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OK so here's my review. There maybe spoilers ahead so read at your own risk:
After the initial decent reviews the film got from the well known critics there was suddenly a barrage of criticism for the movie from critics of chota-mota sites as well as many IF members. So given that the promo was ok, music was so-so and there were lots of poor reviews I didnt have too much expectations from the film. Nevertheless I was determind to watch it for mainly SRK and Yash Chopra. So from Friday I took a break from all entertainment related sites till I could watch the movie. Now coming to the film's actual box-office. I live in South India and the movie of choice here is JTHJ. The theatre was full for the Saturday matinee show.
Movie experience: The movie started off with catcalls for Anushka's bikini moment and SRK's motorcycle entry. There were otherwise not many taalis or seetis during the movie. The laughs were also less. The biggest flaw in the movie IMO was the length. They could have easily edited half hour off it without hampering the story. The songs are ok...sound good in the movie hall. Usually in a movie which doesnt have interesting songs people walk out for a pee break. But I didnt see anyone doing that. Nor did people walk out when the movie stretched beyond 2.5 hrs. Infact many people statyed back to watch the last tribute to Yash Chopra. The majority of the audience was young families and the youth.
Story and direction: For a person who has grown up watching Ekta Kapoor's shows and reading M&Bs the story wasnt as W*Fish as it was made to sound in many of the reviews. I can see many a serial now copy this film's storyline. It had the perfect elements of a love story with enough twists and turns to keep you engaged. Does anyone remember the first review we got about a month or two back? I think that was a real review. Those trying to find logic in JTHJ lets not forget all love stories sound W*Fish. The difference between a good love story and a bad one depends on the treatment. Here lies a filmmaker's expertise. And this is where Yash Chopra gets it right. You have to feel for the characters to like the film.
But yes if one goes to the movie expecting a YC classic like Silsila or Kabhi Kabhi or Darr or Lamhe you will be disappointed. Those movies uncovered new layers of love. This movie has a predictable storyline seen many times earlier. What might or might not click for you is the treatment he gives to the movie and the characters. I would suggest to those who havent seen the movie yet to treat the movie as a love story starring SRK with Yash Chopra's direction being incidental.
SRK as most people have said nails it. As we already know that SRK is hot as Major Samar Anand diffusing bombs as if he is repairing a toy. As the 25/28 Samar SRK is energetic as a guy of that age. But yes his face gives it away that he isnt 25. Then any actor doing the same role would have looked apt as either the 28 year old Samar or the 38 year old Samar. The story is mostly in the present ie 38 year old Samar so I guess its ok.
Anushka I was thinking would make me want to slap her with her perkiness. But apart from the Jiya Re song she was fine. They could have easily cut that song from the movie.
Katrina I was afraid would be wooden thruout. But she was pretty good in comparision to her earlier roles. A love story cant work with one half of the pair showing no emotions. But Katrina made us feel Meera's love for Samar. Only time she seemed frozen was in her scenes with Anushka. The focus in those scenes was on the more animated Akira. But a better actress would have drawn attention to herself too with some subtle expressions. One such example is Kajol in the bhajan scene with Rani and SRK in KKHH.
A special mention for the supporting actors who played SRK's Pakistani friend and the three of SRK's army colleagues who are fida over Akira. They were all so cute without going overboard.
The background music for the poem at the start was the best piece in the film. This is followed by Challa, Saans, Ishq Shava, Heer. And special mention for Ishq Dance. Katrina looked hot in that. SRK gave her good support. Whatever yoga he is doing has certainly taken off 20 years off his body. Hence he is dancing well apart from the somersaults he did during the IPL.
Chemistry: Despite her flaws as an actress I would say Katrina has the best chemistry with SRK among the current lot of top rung actresses. I would rate the Kat-SRK chemistry better than SRK's chemistry with Kareena, DP, Anushka...even PC. My favorites will ofcourse remain Kajol and Rani with SRK.
Look and Costumes:
Katrina looked gorgeous in the movie. She overshadowed Anushka easily there. But neither Anushka nor Katrina were dressed as the usual Indian YC heroine.
Special mention for SRK. He looked hot and I am in love with him again. The muscles, the stubble and the age lines/wrinkles just added to his character. Finally here is a man whose experience makes him sexy. *Fans myself*
Others: Finally a special mention for the cinematography. I wish the whole movie was shot in India. Ladakh and Kashmir looked so beautiful. London wasnt explored as much.
-At the start we see the flashback start with SRK saying he is 25 and we see a made up SRK enjoying the show looking atleast 40. At that moment I thought gai bhains paani mein!
-Katrina's flashback of her childhood shows her as a child with Caucasian features. Yet both her parents turn out to be Indians!
-Katrina cant speak Punjabi in SRK's flashback. So I thought maybe because he mom isnt Indian. But later we get know her mom is from Punjab and she was brought up by her till she was 12. As far as I have seen children learn their mother tongue as soon as they start speaking. Katrina in the film is a slow learner and but this was really slooowww. Looks like real life inspired reel life.
-Anushka is shown drowning at the start. But later we are told she is a national level swimmer.
-Katrina telling her mom she is 21 in SRK's flashback. She looks atleast 30.
