Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene Part 26: The Kiss

Well, here we are, the best part, which I have set aside in its own post for your re-reading ease. And my writing pleasure.  And which also means that “Butterfly” gets it’s own post, Part 27, so we are BEATING BAHUBALI 2!!!!  Be very proud.  (full index of JHMS coverage here)

Previously: They fell in love and then had a fight and he sent her away back to get married, then regretted it and has tracked her down to her wedding.  Only to learn it isn’t “her” wedding any more, she called it off and a different couple snapped up the venue last minute.

 

Shahrukh hugged the couple who gave him this news, and then kind of wandered off in a daze.  And as he walked away, he saw Anushka in the distance, standing in the garden outside the venue.  She noticed him noticing her and immediately started walking away.  And Shahrukh leaped up on the grass, through a gorgeous circular design in marigolds, and back onto the walk, following her.

Let’s take a moment for how brilliant Anushka’s characterization is here, and for how brave she is as a character.  First, the characterization.  To show it to us in this way.  No backstory, no big dramatic scenes.  Just that the wedding was canceled and that she is here now.  We know that the bride and groom don’t even know her enough to recognize the name.  And she is standing not inside the party, but outside of it, by herself.  And dressed, dressed really nicely.  The filmmakers trusted us enough to think that we can sketch it all in for ourselves, we don’t need it explained.  Just like Shahrukh, we see her and we know everything.

And then there’s the character itself, not just how she is presented, but the bare facts of what she did.  For once, a heroine who breaks the wedding and the engagement just for herself, not for the guy.  I don’t think Anushka broke it off because she thought Shahrukh might come for her.  I think she did it because she didn’t want to marry Rupen.  She didn’t want that whole life any more.  And from what we know of her family, from the little hints in phone calls and comments, this was no small thing, to break this wedding and engagement.  She finally stood up for herself against them all, broke all the rules instead of trying to follow them.

(Although sometimes you follow the rules and marry the guy you don’t love and he turns out to be Kunal Kapoor in a turban.  So it’s not always a bad idea)

And now there’s the amazing leap here.  To show up to a wedding, that she wasn’t invited to, dressed the way she likes and which she knows Shahrukh will like, and just wait with her heart in her throat to see if he comes.  This is brave both because it goes so far, and because it doesn’t go too far.  She did all of this, but none of it would matter if Shahrukh didn’t show up.  And if he didn’t show up, he would never know.  She had at least a few weeks to contact him, to tell him “I canceled the wedding, I want you”.  But she didn’t do that.  Because she didn’t know, for sure, that he wanted her.  Or she didn’t know if he knew yet that he wanted her.  So instead, she resisted and waited, and then came here for him and let him make the final steps.

Let’s also take a moment for the imagery.  As Claudia pointed out in the comments, that marigold pattern is yet another circle in the film.  But beyond that, I love that Shahrukh cuts right across it to get to her.  He is drawn like a magnet to her by the most direct route, even if it means getting off the path and crossing right over the grass.

I also think it was brilliant that Anushka walks away at first.  It means we get to see Shahrukh following her, one last time.  But it also makes sense to me for the character in a lot of different ways.  First, now that Shahrukh is here, she is suddenly shy and unsure and has to run away for a bit.  Second, she stayed close to the venue to the crowded areas, so Shahrukh would see her (if he came).  But now that he is here, she wants to get away, to give them some privacy for this moment, moving to a more isolated location.

And so Shahrukh follows and she leads until she finally finds a place that feels right and sits down.  I love their first interaction.  Shahrukh comes up and stands next to her, she kind of flicks a glance at him like she is afraid to look directly, looks away, and then back, and drops into the script she probably learned as a little girl to handle any social situation, asking “you want anything?  Tea, coffee, cold drink?”  Shahrukh says “no no, no formality.”  There is the barest hint of a raised eyebrow and a smile in his voice.  But in her voice, I didn’t sense a smile exactly, this ridiculous opening isn’t a joke, it’s just her being pure nerves and not knowing what else to say.

And then Shahrukh stands for a moment and loosens his tie.  This is such a perfect gesture at the moment.  He’s getting rid of that little bit of a costume he put on to get into the party, returning to more of his real self.  He’s also loosening up, preparing himself for a fight that is coming, a fight with himself and with her.  A challenge.

End

And then once he is ready, he starts.  Just like in their break up, he is taking the lead in the making up.  After she did the huge gesture, he is taking over and fixing the rest of it.  And so he starts gently, trying not to scare her any more than she is already scared.  He asks, “So, no wedding?”  Anushka gives a speech that I am guessing she prepared.  She couldn’t marry Rupen.  He was a nice boy.  And it turns out, she was the kind of cheap woman who would run off with a tour guide.

