Film: Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Directed by: Shaad Ali Sahgal
Produced by: Aditya Chopra
Banner: Yash Raj Films
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol, Lara Dutta and Amitabh Bachchan (Special Appearance)
Walking out of the theatre someone said, “Lara and Bobby, special appearance. Amitabh Bachchan very special appearance. The story, very very special appearance.” On retrospection, that pretty much summarizes the film.
Sitting at a London station awaiting a delayed train, Riki Thukral (Abhishek Bachchan) and Alvira Khan (Preity Zinta) get talking. The two stangers, with a little initial hesitation, begin spilling their life story. The spin includes their fiancÃƒÂ©s Anaida (Lara Dutta) and Steve (Bobby Deol) respectively.
Somewhere down the line, telling each other their “How I Met” stories, they fall in love. They walk away from each other only yearning to be closer.
On reading the brief of the story, you know for certain there is a strong enough story. The hitch is the fact that it is rarely visited. Throughout the film there are so many trivial tangents that are explored, you begin feeling less entertained. What’s more is that it so clearly divided into pre and post interval stages. While the pre interval stages you are busy recollecting whose decision it was to watch the film, the latter half makes all of it worthwhile.
While Shirish Kunder’s Jaan-E-Mann flowed like a Broadway musical, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is not too far away since music is an integral part in pulling forward the plot. However it is the sudden end of this style to continue scenes that make the earlier seem pointless. There is only little that your eyes manage to absorb, the screen overflows with indulgence. The camerawork and editing are also extremely dissatisfying. While cuts are made at random, jumping space and time, the camera moves around everywhere. One scene that gets you dizzy is the one when Riki and Alvira visit the Taj Mahal, and the camera refuses to stop gyrating.
Furthermore the one thing you do end up going to watch is a great song, choreographed well. Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is packed with great tracks, but then the groovy steps seem to be missing. There are a million dancers crowding the screen, but the moves are ice cold. Also there is so much style in the film that all that takes over is the confusion.
While the film has its many downs, there is a whole lot of good packed in as well. The most commendable is the manner in which each scene is lit; there is a sense of cohesiveness throughout the film. The other bonus is the subtle treatment of the relationship of the lead characters, one from India and the other from Pakistan (extremely well done!). Also though you know each of the character is manufactured, it is not hard to believe one of them could very well be around (the medium of cinema never ceases to amaze).
Characters created at random, make it far more difficult for the actors to essay them. Dutta displays a fine performance, her character is cute, sassy and multilingual; she plays it to the T. Bobby and Abhishek amaze as well, they fill the character with life. Amongst everyone, it is Zinta who essays her character with the least amount of conviction. The energy of the character seems to be missing throughout. The true star of the film is undoubtedly Amitabh Bachchcan, who steals the thunder at various points in the film. Dressed in those boots, jeans and patchwork jacket he sets the screen on fire each time he dances (That’s all you see him do, wish he had a dialogue or two!).
Now with an abundance of shows at the multiplexes, and a buzz about the film it is but obvious the collections will be great. Though this one is bound to rake in the moolah, the question of how long?
Though Jhoom Barabar Jhoom offers the color it is all but a short story stretched. This one is a bummer!