-In the later half we are told SRK was 28 at the time of his first accident. Yet at the start he says he is 25. *Blooper alert*
-As far as I know 28 is too old an age to join the army as an officer or become a electronics or bomb expert. Facial fuzz looked hot on SRK but isnt allowed in the army.
What could have been cut/changed:
The Jiya Re song and the portions where Samar relives his 28 year old self with Akira in UK. The focus should have been a bit more on how Meera finally decides to break the pact with God and come to Samar. But we get no explaination of it except whatever Akira tells her.
Overall I enjoyed the movie. I went with low expectations but Samar sucked me into the story to live Meera's and his love story from his point of view. Would give the movie a 3/5 taking one mark off for the music.
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There are only four people who can make me believe and fall in love with love. That is Rumi, Ghalib, YC and Shahrukh... I am a true cynic when it comes to eternal love, to the idea that love can make you do stupid, illogical things. We all wish for that kind of love, but like Akira says in JHTH that it is next to impossible to find a love like that or to even feel that in today's time. That is where these four succeed; they make me want to believe in soul mates, in the kind of love, madness, passion that love should ignite whether it be for a person or for God. My review has nothing to do with the concept or the story, if I start on that then there are flaws, many loopholes and many moments that could have been done better, but I am sure many have done so already.
Whenever I watch YC movies or any love stories, I leave logic behind, when
you go to watch a love story (which is very rarely for me), you don't need logic, all you need to do is feel
the love and that is where YC and Shahrukh always excelled and none of the
recent crop of directors that try and make love stories have ever been able to
create that magic. One such example is Rockstar, I just didn't feel the love
between the characters, and I didn't feel his passion his junoon for her,
Ranbir was good as the brooding rockstar, but I just didn't feel the love.
Anyway I am digressing from the topic.
As Rumi has said that "Be foolishly in love, as love is the only thing there is..." Samar's love for Meera was just that... he was foolishly, madly in love with her to the point where he is willing to fight and test her and his faith in god. Nobody can display passion as SRK, his eyes speak volume, like I said before he's one of the people that make me want to fall in love; be it the lover boy righteous DDLJ Raj or the Raj Aryan of mohabbatein or the numerous Rahul's or the mischievous lying but sweet nikamma Sunil of KHKN, or the one looking to get his pride back as Kabir Khan of CDI or Mohan of Swades. When he plays it right, he does them to perfection. Major Samar took my breath away as the brooding, angst ridden lover who somewhere deep down was still the challa waiting for his beloved. His interactions with Akira showed that, and according to me he saw a lot of himself in her, the mischief, the care free bindaas attitude, and the passion...to an extent she managed to somehow bring a bit of him back. I loved the airport scene, such a poignant scene between the two that has to be my favourite scene and my favourite interaction between the two. SRK makes this movie though and YC gives it the feel with his simplicity, care and passion.
YC has always had larger than life characters in his love stories because I think somewhere he truly believed in the ideals and principles of his characters; whether they be males or females, we need to just look at Kabhie kabhie, lamhe, DTPH, VeerZaara to name but a few. Samar and Meera are no different, if we look at Maya and her idealistic approach and belief in love and Meera and her belief and love in god, I see not much difference. They are both an emotion of love and both are inexpressible with words. I may not agree with Meera or Maya's ideals, but the way YC always managed to portray the beliefs of these characters is what makes me understand them. SRK's right that YC is a women's director and Adi is a man's director and this is clearly visible in their movies as well as Adi's scripts. JTHJ is Samar's story, Meera is just a massive part of it, same was the case for Veer Zaara, whereas if we look at DTPH, that for me at least was Maya's film through and through.
"The whole business of love is to drown in the sea..." for me this pretty much sums up Meera's character. She was in love with Samar so much so that she was ready to give him up...Kat was good, some scenes she was better than others.. not as wooden as she was in ETT (I watched it last week and well.. let's leave it to that) She faltered at points and that is why it made it slightly difficult for me to be able to connect to her.. With love stories one needs to feel for the characters and that is why I think it might have been nice to see someone like Rani, perhaps? I don't know, but nonetheless she was a dream on screen and looked absolutely beautiful. SRK and her scenes were good; you felt their love at times.. I remember a point one of my friend made, that at times he found their love to be fake and I think it was because he couldn't connect to her character as well as the fact that there was physical intimacy, but like I said to him that when in love, let the lovers be as they're drunk on love to realise anything but each other.
"Wash off all the wonderings, just surrender to his fragrance..." Akira did just that, she knew Samar's love was unfavourable and nobody could take Meera's place yet she surrendered herself to him. She became his 'Meera'...Anuksha was great; you could see her love, her apprehensions when talking to Meera about Samar.
This movie had many flaws, and it's not the best of YC,
but then again neither was VZ, but the essence of love, his passion and his
characters is what makes his love stories for me. It is sad that we will never
be able to see the innocence of love portrayed in such a fashion again, but his
legacy will live on through his movies. The end credits were beautiful, you
could see child like innocence, his passion, his love while shooting. SRK's
right YC truly was an 18 year old at heart. Even with all its flaws and some
W*F moments, it was nice to see a feel good, YC romantic movie after ages and that as well the final one...
PS- This is my first post after being inactive on IF for about two years, feels slightly awkward.. but anyway here it is. Apologies for any mistake.
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