On the surface, this is throwing his words back at him, the challenge he gave her in their fight (thank you Molly for reminding me!).  Was she ready for the lowest most disgusting version of what people would say about her?  What she might, in the darkest moments, think about herself?  And she is saying it calmly (well, a little nervous, but not angry).  She can say those words and not be afraid any more.

But it also about her.  She isn’t saying she broke up with Rupen so that she could be the woman who runs off with a tour guide, because she wants a tour guide.  She broke up with Rupen because she is “this kind of woman”.  It was about her, not Shahrukh, just her.  And I think she knows he needs to hear that.  That is why they broke up, the heart of it, he didn’t think she was brave enough to face this about herself, he didn’t want to be the person who turned her into that.  And so when she repeats those words back, she is telling him it is okay, he doesn’t have to be afraid, she is ready.

And this lets him see his way forward.  He listens to her and moves slightly closer and says “no no.  no no.  I came all this way, there has to be a wedding.”  Anushka swallows and kind of nods and tries to be cool when she responds saying “how about an engagement now, and a wedding later?”  Only her voice kind of goes thick and breaks in the middle of her talking.  Which breaks through her cool.  I think she is trying to take the pressure off of him, she is scared that he doesn’t mean it, ready to be rejected, for him not to go all the way.  He doesn’t have to propose, they don’t have to be married, they can just be engaged for now if he wants.  Just because she broke off her wedding, that doesn’t mean he has to marry her out of pity.  But he rejects that, says “No, there has to be a wedding.”  And Anushka tries to be light and breezy, asks if he has a ring.  But she can’t pull off the light and breezy, her mouth is working and her voice keeps shaking a little and getting a kind of pure note of joy underneath it.

Anushka.jpg

The ring question, if these actors were less skilfull and the film built less perfectly, would have felt cheesy and obvious.  But instead, it feels like Anushka knows it is cheesy and obvious and is saying it because she can’t think of anything else to say, she is shaking with joy on the inside and trying to stop herself from crying or laughing, or doing anything that might break this perfect moment.

And then Shahrukh gives his speech.  His speech, that I wonder if he rehearsed on the plane, while trying to clean himself up in the bathroom, while running through the airport?  Or did it just appear in his mind at this moment?  I think maybe both.  I think he spent all that time running through ideas in his head, trying to picture the moment he saw her, how it would happen.  And now, now that he is on the spot and it is all make or break for him, all of those ideas are suddenly coming together and he is working it out as he says it.

He tells her “I don’t have a ring.  But I have something of mine that belongs to you.  I have a certain lack/limit/void.”  He slowly gets down on his knees at this point.  It’s the posture you make when you propose, the proper posture that Rupen took and Anushka imitated when she was describing it to Shahrukh long long ago.  But in this case, it is also the natural thing for him to do.  He isn’t kneeling before her to propose, he is kneeling before her because he is acknowledging how much he needs her, and this is what you do when you suddenly feel how very much you need something, how very much you want something.  He is worshiping her and begging her and praying before her and asking for her like a little boy in front of his mother, because it is all too much for him and it is literally driving him to his knees with the want of it all, everything she is to him.

From his knees, he tells her that he has this void.  And he didn’t know it, but it is hers.  She is the one that can fill it, that it was made for.  And if she takes it, he promises to keep her always feeling worthy and beautiful all the days of her life.

In a different film, we would only have the first part of the speech.  Shahrukh needs Anushka, she should be touched by how much he needs her, how much she is the one person in the world who can save him.  They had that conversation already, him saying that she can save him, and her saying that she will.  And later they had a different conversation, him saying that she has to take care of herself because he won’t be there to take care of her.  Another film would have left it there.  He needs her, and he will take care of her.

(Love Ghulam, love this song, but this relationship really isn’t much beyond “save me”, “take care of me”)

But this film goes a little further.  Because these characters aren’t just the “bad boy” and the “poor little rich girl”.  Shahrukh doesn’t need to be simply saved from his bad lifestyle, there is a real emptiness inside of him, true misery there.  And the bond he feels with Anushka is more than her cleanliness washing over him, there is something unique about her that fills that special void within him.

