene which gets Katrina to go back on her promise to Christ.
She is just going to talk to her Dad about the change of plans around who she now plans to marry that SRK gets hit by a passing vehicle ( awful traffic in London- they keep having accidents!). As he is being revived by paramedics she makes a deal with God that if he lives she would never have anything to do with him ..
Now back to the present.. Anoushka the Discovery channel film maker is out on an assignment filming the man who diffuses bombs- SRK! She gives him the diary and tells him how much his story moved her. Then she is there with him trying to shoot while he is diffusing those wires. I must say the guy must be one hell of a bomb diffuser- he hangs suspended from under a bridge playing with the wires while this film maker ( also suspended from another wire parallelly) with camera on her shoulder confesses to him about her love . WOW! The Indian Army sure needs more people like that !
So, finally the shooting done, Anoushka has a presentation to make in London for which it is required that SRK come. Just as he is arriving there what should happen to him- you are right ! He again gets hit by a passing vehicle ( told you that London traffic is awful!). He has a head injury and when he recovers.. guess what? He has gone back in time to the period when he was with Katrina. He has forgotten Anoushka and his bomb diffusing abilities ( I am sure many guys will now want to be hit by some vans in London to get similarly afflicted. You can conveniently forget a present girlfriend and have the excuse to link up with a previous one).So there goes Anoushka looking for Katrina and then begs her to pretend to be married to SRK so that he could recover. Get the drift?
I think among all the mindless nonsense that passes for entertainment these days, this is probably the worst! I mean a love story needs a basic ingredient – Chemistry between the lead pair! No amount of lovely clothes, beautiful women and wonderful locales can compensate for that basic thing! There is that scene where SRK asks Katrina just as she is getting ready to board a train whether she would slap him if he kisses her. She stops there , the train leaves and they kiss… ! Sadly this very romantic scene fell flat on its face! I felt bad that SRK could not capture the magic that came through in his saying “Palat” ( turn back) to Kajol in that now famous DDLJ scene!
The only redeeming feature of the torturous experience was Anoushka Sharma. She was supposed to be the antithesis of Katrina – a tomboy in jeans and sleeveless T shirts ( even in Ladakh) swearing and speaking the guy language…!
While the first half was not so painful, I spent the entire second half of the movie shivering in the very cold cinema hall and complaining that the movie was not ending. The sister was less vocal but felt similarly about the movie I guess. And when the movie ended we almost shouted with glee…! Coming back home I was surprised that I had the survived the experience –so here I am folks –Ab tak hai Jaan! Watch this movie at your own risk!