If you search for something with sincerity, you will find it, even God. Sejal offers this wisdom to Harry. How did they meet? He was her group’s tour guide around Europe but now he’s her personal guide, chaperone and a project. Sejal storms into Harry’s empty, but functioning, life when she insists he help her find her lost engagement ring. She corners him into accepting the job and so begins their repeat European tour. Starting in Amsterdam, she then insists they continue the search in Prague and Budapest, eventually ending up in Lisbon and so on.
It does not really matter whether Sejal finds the ring or not because these two are so content playing tour-tour and, as that’s writer-director Imtiaz Ali’s basic message – what you are seeking is seeking you too. This is the first time I was indifferent to an Imtiaz Ali film. Having been engaged by Jab We Met, Rockstar (up to a point), Highway and Tamasha, this Shah Rukh Khan-Anushka Sharma film Jab Harry Met Sejal is just fell flat. To have a 2 hour 20 minute film featuring mostly two actors needed extremely sharp writing, wonderful moments and good chemistry. But somehow the pairing and the motivations of Harry and Sejal just don’t gel. It’s a force-fitted love story.
Sejal is a lawyer from Mumbai working in the family business who has lost the very engagement ring she got on her just concluded European tour. She refuses to go back home without the ring and insists that tour guide Harry take her back to all the places they visited until she does find it. But her search is rather insincere and her desire to be desirable to Harry comes across as her primary agenda. Not that Sejal is some wallflower, in fact she’s rather smart and self-assured. Harry, however, is carrying his own baggage and the weariness of age and the character’s conflict really seem to weigh down on Shah Rukh’s shoulders.
This love story Jaba Harry Met Sejal just doesn’t ring true. For one it’s a mismatched casting with a 50-something Khan and a 20-something Sharma. Then there’s the story itself – so much drama for a ring and no sign of any family member trying to accompany her and no sign of the fiancé either? The second half is totally without sense. Suddenly there’s a refugee gangster, then there’s an engagement party and then there’s the dull as doornails climax. There’s only so much Sharma or Khan could have done with this script. And what the script lacks, beautiful European destinations cannot make up for.