But more than that, Shahrukh knows Anushka doesn’t just need to be “taken care of” by him, she needs and deserves more than that.  Not just a man who will love her, who needs her, but a man who will give her what she most needs, the sense that she is beautiful and worthy.  And this film knows Anushka too.  She isn’t only a lonely rich girl slumming it.  She was working through her own problems.  Her own sense that no one wanted her, that she was un-wantable.  That is what Shahrukh is promising, that fear and sadness will never come back into her life, he will keep her always knowing she is beautiful just as she is.

Anushka wants to say yes, really can’t say no to this.  But she is still trying to take it slow, to make sure this won’t be taken away from her, to make sure it is something that is real and permanent and right.  And so she brings up, in a careful way, the one unspoken thing.  How does he know she is “worth it”.  Worth all he is offering her, keeping her beautiful always, and giving her his emptiness to take care of?  Worth taking this silly inexperienced childish woman as his partner in love and live forever and ever.  And yes, this is the phrase they have used before for sex.  And yes, it is about sex.  But about so much more than that.  He has a whole life before her, a life of experiences (sexual and otherwise) that have turned him into this difficult desirable man.  And she is asking, one last time, is this what he wants?  This woman who knows nothing about anything.  Is it the dream he wants or the reality?

She asks the question and then looks at him with her face shifting a little with the effort of keeping it still.  Her mouth is working a little as she tries to think of something else to say but her mind is blank.  There is so much in her right now, she is trembling with eagerness but not sure what to do next.  Not sure what happens next.  I don’t think she ever got past this part in her fantasies of this moment.  She knew the things she could say, she dressed in her new clothes, her “real” clothes, mature colors of rich browns that bring out her eyes and her hair, but still in the somewhat youthful style of the Salwar Kameez, with a simple hair down her back and simple eye make-up, the version of Anushka that she likes best and which she knew Shahrukh would like best.  She found the perfect place to sit outside, where he would be sure to see her if he came, not inside where she would have to make small talk with wedding guests.  And then he arrived, and she found herself dropping into meaningless “tea, coffee?” before bringing out the line she knows she has to say, telling him that she broke the engagement because she is indeed the low woman he accused her of being, giving him his opening.  But now he has taken the opening and what’s next?  Should she keep talking?  Try to remember the other words she practiced?  Reach for him?  Kiss him?

And in that moment of hesitation, that’s when Shahrukh takes her by surprise.  He gives it a moment after her statement.  It isn’t an impulsive response to what she is saying, it is something he knew he had to do and he was waiting for the opening.  And here it is.  The moment when words aren’t going to be enough, when he has to somehow show her how he feels about her.  Not after an evening of emotions like in Portugal, a fumble in a secret bedroom, but here, in public, the right way.  And he has to do it the right way, so she knows how he feels, but also knows he doesn’t want anything more from her than she can offer.  That what she can offer is all he wants, because it is her.

(Another time when he had to do it just right to show her he truly wants her, without scaring her off, without going too far too fast)

And so he leans up, ever so slightly above where he already was beneath her, and puts his lips against hers, coming together not in a passionate overpowering moment, but in a gentle fit.  Her mouth is slightly open and his adjusts to that, moving his softly against hers.  The lips meet first, because they had to, because he couldn’t wait one more second for this kiss.  But once they do, his hands come up to cradle her head, to hold her safe as she loses control.  The camera moves away from their lips to show Anushka’s hand grasping the ground and releasing.  This kiss isn’t about the kiss itself, it is about what it means to Anushka, how it is overwhelming her and embracing her at the same time.  And then we see one last shot, Shahrukh ending the kiss just they reach the ground.  This was just a taste, not the full course.  An appetizer to make sure she enjoyed the flavor.

And he wasn’t sure she would enjoy the flavor.  It’s in his face as he sits himself up.  A kind of half relieved, half ashamed, and a little in shock kind of expression.  I said in the comments on a much earlier post that this kiss was a test for them both, but mostly Shahrukh.  He had to give her just the right kind of kiss to make her feel excited and happy and loved and safe all at once.  It wasn’t like in Portugal, when it was all mindless excitement.  This is mindful now.  This is the start of their life together.  It has to go just right, or it could still all fall apart.  He has to hold himself back so he doesn’t go past what she is capable of experiencing, while still letting her know she is truly desired.

And he still doesn’t know, for sure, if he succeeded.  He has to know something, all his experience has to tell him that the way she is laying down, flat out on the ground for another minute, means she is overcome.  But it is possible it was no good, he has to give her that silent look at she sits up, not sure if he still has the right to meet her eyes.  Anushka is sure, now.  She can’t speak, but her face has stopped trembling, there is sureness in her eyes.  And she gives him a completely “Sejal” style of approval.  Two thumbs up.  The kind of response a little kid might give, but in response to a very womanly emotion.  She has refound herself, the person she was on their travels, and now she knows exactly what to do.  No more shaking voice and rehearsed words.  Instead, she reaches for him as he reaches for her, and the camera slowly pulls back on them embrace.  And then the slight moment when they shift closer together.  Because they just need to be close to each other.

