Director: Imtiaz Ali
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Dara Singh
Storyline: Suicidal boy meets chirpy girl on a train and change each other’s lives forever.
Bottomline: Sweet little love story
How good can a Shahid Kapoor movie possibly be?
You will be surprised watching ‘Jab We Met.’
It not only gives Shahid a break and a role that helps him out of his Shah Rukh Khan hangover, it also exploits Kareena’s bubbly persona to make an author-backed role one of the most memorable characters in recent film history.
In spite of its predictable plot, the film is refreshingly natural and full of life (with plenty of help from cinematographer Nutty Subramaniam), with director Imtiaz Ali having a flair for dialogue, especially in bringing out larger-than-life elements from relatable characters set within a realistic sensibility, in a way that it reminds you of what the Chopras used to be, till they made Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and eventually deteriorated to assembly-line productions.
Coming to think of it, Jab We Met is even what Barjatyas used to be: With great emphasis on writing, creating beautiful bonds that developed into love, milking the emotional connect and feel-good from a sense of family and friendship, drenched in the innocence of every day life and the warmth of simple people with simpler needs: love.
The first half is completely The Shahid-Kareena Show as they brilliantly anchor the film with their natural chemistry of the opposites, reminding you of Linklater’s ‘Before Sunrise.’ She meets him on the train on the verge of suicide, infuses some life back into him with a little humour, optimism and infectious dose of energy (déjà vu Elizabethtown?), before continuing her adventure of a life whose sole mission is to run away with the man she believes she loves.
The parts immediately after interval slow down proceedings but the film does find its way back to the plot eventually when the couple connects back with each other.
It is a delight to watch this young couple be themselves.
Shahid does a great job when he’s underplaying his suicidal depressed mood though his chirpiness still seems a little awkward and forced while Kareena pulls off the role of her career with her chitter-chatter chirpiness to the degree of likeability – the way Hema Malini did as ‘Basanti’ or Sonali Bendre did in ‘Sarfarosh’.
Can’t wait to watch more from Imtiaz Ali.