Despite being almost twice her age, SRK’s onscreen chemistry with Katrina looks sizzling and at no point, does the couple looks boring, though SRK’s face has withered a lot than the one, he spotted in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. But that doesn’t in any way mean that romance king has lost any charm.
Shot in the scenic London city, lush green pastures of Pahalgam and the postcard perfect Ladakh province of Jammu and Kashmir, the film opens with SRK aka Major Samar Anand arriving to defuse 98th live bomb in Leh market. Mind you, he doesn’t wear bomb suit while he flirts with death – challenging God to kill him, as they (SRK and God) don’t enjoy ‘good terms’.
21-year-old Akira Rai, played by a bold, beautiful and cheerful Anushka Sharma, who belongs to ‘instant make out and break-up generation’, has superbly been used to introduce SRK to viewers and later to re-introduce him to his ladylove Katrina Kaif. Akira stumbles upon a diary that falls from Samar’s jacket pocket, which she wears after latter saves her from drowning in freezing, but stunningly crystal-blue waters of Pangong Tso Lake. (FYI the lake changes hues every few hours)
Cut to London. SRK who clears snow outside a cathedral in the city for three pounds an hour falls for Meera, played by Katrina, who is ‘swimming’ in the snow to make it to the cathedral for a confession – she hates ‘brown and boring Indians, and aspires for a ‘gora’ match. Little does she know how she is going to fall for a ‘brown’ and what lies in store for her.
Sent to London by his mother to do something great in life, Samar shifts between various menial jobs – waiter, sales boy in fish market and singing Punjabi songs at tourist spots - to make out a living.
Both fall for each other and after a deal that they seal in Samar’s style: ‘done done London’, according to which Meera will teach Samar ‘gentleman’s English’ in return for learning Punjabi music from him. The idea behind this is to surprise her billionaire dad (Anupam Kher) during the celebration of Golden jubilee of his ‘super-market’ company.
Until this time, Meera plays character of a not so assertive lady with a life circling around her office and dad, but in a party to which Samar invites her, she unveils the sex kitten inside her, making a lasting impression with her dance steps. This is where ‘Ishq Shava’ song with an original and always remembering beat reveals the assertive Katrina.
A grounded Katrina, who doesn’t want to annoy her dad, who brought her up since she was four, after mother (Neetu Singh) left Kher for Imran (Rishi Kapoor) - her lover who waited for eight years - is confused of next step in her love life. Then an antidote arrives in the form of a parcel containing a Lehanga and a letter from her mother.
All the while she had detested her mother for leaving her, but after meeting her in a vineyard, she feels happy and gets a lesson of lifetime – you can’t make others happy if you yourselves aren’t happy. Earlier she had made a pledge with Jesus Christ along with Samar that they shall never ‘cross the line’ and be just friends.
But not anymore and Meera decides to speak to dad, but on the day when she was to talk to him, Samar meets an accident. Thinking that it was a punishment for ‘crossing the line’, Meera makes another pledge with Christ that she won’t see Samar again, but for that she asks for his life. Believing that his life was saved, because of her promise to the Christ, Katrina asks Samar to leave London.
Here again, film’s narrative with unexpected twists manages to engage the viewers and above all brings to fore how people out of fear of God fail to understand simple things.
Cut to Pahalgam – lush green valley dotted with soaring and snow clad mountain peaks, fresh waters and green pastures in South Kashmir - daredevil Khan is defusing bombs, and he has earned the title ‘a man who can’t die’. A good feature of the movie, pertinent to mention is that it hasn’t unnecessarily tried to delve into politics related to the disputed Kashmir valley – which many filmmakers amateurishly and wrongly have tried to show just a trouble created by some ‘misguided youth’.
Desperate to get a chance to work with Discovery Channel, Akira gets a nod from her boss to make a documentary on Samar. She is bold and expressive – and finally manages to complete the story and in the process she doesn’t even know when she got wept off her feet by amiable and suave, but nonchalant Samar.
Discovery likes her story but wants her protagonist to come over to London for confirmation (since she is just an intern). After initial refusal, Samar calls her from outside the Discovery office in London, but hunky-dory is limited for a few minutes only, as Samar is again hit by a car while saving Akira’s life. This time the injury is more serious and he suffers from retrograde amnesia. He forgets 10 years of his life and waits for Meera just like he would have expected during his first accident.
Akira gets Meera onboard to cure Samar and after trying some old tested methods, Samar regains the memory of missing decade and the ending as usual is sweet – something that is not easy for filmmakers here to tamper with because this can seriously rob them of some good bucks – but nonetheless the couple meet after Samar defuses 150th bomb while challenging God to kill him.
I remember a friend telling me that he would have tried to invent something, but ‘everything has been invented’, quite akin to it, it seems all love stories have been told, but only room left for filmmakers is to add twists and turns. With Jab Tak Hai Jaan, YRF has successfully tried to achieve that and I feel they have managed to pull it off successfully. Even though three-hour runtime seems little stretched at times, but the plot which moves on its own pace justifies it.
P.S: Forget about the age of King Khan, otherwise you may get confused at times during the movie.