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Film review: Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Love conquers all in the late director Yash Chopra’s swan song

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Your affection towards Jab Tak Hai Jaan is likely to be directly proportionate to your faith in love. If you happen to be a cynic in the matters of the heart (read pragmatic), then the much-anticipated Yash Chopra’s directorial swan song will grate on your nerves. But for those who are willing to suspend belief for more than 170 minutes and stomach a weathered 47-year-old Shah Rukh Khan cavorting around as a 20-something, guitar-strumming lover, you are good and ready for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (As Long As I Am Alive).

The legendary filmmaker, who died last month, has stuck with his tried and tested formula of weaving fantastical love stories.

As always, there are intense lovers, beautiful London and Ladakh locales and bucket loads of emotions flying all around.

The first half of the film introduces you to the perky-yet-poor Samar (Khan) and a spoilt princess Meera (Katrina Kaif). His English is faulty and her grasp of Punajbi leaves a lot to be desired. An unlikely friendship (class no barrier) crops up and they decide on a barter deal. He will teach the UK-bred Meera a Punjabi song that she can impress her daddy dearest with on his birthday and she will teach him some posh English. But what they don’t bargain for is to fall in love.

Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because this story is old as the Swiss Alps featured in Chopra’s epic romances.

Without giving the farm away, Meera, who has a propensity to make juvenile deals with the almighty, strikes a seemingly ludicrous deal with God when Samar’s life takes a near-fatal twist. The London-educated, empowered business heiress turns into this simpering, sacrificial lover.

However, the second of half of the film in which Khan plays the tortured lover and a fearless bomb disposal army leader in Ladakh redeems the romance. For starters he acts his age and his brooding turn is supported well by Akira (Anushka Sharma), an ambitious journalist who is on a mission to trace a man who has defused more than 100 bombs. The transformation of how the happy-go-lucky waiter Samar becomes a brave soldier is left to our imagination.

Sharma steals the show with her bold act. If you were to compare the two women: Kaif plays the archetypal ethereal, unattainable Yash Raj heroine, however it’s difficult to relate to her and her child-like beliefs. Sharma’s character was more grounded and modern. In the end, don’t beat yourself if you find yourself rooting for Samar and Akira who enjoy fabulous chemistry rather than the born-to-be-together soulmates Meera and Samar.

Once again, Khan lives up to his description of being the king of on-screen romance. Trust him to make star-crossed lovers look fashionable. Watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan if you are in the mood for an never-say-never love saga.


*Jab Tak Hai Jaan is now showing in the UAE.

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