Jab Harry Met Sejal Review (NO SPOILERS): So Sexy I Think I’m Pregnant

OH MY GOD!!!  If you are attracted to Shahrukh Khan, and if you have found him increasingly attractive as he ages, then this movie will KILL YOU.  Like, kill you dead.  I thought he was distracting in Dear Zindagi, but this is a whole other level.  However, I should warn you, if you are not attracted to Shahrukh Khan, or find him less attractive as he ages, you will not enjoy this movie.

This is a really interesting movie.  Remove the Shahrukh part of it, and it wouldn’t be.  Not “Shahrukh incredibly hot”, although that is what gets your attention, but the performance.  I kept picturing this role played by Abhay Deol or Shahid Kapoor, and it would work (especially with Shahid I think), but it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without the 25 years of Shahrukh romantic history onscreen adding weight to what he is doing.

I think I see what they were going for.  This is kind of the culmination of the Imtiaz romances-that-aren’t-romances.  Because the “romance” part is skipped entirely.  Somehow they go straight from first meeting to a kind of unusual deep relationship with no stops along the way.

And it’s also sort of a film-that-isn’t-a-film.  There is no real plot, no real dialogue, no real characters.  It’s all internal.  The changes happen inside of the characters.

The dialogue is the weakest part.  At some points it feels like internal dialogue made verbal. “Now I feel this.  Now I think this.  This is the problem here”.  But, being generous, maybe that is on purpose?  This movie doesn’t want to mess around with all the fancy parts that other movies have, it wants to get right to the bone of the issue, to just say what it is thinking.

Most importantly, the actors really sell it.  Shahrukh is, as I said, brilliant.  But Anushka is too!  I didn’t even realize how good she was until Evelyn Sharma showed up.  Well, Evelyn Sharma and Rana Ranbir (I think?  I didn’t recognize him and that’s who The Internet says it is).  They are both okay actors, but they struggle with these lines, whereas Anushka and Shahrukh make them feel real.

And the centerpiece of the film is the “Radha” song.  I liked the way it sounded and I liked the trailer, but seeing it in context, it is just brilliant.  Explains the two characters, and then has them meet in the middle in the amazing moment when they finally sing in harmony.

The songs in general are real highlights.  I saw somewhere a complaint that there are too many songs.  But I didn’t feel that at all.  With this very internal kind of story, the songs are vital to help us understand what is happening, because what is happening is all what they are feeling.

And they are real song!  Individual songs with dance moves and planned videos and all of that!  And SO MANY!!!  There’s like 3 that never even got trailers!  It feels like such a throwback to the “olden days” of the 50s-60s when there was a song every 15 minutes, and they were all good.  If this is why Pritam knocked out Munna Michael in an afternoon, because he was working on this epic soundtrack, totally worth it!

 

So, if you are looking for a stripped down romance, in which Shahrukh is SO SEXY that it feels like porn, and a ton of songs with real song sequences, this is the movie for you.

If you are looking for a film with witty dialogue, an interesting plot, lots of fun characters, and just generally a “full” feeling, this is not it.

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23 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Review (NO SPOILERS): So Sexy I Think I’m Pregnant

  1. Pingback: Jab Harry Met Sejal Review (SPOILERS): She Is His Radha | dontcallitbollywood

  2. The complaint I saw most often online about the songs was not that there were too many (though that was also a complaint), but that they had nothing to do with the story, and hence felt intrusive. Interesting that you have the totally opposite take on it.

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    • For me, there really wasn’t a “story”, it was just an internal journey of the characters. Which the songs did a better job of exploring than any dialogue, so I found them more interesting than the “story” part of the film, they told us how people were feeling, which is what was the most important part.

      On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 1:47 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. Pingback: Jab Harry Met Sejal Video Review | dontcallitbollywood

  4. I heard about some negative responses before I watched it which made me very nervous. I honestly went in with low expectations so I was very happy and surprised that I managed to enjoy it a lot!

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    • Yeah, I don’t know where the super negative responses are coming from. Yes, it’s not The Film of The Year, but it’s a well-made movie with good acting and good songs. Still a totally enjoyable film.

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      • True!
        I read only one tweet about the movie, and it was something like “JHMS what a bad movie”. I was heart-broken but still wanted to see it. And i’m so glad I watched it! It was all ShahRukh-at-his-best fiesta. Oh man, he is so handsome in it. But apart of his handsomeness, all movie is good! Don’t know how somebody can say it wasn’t. Ok, it’s not Baahubali, but a good film, with very good actors (I lost count how many times I said “Shah Rukh is just too talented” durning the movie). I enjoyed it a lot.