Hug.jpg

What makes this kiss so heart stoppingly wonderful is that, for once, we don’t end on the camera fading away.  Or the sun setting.  Or anything else like that.  We end on this, the moment after.  They kiss, and it is wonderful.  The kiss is exactly what it is, a moment of confirmation that their relationship can be full and rich and rewarding in every way.  But it isn’t everything they want, it isn’t even what they want most.  What they want is this, to just be together, forever always.

 

And I am going to leave them there, together, for just a moment.  And put the final post, the “Butterfly” post, up in a little bit.

 

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48 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene Part 26: The Kiss

  1. I’m swooning. This is lovely. One line you left out is that after he tells her, on his knees, that “lifelong” he’ll make her feel worthy, she says, “Ok. I’m ready.” An affirmative acceptance of his proposal, before the kiss. Then Harry says, “Phir, how do we do this?” And that’s when she moves on to, teasingly, “I’m not a girl on the side, right?”, and “Well, you could say something to prove it to me..”, before he kisses her. So for me he has proposed and she has accepted, and the kiss is the ring.

    I just love that simple, “Ok, I’m ready.” One can see her whole journey in the film leading up to her being able to say that to Harry, to understand its implications, and to mean it fully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I was just going to write that you missed this part where she says she’s ready and then she kinda goes back to teasing him, her sarcasm used the right way now, where she’s egging him on, She goes Now its not chori chupe, now toh we are out in the open, so since you think I am layak you could kiss me and that could be our romantic engagement” and he’s of course completely wound up by her teasing and his expression is all like- come here you lil minx! let me show you how layak you are!!

      I found it very similar to the scene after she gets rid of Klara and playfully asks him to show how layak she is and he just starts pawing at her 🙂 But this time its for real 🙂

      But of course after the kiss, he’s wondering if he came on too strong cause this woman looks like she’s swooned over (CMON I ALMOST SWOONED OVER!!) but she sits up and is like two thumbs up.

      And then teh way they cuddle with her adjusting herself to literally sit on his lap! AWWW ❤ Perfect ending!!

      Liked by 2 people

        • There’s a teasing quality to the entire thing, its a very adorable and sweet throwback at their initial churlish teasing of each other, now its laced with so much love. Even that first “Oh Hi, so you’ve come” and he’s all “Yeah I said I would” and she does her usual “tea coffee? or some cold drink?” and he’s all “no no , no formality”.

          its so cute. ugh. these two are going to be that couple who’s so adorable that all their friends roll their eyes at them 😛

          Liked by 3 people

      • The lap bit was just precious. The need to get even closer to him and the way he immediately adjusted as well…sigh! One of the best hugs I’ve ever seen.

        Let’s not even get started on the kiss. All fantasies of SRK coming alive…

        Liked by 3 people

    • Something I love about this scene is that it gives closure to JTHJ as well as the film we’re actually watching. Samar tells Akira that he’ll come to her next (life)time as a ‘modern lover’ and they’ll have a full-on modern love story. But Akira tells him that she wants him to come back exactly as he is now~as this wildly romantic, completely devoted & ‘old fashioned’ lover who can see only one woman; is attracted to only one woman in that way.

      And that is precisely how the newly healed Harry comes to Sejal~as a lover who sees & needs no one but her.

      And to demonstrate that to her, he gives her that world-rocking kiss that IS world-rocking not because Harry is no doubt the best kisser in the world but because it expresses all the love he has for her; all the need; all the longing; all the joy that he has found in her~this woman who has filled the empty part of him that he never in a million years expected to be filled.

      And I agree that he dialed it down for her~but not to frighten her. I think he did it: A) because it was a romantically passionate kiss, appropriate for thecTRUE ‘romantic proposal’ Sejal deserved and B) so that they wouldn’t end up making love right there and then on the lawn at the wedding venue!

      I think they will have an amazing life together. Full of love & of actual physical & romantic passion that will make them the role models for everyone who is fortunate enough to know them.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Oh, yes! Great connection to JTKJ. all the comments here are wonderful, and Margaret, you have brought my memory of the scene to life again. It bothers me not one bit that this scene-by-scene is longer than Baahubali 2’s. This is actually a much more complex film, because it is so interior.

