Decades ago, Hema Malini danced under a blazing sun, barefooted on broken bottles, to the tune of RD Burman, and entertains Gabbar Singh & Co., while Veeru looks on with his arms tied up and flaring nostrils for not heeding to his advice of not dancing in front of dogs.
The film ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, too, dances under a blazing spotlight of YRF banner, barefooted on potholed story, to the lackluster tunes of AR Rahman and tries to entertain audience with a puppy-like loyalty to YRF and SRK, while the logic looks on with its arms not only tied up, but also twisted mercilessly.
Just like Hema Malini in the film, ‘Sholay’, the expectations from Jab Tak Hai Jaan, too, collapses after a painful three hours. Here’s a fictitious account of how a couple interpreted the film while watching the so-called love saga, which begins with a poem recited by late Yash Chopra:
Meri tedhi medhi kahaaniyaan, mere haste rote khwaab,
Kuch suriley besurey geet mere, kuch achche bhure kirdaar,
Woh sab mere hain, un sab mein main hoon,
Bas bhool na jaana, rakhna yaad mujhe,
Jab Tak Hain Jaan, Jab Tak Hain Jaan.
Guy: (Guffawing) Look, Yash Chopra already gave a disclaimer before beginning the film. He hints that the film has no story, a lot of sobs, bad music, bad characterizations, but still endure them till you survive…till you survive…
Gal: Stop being so cynical! It’s his last film, for god’s sake! Be polite enough to respect the man who brought romance to Hindi cinema.
Guy: So ma’am what did Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, and Dev Anand do before Dhool Ka Phool was released? You mean Salim never knew how to woo his Anarkali in Mughal-E-Azam? Raj Kapoor never had a clue of singing in the rain with Nargis in Aawara? Did Dev Anand learn to lip-sync ‘Tere mere sapne’ in the movie, ‘Guide’ from YRF?
Gal: I mean…he is the king of romantic films. We must pay homage to him by singing praises of his swansong – just like the media will do after this first day first show.
Guy: Was it an advice or sarcasm? By the way, I paid for the tickets from the reward for bowing to my parents today on Diwali. The YRF banner didn’t fund it, so stop that paying homage crap.
Gal: Okay now shut up…you’re disturbing everyone. See how cool Shah Rukh looks with that stubble and Aviator glasses!
Guy: Looks like he is re-living his Chakh De! India days and those umpteen films in which he was called Raj. I wonder whether these army guys really allow their officers to sport such stubble…
Gal: Ok I am not listening to you…Anyway, SRK isn’t called ‘Raj’ here, but ‘Samar Anand’. Wow Anushka has an enviable figure…
Guy: She looks under-fed, under-paid, and under-clothed too!
Gal: Katrina looks divine! The church scene reminds of DDLJ, isn’t it?
Guy: I already gifted you the DVD of all Yashraj films…you could’ve watched them instead of pulling me here to watch this montage of YRF and show-reel of SRK!
Gal: See the guitar has taken place of mandolin…
Guy: What an innovative thinking! Imtiaz Ali and Abhishek Kapoor must have plagiarized the idea of ‘Sadda Haq’ and ‘Rock on’ from them, isn’t it?
Gal: Katrina is a firm believer of Jesus Christ – and even gives up her true love for god’s love…now that’s something new…
Guy: Even Rakhi Sawant believes in ‘Jejus’! And didn’t Kajol ditch Arvind Swamy and Prabhu Deva for ‘god’s sake’ in the movie, ‘Sapnay’?
Gal: But here SRK kisses a heroine. Now don’t give any other example as it’s for the first time he has ever done that.
Guy: He did much more than kissing…even showed his bare behind in the film, ‘Maya Memsaab’, wanna bet?
Gal: Anushka as Akira Rai is like a breath of fresh air, there’s no doubt about it.
Guy: Who said Anushka Sharma plays Akira Rai? She plays Shruti Kakkar of Band Baja Baaraat…this time wearing the rejected chaddis of Deepika Padukone in the film Cocktail.
Gal: Hey is that Switzerland?
Guy: Shhh…I was waiting for this cameo of Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor.
Gal: They look so good together!
Guy: I bet this is the only best part about this film, apart from cinematography by Anil Mehta.
Gal: Don’t you think SRK playing hide and seek with death and waiting to be killed by Jesus something interesting?
Guy: First of all I don’t understand how a waiter from London becomes a Major Samar Anand in just a decade’s time. And if he is so keen to die then why the hell can’t he cut the wrong wire of the bomb for ‘Christ’s sake’? In this aspect, Gabbar Singh had more IQ than this dumb character. Gabbar used a revolver with three bullets to decide the fate of his henchmen. They could have shown Samar toying with a one-bullet revolver in his solitude instead of singing ‘Challa’ by the riverside.
Gal: Akira’s character is well-etched. Her passion for becoming a documentary filmmaker for Discovery Channel is something one could relate to.
Guy: Documentary film? I didn’t notice that…I thought all she was interested in was Samar Anand.
Gal: Poor guy…lost his memory!
Guy: How original!
Gal: What a moving twist in the tale! The neurosurgeon asks the two girls to stage a play set in 2002 instead of 2012. Guess who will get SRK?
Guy: Your guess is as good as mine. Now don’t tell me you haven’t figured it out.
Gal: Well, I have…but I love the performances.
Guy: Exactly…SRK acts as if he’s in his twenties and explores every expression from his repertoire, Katrina wears few expressions permanently, no matter what the scenes demand and Anushka is hyper-excited all the time as if there’s a bomb tied to her behind, waiting to explode.
Gal: Hold on…I guess Samar’s memory will return…look how he is mouthing the details of the bomb at the substation…
Guy: He can know the details of a bomb kept in a bag without even spotting it! And the cops step aside when he introduces himself…Truly a genius! Lo and behold! You were right. Now that we’ve figured out the story, let’s go home and gorge on some laddoos and watch a Rohit Shetty film on TV.
Gal: Nope. He is yet to settle scores with god.
Guy: Oh don’t worry. The director won’t bother himself to do that, as Paresh Rawal already did that in OMG. This film will surely have a happy ending. The cigarette smoking disclaimers have really instigated me to have a smoke. I am outside, waiting for you.
The guy left halfway and I am glad he didn’t miss anything. Hadn’t I bought the first day first show tickets (which I did, after almost a decade), even I wouldn’t have missed anything. Folks, you still have a choice.