With the past number of unsuccessful stints at the box office, there is an increasing amount of hate around every SRK release, but with his more than 25 years of being the Badshah of romance, there is also that long-withstanding love. Then there is Imtiaz Ali, who has decoded and redefined rom-com for today’s generation time and again. When these epitomes of romance come together, it should ideally have been a guaranteed formula to success. But sadly you are only left ‘seeking’ for that magic that could have, but never happened.
Imtiaz Ali picks up pieces of all his previous work and knits together a recycled, torn, sluggish story. A big budget travelogue with glimpses of self-discovery of the two protagonists while they eventually fall in love despite the seeming odds. You almost feel like he mixed up all the 4-5 scripts and expected no one to notice. With even the title not being so far away ( Jab we met and Jab Harry Met Sejal) how blatantly ignorant can we possibly be?
Sejal is looking for her engagement ring and Harry, a tourist guide is forced to help her despite all the reluctance, thanks to ‘paapi pet’. Anushka Sharma as Sejal is a typical gujju rich chick from Mumbai. She is an annoying and dishonest version of Geet. She juggles between her accent and acting and is able to deliver only one of them at a time. SRK as Harry is a charming tourist guide, and an ever-angry Punjabi. Their character sketch is outright opposite as one might expect. One is positive, quirky, sweet, ‘neat and clean’ ( yes she calls herself that) and the other is cynical, broken and also ‘cheap’ (read womaniser). Sejal trying to convince Harry that she is worth his attention almost throughout the movie is not cute, all we can do is judge her insecurities. We are forced to believe in a lot of things, their humour, their past (which is left to our imagination) and even in their oddly dubbed singing abilities. Despite all this, the first half manages to be decently entertaining. Their chemistry is fun, there is the absolute absence of romance, but it’s fun.
The second half is a lengthy, lumbering and a complete drag. They now start spelling out the metaphoric existence of the ring. The obvious emotional seeking is said out loud amidst the ring searching and overuse of the word ‘layak’. It becomes difficult to emotionally engage with these arrogant and self-absorbed characters. There is more camera to SRK’s tattoo on the well- chiselled chest than the glint in his eyes. How I wish they knew what we loved more. Anushka is cheated by her character’s dumb regressiveness. The charisma that you went for, is there but far and few. The end is the worst and you are left feeling cheated.
Pritam’s music successfully adds the right flavour as we travel through Europe, although the background score works much better than the song and dance.
Other than the ring and the seeking, there is hardly any plot. With such an undercooked script and unimpressive narration, actors are the only dim strength of the movie. We as Imtiaz or SRK fans or just movie- goers, deserve better.