After a wait of eight long years, the master storyteller, the most admired and revered director of our times, Yash Chopra, returns with his new motion picture. Regrettably, JAB TAK HAI JAAN happens to be the last film of one of the greatest raconteurs of our times…
Yash Chopra is synonymous with love and romance and also spellbinding drama and heartrending emotions. Is synonymous with harmonious music and exquisite poetry and also snow-capped mountains and mustard fields. Is synonymous with waterfalls and rains and also Switzerland and Punjab. And so much more… JAB TAK HAI JAAN encompasses everything that one has come to expect from a Yash Chopra movie. This time, it’s a brand new setting, but the journey remains the same as his previous love stories — just as the lead man and his lady love sprint towards each other from opposite directions, to cuddle each other lovingly, you’re told that the romantic pathway is crammed with thorns and spikes [a quick clarification: all this talk of JAB TAK HAI JAAN being a present-day avatar of Yash Chopra’s DAAG is absolutely unfounded].
For the hardcore romantics, this one’s a treat. But those who *don’t* swear by love stories, I am certain, will be able to connect with this film, since the twists and twirls in the screenplay are sure to allure those yearning for something captivatingly distinctive.
JAB TAK HAI JAAN is a poignant voyage of three characters. Thankfully, not once does the script or the writers [Aditya Chopra and Devika Bhagat] permit any penetration of superfluous or redundant characters or sub-plots that would’ve only led to puzzlement. Every episode transpires for a persuasive reason. Besides, the drama is absolutely intriguing, with an undercurrent of emotions running through the length and breadth of the film, thereby adding intensity to this passionate love story.
JAB TAK HAI JAAN is not your typical love story. It has the old-world charm written all over it, with twists and turns plenty. It would be a disservice if one were to reveal the journey of the three principal characters — Samar, Meera and Akira — since the plot changes from conventional to unconventional in its second hour.
JAB TAK HAI JAAN is attention-grabbing from inception till conclusion. The drama only soars higher and the complex love story gets more and more gripping as the conflict between the characters come to the fore. Mind you, JAB TAK HAI JAAN is not the usual ‘love triangle’, with two women fighting for the same guy. Nor can you compare it with any Yash Chopra film of yore either.
Yash Chopra’s brilliancy and vividness is apparent in a number of sequences. And it echoes throughout the film. The poignant moments keep you on the periphery, while the culmination to the narrative may meet with extreme reactions. However, I strongly feel, the conclusion is most befitting for a film that doesn’t take the beaten to death pathway. The only hiccup is that it gets too slow-paced at times. Also, the screenplay could’ve been tighter at places. A few sequences in the post-interval portions could’ve been spruced up for a stronger impact.
When Yash Chopra, A.R. Rahman and Gulzar join hands for a film project, the expectations are gargantuan. Its music has to meet the lofty expectations. Chopra Sr.’s music has had an eternal impact, but the songs here aren’t of that towering calibre that you would anticipate from a Yash Chopra movie. Yet, the melodies that merit a mention are ‘Challa’, ‘Saans’ and ‘Jiya Re’. While on music, the music piece and its choreography in the first hour deserve brownie points.
The DoP [Anil Mehta] and the production designer give the film a radiant look that befits a classic. The cinematography is surreal, grandiose and simply overwhelming. The vibrant frames add to the magnificence of this already spectacular looking film. The costume designers too come up with a wardrobe that’s brimming with stunning outfits.
Event films such as JAB TAK HAI JAAN are, generally, embellished with seasoned actors. That’s one of the fundamental reasons why these films appear so tempting. In addition, assembling such accomplished names [in lead roles as also supporting characters] is a rarity and there’s a strong possibility that one may not see them sharing screen space ever again.
One can’t imagine anyone else but shah rukh khan in the role of Samar. An individual with an emotional baggage. Although Shah Rukh has been an integral part of several romantic movies, he enacts it resplendently in JAB TAK HAI JAAN, brushing off any condemnation that he may have encountered for replicating himself in movies of parallel genre. The role gives the actor abundant opportunity to exhibit his talent and I must add, Shah Rukh transforms himself into the complex character with dexterity.
Katrina Kaif is the classic Yash Chopra heroine. An enigmatic beauty, who doubles up as a seductress [watch her in the ‘Saans’ track or the music piece]. She looks ethereal and enacts her part with elegance and restraint. As a matter of fact, she glides into her part with effortlessness and acts out some of the difficult moments with flourish. In view of the fact that a major portion of the story focuses on SRK and Katrina, one might assume that Anushka Sharma role is more of a supporting one, but that’s entirely fallacious. She’s an integral part of this story and it must be said that she walks away with some of the best scenes and lines in the movie. Her performance is full of grit.
Rishi and Neetu Kapoor are endearing in a cameo. Anupam Kher, also in a cameo, pitches in a neat performance as Katrina’s father. Sarika is first-rate in a pivotal part.
On the whole, JAB TAK HAI JAAN resonates an oft-repeated fact: Love stories will come and go. But no one will make them like Yash Chopra. Just don’t miss this heartwarming love story!
4 out of 5
Review by Taran Adarsh
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