Film: Jab Harry Met Sejal
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Evelyn Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aru Krishansh Verma, Paras Arora, Sayani Gupta
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Imtiaz Ali’s first film with the King of Romance was expected to be something else but it’s not. SRK’s status as numero uno at the Box Office has taken a serious beating in the recent past with Dear Zindagi, Raees and Fan turning turkey. So, this film had a lot of expectations riding on it. But Imtiaz Ali, the Director of new-age Bollywood romances fails to stir things up enough to create magic here. And the pity is that he is not even able to pull off a ring around this evidently contrived story.
This then happens to be another terribly hackneyed and obese romance trying to channelize the iconic moments of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Raja Hindustani, Guide and several other Bollywood hits of that touristy romance subgenre-coming up hollow and empty in the bargain.
Harvinder Nehra a.k.a Harry (Shah Rukh Khan), the tourist guide, is just seeing off his posse of Gujarati tourists when one-half of a ‘destination engaged’ couple, Sejal (Anushka Sharma with a mixed Punjabi-Gujarati accent), part of his previous entourage, decides to stay back in search of her lost ring.
That would have been quite ok if she hadn’t latched on to Harry to be her guide through the search expedition meant to cover her previous tracks through a month long European sojourn that included Prague, Berlin, Holland, Amsterdam with the addition of Lisbon (second time around). She is supposed to be a goody Gujarati, a diamond merchant’s daughter who Harry has to escort all through the re-tour- albeit, against his will and better judgment.
Harry has had his share of bad relationships and is literally hiding away from his past while Sejal, who on the pretext of searching for her lost ring, ends up trying to gawkily seduce the guide into falling for her. And it happens… Imtiaz Ali manages the pep and song integration quite well but where’s the logic, grit and passion, you may well ask? The film is over-laden with songs (bearable ones no doubt) and has little in terms of story, to interest.
So, it’s largely up to SRK (trying on a rakish persona for a change) and Anushka’s plush and plucky ‘Dhokla’ makeover to keep us entertained. But even their obvious effort comes unstuck because this love story is fake and unbelievable, leaving little room for likeability or affection. The predictable climax puts a hex on this film being anything ground-breaking. Don’t expect anyone to say cheers to this clichéd and contrived musical romance!