        Speaking of interior, I got the same satisfaction from this scene as I did when Emma Thompson/Elinor broke down in relief at the end of Sense and Sensibility. That’s a measure of how well Imtiaz built this film, to create just the right amount of sexual and dramatic tension. It’s not just the acting, it’s the lighting, the music, the editing. Fantastic, and I can not wait to own the DVD.

        Liked by 2 people

    • This is amazing, usually when I do the scene by scenes of films in theaters, there is this lag, and then I get corrections and additions once the DVD comes out or it hits streaming services. But with this film (and Bahubali 2), there is something so amazing and memorable about it, that we can talk about line by line just based on memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sejal is sitting outside, not standing…I am sure of that, because she stands up later and is – again – guiding him to a place she knew would be more appropriate for coming together than the entrance area of the venue. She had waited there (hidden then) to see if he would come…and when he had entered she had chosen a place where he must see her, but in a totally non imposing pose – sitting, her back to him…it touched me deeply, more than any other of her poses in the movie…she seemed so fragile … and maybe it is far-fetched, but it remembered me the pose Harry had just before Radha, crouched before the balustrade’s pillar, with his back to her…and when he notices her coming, he stands up and goes away (but not in a guiding manner)…and it remembered me the position they had when they hid crouched outside the boat during the chase – together!…when there visibly happened this ‘little something’ that would tie them together the rest of their lives. (I told you, I have a knack for the number 3 …)

    Again- contrary to you, I think that she broke off the marriage because of Harry, because she wanted to be free for him when he was coming…it only took some time to take this decision (in the meantime spending the least of energy to confront her family’s vision of her future)…and see, she was ‘practical’ again…cancelling it at a time another couple could take the date. There must be a reason why I thought that…maybe it was in the dialogues, in the spoken/unspoken words…maybe I just thought ‘never underestimate the intuition of a woman in love loved back’. Because she had told him that she would wish him to find what he was seeking (that’s the ‘selfishness’ she had…for her own emotional health)…and I bet she felt that it was she the one who could give him what he needed (didn’t she clearly say that she would be able/ready/there to care for him the rest of his life?). It took time to rewind the journey she has lived with him, done herself, imposed on him…and I know that he said something which made her sure of his love for her other than the “I’m not there anymore to care for you” (because he never left her, he had become her inner strength).
    I don’t think that she really pondered about Rupen or rules but that her ‘practical’ mind just told her to spend her energy of figuring out her own position in life with everything she has got as ‘input’ from being with Harry. You know, I believe she would have contacted Mayank if Harry had not come…she would have come to him wherever…she came to the venue…she had reached the level husband-wife.

    There are three circles, imo: one from Amsterdam airport to Amsterdam airport, one from the seeking to the finding, one from India to overseas and back.

    Oh Margaret, this time I seem to be in a contradicting?/contradictory? mood 😉 I agree that it is a very special situation and they are both emotionally charged. Yet I think that Sejal has no doubts, neither about herself, nor about him…she is just not accustomed to handle emotionally charged situations, so she becomes – in a slight humerous way – ‘practical’ (there is no possibility to serve him anything than her love)… somebody wrote, that during the fight she 3 times asked him what he wants…so she asks him again…like she did when he came to her hotelroom the first evening in Amsterdam…still open to every route he would take.
    You remember? He just had told her what a cheap character he was, not reliable, seducing women, sleeping with women…it would be dangerous for her being around him (what indeed – somehow – got true)…and then, taking the decision in her head to write the indemnity bond, to stick to him, she offered him a variety of drinks – matter-of-factly, a formality, so fully out-of-context. This scene was so revealing concerning Harry’s character…he may have told her all that to scare her away, to get rid of her but the fact that he came to her to display all his lewdness…wow…
    And now here he has come (a much longer way but what does that matter!) to reveal the next important thing about himself, and it is the reverse…first the formality (absolutely out-of-context) then his confession.
    His kneeling position…a three-way-explanation from me: he puts himself on the same level she is (not standing above her), he offers himself, he wants to propose.

