Jab Tak Hai Jaan is the swan song of Yash Chopra, the big daddy of romance. Every frame is picture perfect, the emotions are well nuanced. But there is one inherent flaw–the story by Aditya Chopra is hackneyed.
Shah Rukh Khan is Samar Anand a bomb disposal expert from the Indian army posted in Ladakh. He’s a brave heart(of the kind you’ve seen in Hollywood movies like Livewire, Hurt Locker) who has defused close to a hundred bombs without bothering to ever wear a safety suit. His colleagues laud him and refer to him as the man who cannot die.
Samar goes about defusing bombs with such ease; even your fear of the bomb is temporarily suspended, at least through the duration of this film. On the personal front, Samar is a brooder and sleeps with his personal diary strapped close to his chest. Anushkha Sharma (Akira Rai), a documentary filmmaker, who is also in Ladakh, accidentally finds herself in possession of Samar’s diary. Since no one has ever told her that it is bad manners to read another person’s diary, she leafs through its contents.
And discovers that the army man doesn’t smile because of his poignant past. The story unfolds to tell you that in his growing up years Samar, who did odd jobs in London, to make ends meet was footloose till he fell head-over-heels-love-with a rich heiress Katrina Kaif (Meera Thappar). Meera is engaged to be married to a gora but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the desi Samar; the man who teaches her how to shed her inhibitions and live life king-size.
A road-accident in London changes the course of Meera-Samar’s happy love story and Samar finds himself back in Ladakh diffusing bombs. In this strife ridden atmosphere, his path crosses that of Akira; a young girl, who falls for him. Before Samar and Akira’s acquaintance turns into anything deeper, the film plot lands Samar back in London, where he meets with a road accident yet again. This time, the hospital authorities, diagnose him with retrograde amnesia… and say he has been in a time warp of sorts for close to a decade. The only one, who can bring him back from the brink, is his first love Meera. And a new chapter unfolds.
Shah Rukh Khan is the backbone of JTHJ. He’s charismatic as the lover and enigmatic as the army guy. Katrina Kaif is a smart dresser and looks stunning. She’s also a delight to watch in the song Ishq Shava, she having become this dramatic Bollywood film dancer. But when it comes to handling the intense emotional scenes, Kat is still a Barbie doll, beautiful but plastic.
Anushka Sharma is easy on the eye and an ideal fit in the motor-mouth parts. She has the perfect 10 figure but frankly she is saddled with an unsatisfying role.
A R Rahman’s music–be it the Challa track or the Heer song never grew on the charts; but in the film, the music charms you because the lead actors infuse life into the songs.
Frankly if someone were to ask what’s the bonus you take back from JTHJ. It’s the end-credit visuals of Yash Chopra horsing around with his actors or immersed in deep discussion with his crew. These bring a lump to your throat because the film comes so close to his death.
Through a personal diary account a carefree media professional discovers that a Indian Army man who fascinates her has a love interest tucked away in London. Will she be able to bridge the gap and get close to him? Or will his past come back to haunt?
You will not like Jab Tak Hai Jaan if mushy romances are not your staple. The movie doesn’t have the intensity of some of Yash Chopra’s earlier romances like Daag, Kabhie-Kabhie, Silsila and Chandni. But it still has the stamp of the man who made some of the best romantic fare in Bollywood.