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Jab Harry Met Sejal......they go bankrupt -- creatively

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Jab Harry Met Sejal is a road movie where romance happens on the way. There have been some films on this theme like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and Jab We Met in the romantic- fun category while Dhanak was a beautiful film about two kids.

On the heavier side were Highway and NH 10. All were very different from each other. But, how different can they be every time and look plausible at the same time?

A road movie attempting to be a romantic film counting on just two stars for all of its length of 144 minutes can get tedious. Especially when the reason for taking to roads crisscrossing across Europe is feeble.

Shah Rukh Khan, playing a Sikh farmer from mofussil Punjab, comes to England after a failed romance. He is now a Euro Tour Guide which means he is familiar with the entire European continent. He is seeing off a group of Gujarati family who are returning to Mumbai after a tour of Europe. Their tour also included an impromptu engagement ceremony of the character of Anushka Sharma.

But, no sooner is Shah Rukh ready to depart from the airport after waving them adieu, Anushka is back and catches up with him. As it happens, she has lost her engagement ring making her fiancé unhappy. He was angry because the ring was a family inheritance.
Anushka wants Shah Rukh to continue to be her guide for one more day till she finds her ring. She thinks she knows where she dropped the ring.

As her memory keeps ‘remembering’ the next place when the ring is not found where she though she had lost it, the search for the engagement ring takes the duo to six countries across Europe.

In the process, they sing, dance and get into tight situations while also falling in love—just the way it has happened in earlier such films. While the two stars do their bit, there are no distractions, no other actors to either relieve the two, Shah Rukh and Anushka, nor the viewer! Yes, there are European landmarks in the background, but they look lifeless in absence of a cogent content on the screen. And, then, this is a road romance, not a tourism film.

The script is weak in all departments. Be it characters, drama, romance or emotions. There is no chemistry between Shah Rukh and Anushka, considering they take a couple of hours discovering they are in love. Just to make Anushka sound like a Gujarati, her character has been turned into a caricature; she is from a filthy rich Mumbai family and a law graduate but she speaks Gujarati like a native missing H in all her pronunciations.

Like Asok for Ashok, for example. Greeting with JSK (Whatsapp language) instead of Jai Shri Krishna like Gujarati from Vaishnav sect do. Which audience will identify with this among Hindi moviegoers? To cap it all, the climax is stretched and lacking in imagination.

The direction is lacklustre. The film has some good songs but they fail to impact the proceedings. Visually good, but the film’s editing leaves much to be desired.

Anushka Sharma tries to save the film to some extent with a lively performance. Shah Rukh Khan looks past his prime and his face looks tired, not something that would gel with a romantic film.

On the whole, Jab Harry Met Sejal lacks in imagination. It’s a poor film with opening response to match.

Producer: Gauri Khan.

Director: Imtiaz Ali.

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Chandan Roy Sharma,

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