    For everything else, honestly, I have to get the spoken words (including the suite of them)…

    As for the kiss…I vehemently like to defend that it was nothing he had in mind at the time of his proposal, it was exclusively at the spur of the moment, in the reaction to her awkward kind of getting to know how much he is sexually attracted to her (nobody ever gave her those butterflies which are baaaaack in huge number, fluttering, fluttering, which were there every time she thought of Harry)…he just closes her mouth, stops her stuttering with the only proof it needs…at the right time, in the right moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ooohhh sorry, had to come back, because, because…

      (first I would do a correction: (nobody ELSE ever gave her these butterflies…)

      Then, I posted my comment without having finished to read your text, Margaret…had to do something but wanted quickly to put the already written text on your blog.
      However, there is something relative to the kiss I would like to add. There is so much hidden humour in the movie and so the double “A1” made me think of RabNe and the kiss she missed in JabTakHaiJaan…well, and of all the negative comments about the kind of kisses he had with Kat…
      And I think, Harry/ShahRukh just astonished himself…and yes, I think it was meant as a really passionate kiss, not long, but with a long-lasting impression 😀

      Something else, I think Harry wasn’t hesitating but her “I’m ready” (thanks a lot, procrastinatrix 🙂 ) assured him that he could show her what would not have been meaningless (in no way!) in Lisbon, but would be ‘right’ now…and well, it starts with the kiss and the mutual promise to much more closeness…

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think for the kiss, it is something he must have on some level considered. I mean, they had to have a first kiss eventually. And he said he wanted to do it “not like this”. Which makes me think, he must have started thinking how he did want to do it. Must have worried about scaring her, about being able to show her his love. And then in the moment it just happened.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for pointing out the circle motif! That will enrich my next viewing.

      I agree that if Harry hadn’t shown up, Sejal would have taken some course of action to see Harry soon after. He is her man, and she is his woman!

      Like

  3. Can we talk about how they managed to get SRK to do that kiss? Not just to do it but to actually make it look believable after the disastrous so called kisses in JTHJ?

    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when they convinced him to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did they have to convince him?

      I still think that the kisses in JabTakHaiJaan matched the relation between Samar and Meera at exactly that moment…more assured/full/passionate kisses would have been totally out of context…they had to be either tentative or tender (which they were)…I found them perfectly matching to Meera’s character and the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • For JTHJ, there were a lot of interviews explaining that Yashji and Adi told him he had to agree to the kisses if he wanted to be in the film, and of course he wanted to be in the film since it was going to be Yashji’s last. He said it kind of humorously, and maybe it was just a story they came up with for PR, but it was acknowledging that kissing onscreen used to be a big no-no for him, something he just wasn’t willing to do.

        For this one, to me, the kiss feels like the only possible ending for these characters, and in my imagination, that is why Shahrukh agreed. Because as an actor, he could see that it was required. I also think that, as an actor, he did it so well in this instance because he was so buried deep in his character that the embarrassment Shahrukh-the-man might feel over kissing in public, and someone not his wife, went away.

        On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 1:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Liked by 2 people

        • It’s amazing how different he is in real life. I’m remembering something I read where apparently after doing the “aur paas aur paas” scene with Madhuri, he started apologizing and saying “I’m sorry I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it.” lol

          Katrina said before doing her first scene with SRK, she had never seen his eyes because he would always be looking at his shoes or elsewhere but never directly into her eyes. He becomes a completely different person once the camera goes on.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, so much. Carol and I have been discussing the moment when Imtiaz actually told him that there would be that kiss and when he agreed to it. I think the Kat in JTHJ kiss was terrible because she gave him nothing to work with; he wasn’t nearly as comfortable with her as he is with Anushka; it was the first time he kissed on screen; and while he may have done it cause Yash asked him to (he joked he was paid extra; I never saw him say that they wouldn’t have let him be in the movie) his heart wasn’t in it. I think this film had much better character building; there was much better rapport and Anushka is a much worthier co actor.
    Now, in the context: one part that I didn’t quite get was her “grading” him withs the thumbs up. Isn’t the question on the table: is she sexy enough for this experienced man? Isn’t he the one who should be reassuring her that she is “worthy”? i have to admit my favorite moment is that crushing hug. She virtually climbs into his lap. That is the kind of hug you give someone you’ve missed terribly or who you were very worried about or with whom you’ve had a terrible fight and you want to get as close in as possible. While sex might be technically the closest two people can get, too much else is going on and there is a out of body aspect to that. This hug is the real deal because all of the above apply to them. So much more to say but have to take some restless youngsters outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now you have me thinking about the thumbs up. I think the question of “worthy” has become something she can answer now. She will be able to tell from his kiss, and her reaction to it, if she is “worthy”, if sex is on the table for the two of them. I think that’s his balancing act, he has to show he is attracted to her, sincerely, not just being nice or because he is in love with her. But in a way that will cause a reaction in her without scaring her off. That’s what he is waiting for, the verdict of “I believe you and I liked it.”

