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.