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Movie Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal, Shah Rukh Khan delivered a hattrick of flops

India Today logo India Today 07/08/2017 Ananya Bhattacharya

© Movietalkies
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Rating: (1/5)

The morning shows the day, they say. The tone was set from the first mini trail of Jab Harry Met Sejal itself. The film was bound to be miserably mushy. And honestly, halfway through this Imtiaz Ali film, you will find yourself wiping your eyes in disbelief. How, just HOW, can Bollywood and especially Imtiaz Ali keep giving us the same films year after year and hope to get away with it?

Jab Harry Met Sejal is predictable to the T like most Bollywood movies are. Yet, some manage to entertain. Not this one. Tour guide Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) makes a living by tagging along with Indian groups on holiday in Europe. He clicks photos for them and hopes to find that elusive something that he is missing. What is this 'kami'? By the time director Imtiaz Ali and his lead actor gives us the answer, we are fast asleep in our seats.

Harry meets (duh) Sejal (Anushka Sharma in a sickeningly stereotyped, annoying role) when the latter loses her engagement ring while her entire family takes off to India. She has apparently told her parents that she will get back to the country only when she finds the ring.

Thus begins the journey of a 'tour guide who is lost' and a Gujarati girl in 'need of guidance', and your trauma. Shah Rukh does nothing in the film that he hasn't already done earlier. Anushka Sharma does nothing in this film that she hasn't already done earlier sans the Gujarati accent. Imtiaz Ali does something that he hasn't already done earlier: he gives us an early-2000s Karan Johar film, complete with a thousand songs and romantic dialogues and irritating characters on the horizon.

Jab Harry Met Sejal is supposed to be a 'journey'. Trust me, you will have gone to Europe, seen Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna, from the Amalfi coast to the Atlantic, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea in the duration this film runs in front of you. There is nothing in Jab Harry Met Sejal that can keep your eyelids from wanting to stay shut after the first 20 minutes of the film, and most of it is courtesy the lead actors Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.

We have loved Shah Rukh Khan for more than 25 years, true, but how long is he going to serve us the mush mishmash? Is even he not bored of the same aankhon-mein-nami-saanson-mein-garmi claptrap? Why does he choose the same scripts time and again, under the guise of doing 'something different'? In his Harry, you will see snatches of the numerous Rahuls that he has played in the last quarter-century, you will see his quintessential romantic hero Raj Malhotra. Throw in Switzerland, and you *almost* have a Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. But Sejal is no Simran. Anushka Sharma is no Kajol. What Anushka's character Sejal is, is a downright caricature. Having to listen to her Gujarati accent for 150 minutes is not exactly music to the ears.

The story is peppered with so many songs that you lose count of them after a while. And stop caring. Harry and Sejal break into Main Bani Teri Radha when the sun rises. Before the sun is even visible on the horizon, you have them singing Hawayein. And then we move to yet another song from Pritam Music Manufacturers Pvt Ltd, where you can order in bulk.

It wouldn't have made any difference to Bollywood if Jab Harry Met Sejal wasn't made. Shah Rukh, Anushka, Imtiaz - all have flop films and bad choices in their filmographies, but Jab Harry Met Sejal beats all of them together and by a huge margin. Maybe Harry should have stuck to his Safar-ka-hi-tha-main-safar-ka-raha stance. Meeting Sejal was not the best thing to have happened to the rest of us. Serendipity? ROFL.

Watch Jab Harry Met Sejal if you have no one to meet and have a lot of time and some money to waste. Jab you see, tab don't tell us we didn't warn you.


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