      On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 2:36 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you’re right, Margaret. I think the thumbs up means, OK, I believe you think I’m “layak” now. This has been running through the whole movie and I think the kiss just puts it to rest. So the thumbs up is to signal to Harry that Sejal gets it finally.

        And as I said in my reply below, the kiss is perfect. Harry succeeds in the balancing act and conveys what he wants to convey, and doesn’t scare her off.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh my goodness there’s so much to say here.

    As to Anushka’s characterization of this character in this scene, I agree it was just perfect. As Claudia mentioned, Sejal is seated when Harry walks out to the garden. It is almost as if she senses his presence. He sees her and then she turns to see him. She turns back away from him–we see her face, and it is a mixture of terror and relief I thought–and gets up and walks away to a more private setting (I think you’re right about this, Margaret. She needed to be in a place where Harry could see her, but that was not the right place to have this encounter).

    I think your interpretation of the conversation is absolutely right, with the addition of the line procrastinatrix and p point out. The dramatic tension which is somehow also lightly depicted is just absolutely wonderful here.

    I am with anonymous on how the heck did Imtiaz get him to do this? I’ve been puzzling over it since my first watch, which seems like a lifetime ago. In my mind there could have been several things operating. Like Yashji, Imtiaz may have just said from the outset that this character HAS to kiss Sejal. He is right about that, but still, it would have been possible to film without us really seeing the lip lock. I also agree with you Margaret that Shah Rukh was so in his character, but so was Anushka. And, unlike Katrina, Anushka gave him something to work with, and work off of. There’s a real emotional connect not only between these two characters, but these two actors. I think I really appreciated that in the way they scrunch together into a tighter hug after the kiss. That felt “real” and possibly improvised. Finally, I wonder if Shah Rukh is just over it. He’s pushing 52 and, even though he has been playing younger in recent films, he has been playing an actual adult (with the exception of Gaurav in Fan). And adults kiss. Of course, we could speculate endlessly about which other actresses he may or may not kiss in future films!

    (FYI, Shah Rukh didn’t know when they filmed JTHJ that it would be Yash’s last film. He revealed that in the interview Shah Rukh did for Yash’s 80th birthday very shortly before he died. It’s on YouTube, with subtitles if anyone is interested. Shah Rukh got all choked up when Yash announced that it was his last film, and said something like “Please don’t tell me that. I couldn’t bear to think there won’t be more”).

    And the kiss. Oh my, that kiss! Sejal is talking when Harry goes in for the kiss. I think with all her prattling on about being layak and all he just has to kiss her to put it to rest. And the kiss is just perfect for what it is, as you point out. Tender and caring and passionate but not overwhelming. Just want to add that someone on twitter posted a link to what has to be an illegal download of the kiss (taken in a movie theater I am sure) which you can see here:

    I see there are several versions of this on YouTube, including one that shows it 3 times in slower and slower speeds! So we are not alone. (If you look at the kissing part, I think it was done at least in 2 takes, since we don’t see Sejal’s hands leave the grass, but her hands are on his back when he pulls away. I guess I’ve watched a few times!)

    And, you’re welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU!!!! Well, that solves my question of what to do with my evening.

      Also, I love your point about Shahrukh just being over it. The kissing here feels like playing the aggressive Muslim in Raees, or playing the darkest version of himself in Fan. He is past his hangups, past thinking about what makes sense for the rest of his career, he is just enjoying doing whatever feels right for the role.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hope you’re right about him being past all that. It certainly makes for more interesting movie watching. Although I wonder if it is true. His absence from twitter or other social media, outside of perfunctory tweets about cricket, etc., I think speaks to how upset he is with the hate. Even though he knows there’s a lot more love out there than hate.

        Enjoy your evening!

        Liked by 1 person

          • OK, here goes.
            Just before he kisses her he sort of nods his head. He’s motioned that way throughout this part of the scene as Sejal is talking. But it seemed to me (after watching this waaaaaaay too many times!) that he gives a more pronounced nod of the head just before he kisses her. The camera is behind his head for this. So I wondered whether that was a bit of stagecraft or a signal to Anushka the actor, rather than Sejal the character, that he was coming in.

            I’ve paid such close attention to this in part because I just love this kiss, but also because I’m trying to understand just how this happened with Shah Rukh, who has in the past acknowledged that the idea of kissing onscreen makes him terribly uncomfortable. (See the awkward kisses in JTHJ as evidence) I can imagine that he tried some tricks, with the help of Anushka and Imtiaz, so it would go smoothly.

