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Jab Harry Met Sejal  : Jab A Film Morphs Into A Lullaby
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Friday, August 4, 2017
Imtiaz Ali
Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma

The good news first.


It’s a stylishly shot film and for the price of a cinema ticket you get a tour of beautiful Europe, night life included.


It’s also a relief that Imtiaz Ali attempts straight linear writing for a change without layers that go nowhere like Rockstar.


But missing is the filmmaker who did another road journey called Highway which had led to a stark cinematic jolt. This time, that Imtiaz is nowhere around though he desperately hops from Amsterdam to Prague and Frankfurt and ends somewhere in Punjab.


Initially, there were a couple of interesting scenes like a keyhole shot or Sejal saying ‘JSK’ for Jai Shri Krishna. But very soon it settles down as a lazily written screenplay.


The story is exactly what the promos said. Sejal has lost her engagement ring and tells her family to go on, she’ll stay back and look for it. She bullies their tourist guide Hairy, sorry Harry, to go back to all the places they’d visited on their tour. But somewhere along, he stops being just a tourist guide to her which was obvious right from the start. 


In a romance between sweet rich Gujju girl Sejal and characterless tourist guide Harinder Singh Nehra, it doesn’t matter if an obviously ageing Shah Rukh is cast opposite a refreshingly young Anushka. What does is that the director doesn’t create the vital chemistry between them.


Imtiaz goes all over Europe and forces song after song into the 134 minutes since he has so little to say. Some of Pritam’s compositions like Main bani teri Radha and Hawayein are listenable but not enough to keep your eyelids from drooping.


Since everything, including where her ring has been all along, offers little surprise, the journey is a drag. Imtiaz prolongs and worsens the fatigue with a childish track featuring Chandan Roy Sanyal and then a pointless Indian wedding in Frankfurt. 


There’s also the expected stereotyping of Gujaratis and Punjabis with Sejal saying, ‘Sorry’, ‘God’ and ‘Dominate’ while Harry sings louder than the tractor. 


If Imtiaz wanted to make a musical treat, what he does succeed in is in singing the viewer a lullaby.


For a romantic film that chugs on without passion, Jab Harry Met Sejal gets a 2.5* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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