The phrase res ipsa loquitor is a remnant from my lawyer days and means “The thing speaks for itself” and in fact, merely saying that Jai Ho is a Salman Khan film speaks for itself; tells you much about what to expect. It is very much a case of Caveat Emptor (another legal expression that means let the buyer beware) – so if you’re not a true blue Salman Khan fan, may I suggest rethinking your plan to go and watch Jai Ho this weekend?
The movie is brutally violent, utterly implausible, has issues with continuity, has a story that is difficult if not impossible to swallow, has uni-dimensional characters and demands complete suspension of disbelief. But if you’re a Salman fan then you must indeed watch the movie and cheer and hoot and clap and generally go hoarse cheering him and his inimitable antics (there were times today when the hooting, whistling and clapping drowned out the music in the theatre).
There is no rating here for the movie because in all honesty I could not figure out how to rate Jai Ho. I believe that Salman Khan and his movies, rather like Rajinikanth, are sui generis (there’s the lawyer kicking in again – sui generis means only example of its kind)
Jai Ho – Release date24 January 2014
Director – Sohail Khan
Producer and Distributor – Sohail Khan Productions
Story – A R Murugadoss (who also wrote the original Telugu movie, Stalin)
Starring – Salman Khan, Tabu, Daisy Shah, Nadira Babbar, Bruna Abdullah, Mukul Dev, Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Genelia Deshmukh, Danny Denzongpa, Mahesh Manjrekar, Suneil Shetty
Music – Sajid-Wajid, Amal Mallik
It was Salim Khan, Salman Khan and director Sohail Khan’s father who suggested that the name of the movie be changed to Jai Ho from the earlier Mental – a suggestion was agreed upon seeing the gravity of the idea sought to be conveyed via the film.
And in fact it is a worthy idea: there is much suffering in the world simply because human beings don’t help each other. So help each other we must – when do help, instead of accepting thanks, we tell the person we’ve helped to help three other people, who in turn will help three others and so the numbers of people being helpful multiplies and the chain of helpfulness is ever expanding. This is the idea propounded by Salman Khan’s character Jai.
Now he speaks of helping but apparently those perceived as the baddies are not worthy of helping. An infraction such as putting a hand on the neckline of his sister comes in for some really brutal battering and some completely inexplicable tears. This film is full of violence – there’s plenty of bone crunching and jaw cracking and blood spurting around. And just in case you wanted to know, Yes! There is the shirt ripping moment and the inevitable shirtless fight in the end – lots of washboard abs and rippling biceps on display.
Apparently our hero can also kick cars and ambulances into motion, break down doors by simply walking though them, launch people into space with a simple punch, and break a car window using nothing but a bare fist. Oh and he also growls and bites – seriously, he does. Repeatedly. Through the movie.
Jai’s character is a complete loose cannon – the law is apparently a mere trifle to be ignored altogether, and if there is collateral damage and people nearly get killed in the quest to save a family member, well so be it. There is so much violence that the viewer frequently winces and shuts the eyes in horror; by the end the viewer is simply fed up! The romance with Daisy Shah is, rather expectedly superfluous. She and her over the top Gujarati mother in the film are distinctly cringe worthy.
There are several moments is the film that are just completely “Kuchh Bhi!” for the want of a better phrase – there is a scene where a car is being chased by a motor bike on the train platform and the tracks; even the over-bridge at one point. And it is a testament to the filmmakers’ sheer audacity that one point an army officer (Suniel Shetty) is shown to save the day by using a tank (a battle tank mind you!) – on the streets of Mumbai no less. Also apparently there is only one auto and auto driver, three cops and one hospital in Mumbai.
The film is nonsensical, but through it all there is a certain feel-good factor. Characters are completely uni-dimensional – people are either good or terrible. The bad guys are of course loathsome, but the nice guys are decent and likeable. It’s a good thought that when you have good done unto you, you want to do good unto others, and the ultimate trouncing of all the baddies in the end does offer some closure and satisfaction. Tabu, see, on the big screen after a long time lends some amount of normalcy and believability to the film.
Jai Ho – Music Review
The music is by Sajid-Wajid – you can tell from a mile off – when you have the composers for movies such as Dabang, Rowdy Rathore and other such movies you know what to expect. The pick of the songs is Baaki Sab First Class Hai – a song that makes a comment on the ills of society with its ironic lyrics such as Apna kaam banta, bhaad mein jaaye janta /Goonge behron ki nagri, kaun kisi ki suntan /…. Kheton mein ab bhi sookha hai /Mango-man apna bhookha hai /Kehte hain India great hai / Yahaan betiyaan unsafe hain
Tere Naina Maar Hi Daalenge is another signature Sajid-Wajid song – when you hear it a few times it sticks in the head and you start to like it. Photocopy and the title track have good beats but are not terribly memorable.
The film is Salman – all else is incidental: the leading lady, the music – like I said res ipsa loquitor.
By – Reena Daruwalla
Images Courtesy Jai Ho Facebook Page