Film Review: Jab Harry Met Sejal
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Producer: Red Chillies/Gauri Khan
Rating: Three stars
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Aru K Verma and Evelyn Sharma.
A journey of love is not about conquering or possessing hearts but making every drop of water count. Relationships are complex so are humans. Jab Harry Met Sejal (JHMS) narrates the tale of two characters who are dramatically opposed to each other but at the same time gullible. Harry and Sejal are not flawless or infallible. Imtiaz Ali is one director who believes in the films that he makes and the human emotions he weaved in the film will remind us of people whom we have met at some point or the other in life. JHMS is a human story that will warm your heart. It is very relatable and reminds us of the follies we made in life that would light our faces with a smile.
Shah Rukh Khan effortlessly plays Harry as the travel agent who is never shy in telling, ‘Mein ladkiyon ko gande nazar se dekhte hai.’ It truly embodies the Imtiaz Ali franchise where his one-liners or dialogues have always been his forte and this is what makes his movies stand out from the rest. SRK is charismatic and endearing as Harry. He doesn’t rise above the script but is sublime as Harry, delightfully slipping into the skin of the character. It’s an act that touches the heart.
Sejal is fun-loving and full of zest. Anushka Sharma is electrifying in donning this character, at times weird and quirky with her Gujarati accent that you will drool over. She is simply stunning and wins the heart. One of the most amazing actresses that we have, Anushka is like the light feather and the hatke girl who stole your heart in the not so distant past. There is so much of Sejal in an ex-flame. She is caring. She is selfish. She can be brutal yet want to lean on your shoulder for you to take care of her.
There are some scenes in the movie that will sweep you off the feet. First, when Sejal tells Harry to consider her as his girl friend till the time they are together but is selfish for she will leave him for his fiancée back home. It’s about human weakness, compassion and reminds us that love is all that we need and triumphs over and above everything.
The discussion between Harry and Sejal about finding God is something that we all have done, dhunde mein bhi bhagwaan milta hai. It can’t get more real than that. She told me that one day. It is this vulnerability in love that Imtiaz Ali has treated in a sensitive manner. Love can hurt but is a medicine to heal hearts. The scene when Sejal and Harry sleep on the floor and end up cuddling each other will touch every soul who has ever been in love. The heart knows no reason.
Of course, there are some hilarious scenes that will make you laugh your lungs out. Sejal following Harry in the lousy bar and the letter Sejal writes in the case there is legal intercourse, Harry will be absolved of all charges. Of course, the encounter with Don Gas (Chandan Roy Sanyal) where Harry turns the table on the former breaks the monotony and brings the laughter alive.
Imtiaz Ali brings out the ring analogy to the fore in depicting the love growing between Harry and Sejal which also shows the palatable chemistry between both actors. It sends a strong but proverbial message on the lies that humans make and we look for emotions far away but its simplicity lies within and near us. What you seek is seeking you makes for a strong statement but a down to earth philosphy about life, love and relationships. For me, the lost ring analogy depicts love and weakness in all its forms. It’s simple and endearing.
Of course, Jab Harry Met Sejal is not the best script that will blow your mind like Jab We Met, Socha Na Tha, Love Aaj Kal or Highway did. It’s not the best work of Imtiaz Ali for he borrows from the same old tried and tested formula. There are moments in the second half that moves at a sluggish pace that work against the film but also that Shah Rukh Khan’s entry is too ordinary that doesn’t live with his superstar image.
JHMS stand out for its human narration about human emotions and tribulations that tug the heart. The way the song Hawayein has been shot is not only electrifying but is a personal favorite for both SRK and Anushka brings so much energy that electrifies the screen. Do watch the film for it means to be hopelessly in love. Fuck logic. Love is not about practicalities but losing all senses.