Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Lara Dutta, Bobby Deol
Director: Shaad Ali
Storyline: Two of Bollywood’s Usual Suspects wait for a train Before Sunset.
Bottomline: A stage-play that pretends to be a musical
Shaad Ali’s idea of a musical is to have the same song play on loop for over 20 minutes non-stop. Okay, different variants of the title song actually.
Plus, there’s a variant of that when the film opens, another when the film is halfway through and yet another when the curtains come down, all accompanied by Bachchan doing an item sporting a double-necked guitar and costumes stolen off the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ set.
With the extended mixes playing half a dozen times in the film, no prizes for guessing why the film’s called ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.’
With nearly one hour of the 132 minute-film being dominated by naach-gaana, the rest dedicated to dialogues smattered with the native tongue of South Hall – Punjabi – be warned that this is only for those in the mood for eye-candy and the title-song playing on loop.
You will pretty much predict the entire story before the first act ends. After that, you have nothing to do but wait agonisingly to be proven right, the loud soundtrack giving you not a chance to catch 40 winks. The blessed song keeps coming back.
Long-winded conversations can be interesting, like the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset series have already proved.
But wait, what’s with Yashraj’s fascination with those Richard Linklater’s films? In 1995, Aditya Chopra inspired by ‘Before Sunrise,’ made Raj and Simran fall in love over Eurorail and made them spend a night together before their train next morning. For Kunal Kohli’s ‘Hum Tum,’ Yashraj borrowed the opening sequence from ‘Before Sunset’ with a few nods to the earlier film (apart from many to ‘When Harry Met Sally’) and now 12 years after Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Yashraj returns to churn out yet another remix of ‘Before Sunrise,’ with a touch of ‘The Usual Suspects.’
Preity’s sagging face reflects the audience’s hopes as the film meanders along like a one-act stage play with musical flashback interludes borrowed from the Farah Khan-Sirish Kunder school of storytelling.
Bobby’s inadequacy steals adjectives about the script, if at all there was one.
Screenwriter Habib Faisal’s theatre background shows. You can’t have two people talk sitting over a table for half the movie if you don’t have the lines to back this misadventure.
Abhishek’s Bling-it-like-Bachchan act would have been adorable, if not for that Amritsar-Born-Confused-Desi-in-London accent. O Blimey!? Surely Sunny Paaji was more convincing saying ‘No If, No But, Only Jat.’
You can swear that Lara is the only good thing and use some of that swearing to react to the rest of the ham-fest.
Yes, Shaad Ali has been very brave to try and do something different but not everything different is worth watching on the big screen.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Joy may have done a swell job on the music but this overdose is strictly for party animals. ‘Jhoom Barabar’ is a film you won’t mind watching on MTV with its kitschy choreography. It is a concert you won’t mind watching on stage if these very stars are performing live.
As a film, however, it’s an extremely excruciating experience… extended.
tht bobby deol fellow is still around??? this must be his centennial comeback?!!
I read somewhere in your earlier blog articles that you review the movie based on what the director wanted to tell and not with any personal expectations or how you would have liked it. How do you judge what the director really wanted to tell? Just by the promotional material or do you ask him/her or you just assume? In many cases, they just want to entertain, then the review really becomes a personal view point as every person feels entertained differently (at a certain level). Your review on Shootout at Lokhandwala, you wrote the gangsters were painted in a positive light, it is one way of provoking the question as Amitabh asks at the end – who do you want to guard you? and there are no answers, no one says it. Without gaining the audience’s sympathy, the viewer is not balanced enough to consider that question. If that wasn’t painted, it is very black and white, we need grey to question, moreover the gangsters cruelty was painted as well earlier in the movie. Regarding stylizing the movie, how do you engage all types of viewers in these times? If you engage, entertain and question then only audiences are going to look at it or let me say the masses. Without the entertainment factor, people don’t want to show up in the theatre. When it is entertainment, it again becomes a personal viewpoint, at best, a critic can generalize but not pick on it. Well, all reviews are personal at some point. Let me know your thoughts.
Enjoy your writings, they strike a chord, makes one think/feel – the world is real and they are not alone.
no no, he’s always been around… just that we don’t get to watch the movies because they don’t stay long enough.
i did type in a long reply to this post. I don’t know where it is.. I suspect the page expired after I typed it…
anyway, to answer it briefly this time:
There is a difference between sitting on the wall and hero worshipping both the cops and the robbers and between telling us the brutal truth.
Truth is best told with realism than in a stylised fashion.
My problem with Lokhandwala was that it was a dishonest film pretending to be sincere. It glorified the bad guys and the good guys leaving you confused about the morality of the conflict… The seriousness of the conflict is watered down by bad acting and style.
Ram Gopal Varma’s films on the underworld have demonstrated how to combine realism with style and yet be honest to the core of the conflict. He doesn’t sit on the fence. You clearly know what the issue is and are at some level relating to the bad guy and feeling sorry for him, irrespective of your moral stand.
In Shootout, the stylisation distances you from the reality of the characters and reduces them to trigger happy caricatures mouthing cornball lines.
And as a critic, you try to infer what the director tells you from the promos, the interviews and the content of the film… You have to consider all publicity around the film to arrive at what he’s tried to tell you.
If he wants it to be realistic, why would he sell-out his characters to play good-hearted goondas in Kyon Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thi?
That sorta dishonesty is what makes me not able to relate or appreciate Shootout at Lokhandwala.
Hope that answers your query!