Jai Ho, Hindi Bollywood Film Movie Review, Johnson Thomas, Rating: * * 1/2

Hindi Film Review
Johnson Thomas

Jai Ho Movie Review: ;Bhai ho tho Aisa/Hollow Posturing
Film: Jai Ho
Cast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Tabu, Nadira Babbar, Ashmit Patel,Yash Tonk,  Mahesh Manjrekar
Director: Sohail Khan

Rating: *  *  ½

‘Incoherence is bliss,’ for fans of a Salman Khan film. To expect otherwise would be sacrilege. Director Sohail Khan, Salman’s Bhai has definitely done better in his last helming effort, a far more lucid , coherent and rustic,‘Kissan.’ This time round, though, he is prepared to wear bleachers. After all when there’s Salman bhai in the project, there is no need for a script.  A remake of the south(Telugu)Chiranjeevi starrer  ‘Stalin, ’ this film under review has no semblance of a story. It’s basically made-up of a basic rudimentary plotline that incorporates the traditional formula items in some semblance of consequence and draws out the melodrama to a pinch hitting finale. Even the theme is borrowed from a decade old Warner Brothers film ‘Pay it Forward’ which featured Haley Joel Osmet in the lead role. In this film it’s an almost middle-aged and looking it distinctly, Salman Khan, playing the thirty something power-packed do-gooder who doesn’t hesitate to raise his fists or spread a message- albeit,  for a cause. It’s a peculiar contradictory behavior trait especially when one is aiming for sainthood.

In Bollywood parlance the hero’s goodness is weighed in against the villain’s evil. So even if the hero is indulgent with his fists and criminality right through the film, as long as it’s being done to aid a beggar child, a mother, a sister, a friend, a passerby or any other sympathetic character, it’s all OK. So Salman goes through the motions and also gets those whom he helped, pass it forward to three more victims. Initially, they are all diffident of course but eventually better sense prevails and every one of those helped by the bhai, does the good deed thrice over. There’s lip service being paid to the man on the street and his many angsts with Salman ‘Jai’ bhai playing to the gallery as judge, jury and avenger with zany glee. A spot of romance, some mother-son theatrics, bhai-behen love, friendly escapedes, sudden out-of-sync bursts of song and dance and spurious action fills up all the vacant gaps( and there are numerous) in story. The jump cuts do the rest.
So what you eventually get is an action packed bromantic comedy whose only saving grace is the borrowed theme that it tries to spread. A noble one no doubt that, but the reasoning behind this project does appear majorly suspect. The aim is to take brand Salman to the next level. By getting him to  play a character that is all-pulverising and well-supported by a do-good philosophy, Salman’s brand marketers are obviously aiming for a space close to sainthood. Even the public posturing in Gujarat, beside CM Narendra Modi , points clearly to a strategy of winning friends and fans from a state that is not known to be particularly favorable to the bhai. Add to that the patriotic fervor that the writers have tried to promulgate by portraying Salman as a decorated major from the Indian Army who once thwarted terrorists and his subsequent  aam aadmi avatar as a garage mechanic who is now after the life and blood of  corrupt, villainous politicians. It’s quite obviously a ploy to generate public sympathy for Jai-Salman, and it succeeds up to a point. Sohail also employs ‘crony’ capitalism to do the job here. What he may not achieve through the grist-mill he is hoping to garner from Bollywood’s out-of-work fringe players- some who have always stood steadfast behind the bhai right through his troubled past, and others-who never stopped singing his praises Tabu, Mohniosh Bahl, Danny Dengsongpa. Sunil Shetty, Sharad Kapoor, Ashmit Patel, Yash Tonk, Nadira Babar, Resham Tipnis,  Aditya Panscholi, Pulkrit Samrat, Sana Khan, Vatsal Seth, Varun Badola, Nauheed Cyrusi, Tulip Joshi, Vikas Bhalla and many others appear to have found favor and have (As visible from the size of their roles)substantially gained from the bhaichara. Each one likely to gain top-of-mind visibility and ‘hopefully’ renewed life in bollywood.  Even the choice of Daisy Shah as the leading heroine smacks of a marketing ploy.
 Strategy and Good-will are the twin thrusts of this exercise in movie making. With so much marketing and brand positioning going-on here, expecting creative content was out of question . Appropos, there’s no point belittling a film that stays true to it’s avowed agenda( as trumpeted in the opening number and repeated dialogues)Apna Kaam banta Bhaad mein jaye Janta!!


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