MUMBAI: With an array of blockbusters behind him, the burden of delivering a bigger grosser grows every time a new Salman Khan film hits the screens. Keeping up with these expectations is not an easy task.
Too add more to it, with his latest, Salman, also attempts to promote his personal image that of a charitable pure heart which he is building through Being Human Foundation. That makes Salman’s character too goody-goody; he is all sugar.
Jai Ho has is a remake of Telugu film Stalin which borrowed the idea from Hollywood film Pay It Forward (2000) about creating a chain wherein every person who receives a favour from someone does favours for three other people when given a chance. The idea is to multiply the do-gooders in the society. That is one side of Salman; the other is that of fighting the evil forces which is represented by Danny and his son, daughter and son in law. This is a dampener since people have stopped caring about politicians’ character.
Salman is an ex-army man, discharged for disobeying the orders of his high command. His intentions were noble, though. He ventured into enemy territory and freed some children held captive there. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time for wherever he goes someone or the other is in need of help. For instance, he helps an armless student, Genelia D’Souza, write her exam paper as her writer has not turned up and Salman happens to be around, dropping his nephew to school. Next, Salman spots a car driver rudely pushing and hitting a young beggar girl. He beats up the driver and here onwards starts his enmity with Danny clan. The driver happened to be his man and soon Danny’s goons are looking for him. The fights are the usual South Indian films kind very much in vogue with Hindi films lately: hundreds of swords and sickles wielding goons vs. Salman and how he annihilates them.
But, this pure heart hero’s heart also throbs for other reasons, the romantic kind. He finds his lady love in his sister’s (Tabu) neighbour, Daisy Shah. There is no coochi-cooing. The romance is pure Rajshri film brand with heroine around mainly to sing songs with Salman.
In between song and dance, Salman has to fight off Danny’s dirty tricks. Salman’s mother (Nadira Babbar) is run over by Danny’s men to warn him to back off while on another occasion his nephew is kidnapped and while saving him Salman ebds up killing Danny’s son in law (Mukul Dev). This adds more fuel to the fire. Even as Danny is desperate to kill Salman, his idea of doing three favours to others catches on; and everybody including the chief minister (Mohnish Behl) are curious to know whose noble idea it was.
The CM, unhappy with the war between Salman and Danny, decides to intervene. Having learnt Salman’s background as a decorated army man he does not think it fair to punish Salman nor does he want his party to suffer because of Danny’s antics. The meeting between the three, Salman, Danny and Mohnish ends with a compromise and Salman has been asked to wait till Mohnish gives Danny a piece of his mind behind closed doors. Danny puts his plan in to effect; kill Mohnish, take his place as the CM and frame Salman for the murder.
The original, Stalin was released in 2006 and the concept has become outdated. What is more, like many South films, Jai Ho also tends to get preachy and that is not what fans of Salman’s one-liners want. There is not much to the story and the first half becomes boring. The villain and his goons provide some mass entertainment. Yes, and there are also some mushy moments. Music is weak with just one song worth a mention. The film lacks finesse. As for performances, the film hinges totally on Salman and he is at his usual physical and acrobatic best. Daisy is fair, this being her debut film. Nadira Babbar is stagy. Tabu and the rest are okay. The film has a few known faces doing cameo roles in Suniel Shetty, Aditya Panscholi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Genelia, Mohnish, providing variety.
Jai Ho, despite Salman, has had a tepid opening response even from single screens; having been made to pay high MGs, the single screens stand to lose their earnings from couple of recent money spinners.
Producers: Sunil Lulla, Sohail Khan.
Director: Sohail Khan.
Cast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Tabu, Danny Danzongpa, Nadira Babbar, Mukul Dev, Mahesh Thakur, Resham Tipnis, Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Haroon Qazi, Genelia D’Souza, Suniel Shetty, Aditya Panscholi, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sharad Kapoor.