Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jai Ho Movie Review : A lazy film that falls short of its promise of entertainment

Not all well-intentioned ideas get converted into good films. Jai Ho is the best example of such a film where in a simple idea of paying it forward is drilled into your head via naive contrived and melodramatic situations till you get bored of it. Eventually, you end up telling three people to not watch the film. Yes, that is a joke which you will understand only when you have seen the movie. 

Yes, Salman Khan's latest movie is out almost after more than a year of dry spell in the orgasmic cycles of bhai fans. Yes, he is back on screen, essentially to show more of him or the same things about him rather. Oh God, this must be the most awaited event of the year already, unless he comes up with another movie this year. What if the promos didnt work? What if the songs arent hits? What if the lead actress looks like shit? What if the dance and dialogue sequences seem hilarious? There is bhai and he can cure pneumonia with a simple touch of his hand. Alas, he cant cure a limping script. 

Jai Ho is definitely well-intentioned, despite borrowing its intention from Kevin Spacey's Pay It Forward, where in Jai (Salman Khan) encourages everyone to help out three other people whenever they get a chance to and tell them to do the same. That, sadly, is the best part of the film amidst a sea of other problems. To drive the afore-mentioned point home, writer Dilip Shukla (who churned up a surprisingly refreshing Chulbul Pandey for us) and director Sohail Khan resort to the lowest degree of cheap contrivations and emotional manipulations. A limbless girl cannot write her exam, a married woman gets harassing calls from an unknown number, a little girl gets hurt while begging on streets, a kidney is donated and what not to infuse the proceedings with unrequired drama in the garb of masala to evoke empathy. Much of Jai Ho reminds you of the 80s and the 90s where the film linearly ran till eternity without having any hook, simply rolling out one cringy shlock-laden melodramatic incident after the other.

The second problem with Jai Ho is that what starts off as an interesting premise goes haywire midway to turn it into a revenge drama where all the evil is concentrated on one character's family and all the good comes together to fight it. What happened to all the social initiative the film sets itself up for? The third problem with Jai Ho is that it is over-simplified. People are only good or bad. Army tanks can walk into the middle of Mumbai and start shooting people. No one cares about what happened to Jai when he was in the Army originally. If thats not enough, what makes him roar like a lion and bite like an idiot? What does work for Jai Ho is that none of this makes the movie unbearable and you simply sit through the most regular fare Salman has come up with in the past few years. 

Music by Sajid-Wajid, Amal Malik and Devi Sri Prasad is shamefully below average leaving the lead actress completely out of job in the movie. Not one tune or track stays with you once you leave the theater. Santosh Thundiayil's cinematography is more like a bunch of tricks to slick up the campy action which really does not go by the cause-impact model of punching someone. Ashish Amrute's editing and Sabu Cyril's Production Design is as disinterested as Salman in the movie. To be honest, most of the recent Salman Khan movies are known for their punchline dialogues which bring the house down with cheers, seetis and claps. Jai Ho lacks the same impact due to average dialogues.

Oh boy, this is one movie with a million actors, well almost! Jai Ho is essentially an employment scheme for many unemployed/out of work/failed actors and actresses - Tabu, Mahesh Manjrekar, Aditya Pancholi, Nadira Babbar, Vikas Bhalla, Tulip Joshi, Vatsal Seth, Mukul Dev, Yash Tonk, Bruna Abdullah, Nauheed Cyrusi, Ashmit Patel, Mohnish Behl and the list goes on. Thankfully, none of them have to act at all or have a character that goes through an arc. Daisy Shah looks terrible without makeup, but passable with one. If we try to get into her acting, it would be a bit too much for this space. Danny Denzongpa is ineffective in a villanous role falling prey to bad scripting. Salman Khan has to naturally carry of the burden of the film on his head. He has nothing new to do in this film (yes, not even a fresh action sequence) apart from continuous loud roaring, biting people, punching faces, breaking wrists and heads, and tearing off his shirt. Within a huge crowd of no standout performance, we see that Naman Jain, the little kid, outshines everyone else in the movie with his witty responses.

Jai Ho has a runtime of 144 minutes and it is likely that you will see promotional ads for the film itself while you are watching it also. Surprisingly enough, I went for an evening show and the theater was around 20% full only. Considering the fact that it has released with more than 5000+ prints worldwide, is the hype good enough to recover money from all of those? I doubt it. The buzz around Jai Ho has been mixed for the past few weeks, it opened to an average response today and the film has turned out to be simple rehash, if you can ignore its intermittent nature. If you are a bhai fan, you would have already watched it and would be going for it again, but to be honest this one is really low on entertainment. It does not get on your nerves but it is Salman's worst film in the past couple of years. It is simply a lazy film that doesnt bother much about anything. 

Rating - 1.5/5

Originally published for MadAboutMoviez here

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