Imtiaz Ali’s Jab Harry met Sejal seems to be caught between the crossroads – like it’s trying to figure out its path, picks one route, halfway down decides it’s no good and heads in the opposite direction. Right from the title that appears to be a portmanteau phrase from the director’s own blockbuster movie Jab We Met and the American sitcom When Harry met Sally, it’s hard to shrug off the feeling that you have seen it all.
Shah Rukh Khan is Harinder Singh Nehra, a tour guide in Europe, who goes by the name Harry. Anushka Sharma as Sejal Zaveri is his nemesis, who gives her flight to India a miss as she has lost her engagement ring. And it obviously falls on the poor tour guide to take her on this journey in search of the all-important, romantic-walla ring!
From then on, the trudge begins – you are taken from Amsterdam to Prague to Budapest as Sejal looks under the benches of random cafes, and world-renowned museums for her ring. Yeah, obviously they break into songs and dance whenever they get a chance, and then continue to their next destination.
Also read: Jab Harry Met Sejal at Prague
But even for Bollywood standards, Sejal, dressed in a red designer attire, singing ‘Main Banoogi Teri Radha’ sounds jarring to say the least. They also get chased by thugs in the western world, but SRK manages to talk his way out – only if we were able to digest what the thugs could!
By now, an exasperated Harry, who is in the habit of breaking into Punjabi slurs, tries to explain in all methods possible that the journey is fruitless. But selfish Sejal is in no mood to listen as she adamantly repeats that you can find even God, only if you were to look for it, and we continue to look for the next city. Ali has a handy map that pops up onscreen quite often and traces their journey from one European city to another.
Even Pritam songs do little to lift the mood of the film. Cinematographer K.U. Mohanan perhaps had the best job as he got to capture the exotic cities and beautiful greens. There is no elaborate cast out here, save for the lead pair.
Anushka doesn’t have much to do other than mouth some silly dialogues in most part of the film but holds her own during the emotional bits. SRK gives a matured performance but even that doesn’t seem to have helped this movie.
In Jab We Met, Kareena Kapoor’s Geet had missed her train; in the director’s last film Tamasha, Deepika Padukone’s character had lost her bag but in this one I am afraid, the ace writer-director seems to have lost his script. It’s not just that the movie was not remarkable, it looked very unbecoming of a director who had earned both respect and accolades for his filmmaking.
One thing is for sure, I certainly did not get what I went looking for.