            Having said that, the actual kiss looks so convincingly natural it is entirely possible that he didn’t need any crutches to get him through it. Maybe all the other things made it possible to just do this–Anushka as a great co-actor, his immersion in this character, or just being more of a grownup about kissing onscreen.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Just rewatched it thanks to the lovely youtube link, and I see what you mean. It could be nothing, but it could also be a little routine. Which might have helped it be slightly improvised, if the idea was for Anushka to just keep talking until Shahrukh felt the moment was right, and then he would give a nod to give her warning. Or maybe a double thing, maybe Anushka had a word or a half beat she could take, then he nods, then it happens. It’s not like the Portugal scene, where there is space for improvisation in dialogue and action, this time they can improvise and make it feel right with everything else, but the actual kiss had to go just right so they wouldn’t knock heads or fall over too fast or anything.

            On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 10:30 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Liked by 2 people

    • My my my. Thanks for posting that! Love the way the music builds and releases, even if it is a bit on the nose. And, I notice that Shah Rukh’s protecting his bad knee even while kissing and laying Anushka down. Poor guy.

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

  7. I have really enjoyed your scene-by-scene of this beautiful movie. I haven’t wanted to post only because I was on a trip and using my phone keyboard. I think the key scene is when Sejal laughs in the outdoor cafe and says she’s not the type to elope with a tour guide. It cut Harry to the quick, although he really tried to hide it (I love the subtle way we see this on Shah Rukh’s face, but only for a fleeting moment). He had already begun to admit his feelings for her to himself, and she hit him at his weakest point, at the very root of his low self esteem and depression, because he can’t see a way to be worthy enough for someone like her, or to worthy to return to his family. So when she basically repeats this in the doorway to Mayank after the wedding party, you see Harry immediately begin to move away. It brought back all the hurt and doubt, and wiped away the joy of the last day and a half. So he immediately got defensive. And she not comprehending, and probably not even remembering having said that before, got upset with him also. I love what you said about the wedding venue back in India, and what type of status wedding it represented. Sejal was trying to break from her upbringing which valued that type of formal show, rather than real emotion and caring. Yet when she saw harry, the first thing she did was offer him tea, coffee… and he said, “No formality.” He loosened his tie, and spoke from the heart. When he insisted there must be a wedding, and they agreed “no ring” she said something like how do we mark this love between us, in other words, without a ring or ceremony (which would symbolize the kind of relationship she and Rupen would have had), how will she and Harry symbolize or solemnize their commitment to each other? That is when we get the kiss (much better than JTHJ), which is Harry’s promise from the bottom of his soul. And definitely satisfactory for Sejal. They were both seeking something, and needed each other on the journey. Sejal has been able to leave the inauthenticity of her family relations for the authentic love of Harry, and Harry has left the his fake tour guide persona and shallow relationships for the authenticity of his family and homeland.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah yes, the kiss! I loved how Harry kept looking at Sejal while she just prattled on and on until he moved in for the kiss. Oh and by the way, SRK said he doesn’t kiss onscreen because it’s so awkward but I think he did a helluva good job! I liked how he waited to see Sejal’s reaction and when she gave him the two thumbs up, he tenderly embraced her. It was so touching to see them move closer like they couldn’t stand to be apart any longer. I think their life together will be full of love, laughter and great sex. Lucky Sejal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • there’s one little moment I noticed on rewatch, the last shot we get of Shahrukh’s face before the kiss, you can see his eyes lower slightly, like he is looking at her lips, and his mouth fall open. It is a tiny moment that is easy to consciously miss, but it primes the audience that something is about to happen, and makes us feel like the kiss is something truly uncontrollable, like he got hypnotized by her mouth while she was talking.

      On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 8:29 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah, the hypnotizing part…I thought the same…He started to not even hear anymore what this sweet lips uttered…sooooo sooooo often seen in other (western) movies and still I love when the potential/future/current lover stops the girl’s/woman’s chatter or scolding with a kiss…because nothing else matter’s…finished the words…

    Did you notice that the last shot in Mumbai is like in a theatre, both sitting the closest possible tightly hugging on a white circular low wall and in the foreground one sees the perfecty symmetric sides of a grand drape tied back? When I saw this in the cinema, I really thought that Imtiaz would finish the movie with letting drop the curtain…

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  10. One thing that strikes me in the scene and giving me goosebumps equally on every watch is the moment when Harry steps out of the venue location, Sejal immediately sensing his presence. That is when the flute sets in, like Radha yearnlingly waiting for Krishna to meet her in the gardens. Like coming together in spiritual kinship. I do not want to read too much into this moment but, but if it was made intentionally I like this reference very much.

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