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        • I’m so glad you got to see it! And yes, it’s a good movie. Not an epic huge movie, but a good solid film. I haven’t read any other reviews, and I think I am going to keep it that way because it doesn’t sound like anyone else got from the movie what I got from the movie.

          On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 4:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • You are so nice to remember I am helping my parents! Just got home, 7 hours of running around after guests preceded by two hours in the car preceded by 4 hours of sleep. I briefly considered stopping to see Fidaa on the way home, and then realized there was no way that was a good idea.

      On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 8:24 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. In my mind, somehow I find myself comparing recent SRK films to Om Shanti Om. OSO was magic. Me and four of my work friends, around 6 of us, went to watch this at a single screen in Shimla in the third week of release and we couldn’t get tickets so we bought them in black. Such was the craze for SRK back then. And we got the seats in the middle of the very first row in front, like 20 feet from the screen. There was cheering and clapping and whistles all through the film.

    The scene where Deepika pulls back her pardah, we were staring at our Muslim colleague who was literally staring at the screen with his mouth open! He blushed when he saw us looking at him looking at her and all of got goosebumps imagining what that scene must have done for him! It was such a pretty scene. THAT’S the magic people want from a Shahrukh film.

    We’re tired of SRK films. Give us a Shahrukh film!! Give us the magic. Everything else is a waste of our time! Even if SRK is super hot in a film, if the entire film isn’t magic, it feels like a miss. I’m still going to watch this one though. I need to get over the first 10 minutes of Dilwale that I watched flipping channels the other day.. YIKES!!!

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    • Heck, give us a film like that with any star! It just feels like the big budget movies aren’t taking risks anymore. I want something gorgeous and over the top and romantic, with a big budget and a big cast. That maybe won’t play for the cynical global audience, but who cares? those people are stupid, forget pulling punches to make it work for the sophisticates, just go all out for the audience that wants it.

      On Sun, Aug 6, 2017 at 11:19 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I know right! Something like a Hum Aapke Hai Kaun. Can someone who doesn’t give an eff about profits make that plz? Someone with money to burn (or evade taxes) Somebody just plz make a big star ensemble family romance film old school style! Set it in the 90s or 80s.

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  6. Pingback: Monday Morning Questions After Jab Harry Met Sejal! | dontcallitbollywood

  7. Okay, having seen it TWICE now – TWICE! – I am pretty sure I agree with you and that I am actually pregnant. I really thought DZ was the height of older-mature-bearded-hot SRK hotness. What the hell was going on in JHMS? I didn’t get the sense even once that he was trying to play a younger age, I think they just tried to make him look good (easy!) and went with it without drawing any attention or comment to the age of the actors.
    And because he was allowed to just play his age, and do his job for the role, it clicks immediately.
    Another comment (I am going to leave a more detailed comment on your SPOILERS post) – JHMS took me back a little bit to your discussion once about what love stories/romance movies will look like if we lived in a world without DDLJ. JHMS is another example of a love story that came after DDLJ and is unapologetically made possible because of DDLJ. (And I just don’t mean the two-unlikely-strangers-trekking-through-Europe thing.)

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    • Excellent point about the ages! They didn’t even bother addressing it directly. How old was he? Old enough. How young was she? Too young. He could have been anywhere from 38 to 45, she could have been anywhere from 24 to 34. All we needed to know was that Shahrukh was old enough that he felt tired and comfortable in his own skin, and Anushka was still too young to fully know herself. And the age difference was from where they were in their lives, not their chronological age.

      On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 5:53 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Absolutely! I think Imitiaz was committed to keeping everything honest with both the actors. For example, another similar thing – they made NO ATTEMPTS to hide the fact that Anushka is taller than Shah Rukh.

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        • I wonder if that is part of his style? It seems like he is a very big on method and working with the actors to get them in character. I could see that after he cast them, rather than alter the actors to fit the characters, he worked with the actors to figure out a way to make the characters work with them. And again, I keep coming back to Highway! Where it seemed ridiculous to cast babyfaced Alia as a leading role, and then instead of trying to hide her baby face and baby fat like in SOTY, he leaned into that.

          On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 7:06 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. Pingback: Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene Index | dontcallitbollywood

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