Cast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Tabu, Danny Denzongpa
Direction: Sohail Khan
Salman Khan’s box-office draw is indisputable but you can’t circumvent every rule in the book and hope to just ride on star power. The least expectation from a Salman film is that despite it’s complete disregard for logic, it will succeed in entertaining but ‘Jai Ho’ fails even on that account.
Jai (Salman Khan), a former army official, espouses fervent humanism and to champion this noble thought he doesn’t refrain from using all forms of violence possible. The problem with a thought like this one is that brutal force is offered as a simplistic solution to many complex issues that plague contemporary Indian society. Impassioned speeches fail to strike a chord, when you realize that the aam aadmi is basically hapless, unless they have someone like Salman to bail them out of their misery.
Salman as the slightly unscrupulous Chulbul Pandey (in ‘Dabangg’) was a treat to watch but Jai Agnihotri, as the upright citizen waging a solitude war for the wronged citizenry is a linear character incapable of creating a lasting impression. The director fails to capitalize on Salman’s usually reliable comic timing and completely banks on the action sequences, which are full of blood and gore. We have seen the slo mo Matrix-style action so many times that they are no longer fun to watch, plus, it is a little disturbing to see that our hero not only beats his opponents to a pulp, no matter how many of them are there, he doesn’t refrain from occasionally biting them. Argh!
I guess this was Salman’s valiant attempt to do a good deed not only for his brother Sohail Khan but a lot of other actors in the film industry. Sample this, our hero is always flanked by his two friends Ashmit Patel and Yash Tonk, who have nothing much to do, except reiterate what our protagonist says.
Tabu has a significant role as our hero’s elder sister but her part is so lame that you feel sorry that an actress of her calibre agreed to do it.
Naman Jain plays the most annoying child possible, allowed to tease the heroine about her underwear while indulging parents and Mamu (uncle) look on.
Long forgotten actors like Aditya Pancholi, Mohnish Bahl, Nadira Babbar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Sharad Kapoor, Mahesh Thakur, Sameer Kakkad, Mukul Dev, Vikas Bhalla, Varun Badola, Nauheed Cyrusi and Vatsal Seth all make forgettable appearances in this story.
Daisy Shah’s debut is lacklustre. Broad-shouldered and masculine she fails to make an impression either as an actress or as a dancer. Even her romantic track with Salman fizzles out even before you start to take notice.
There is not a coherent plot trajectory to follow once you realize that Jai is the messiah of the hapless. There is an insipid revenge angle then introduced in the story, which ends pretty much the same way as the rest of the story, where one bloody action sequence leads into another.
There was a time when you thought that the chase sequence with Jai on the bike driving through city traffic would offer a change of pace but unlike in ‘Dhoom 3’ there is nothing wow-worthy in this sequence either.
None of the song-and-dance in the film is worthy of mention. They are inserted into the story almost as an afterthought with no thought to continuity or pace. The music and lyrics lend nothing to the story, failing to provide a respite from the monotony.
Sohail Khan might make an easy entry in to the Rs 100 crore club but if only that could be a yardstick of an entertaining film. Salmantricks galore but this is not a film that even die-hard Salman fans will find easy to lap-up.
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