6 August 2015 | PKazee
Poorly made, but emotionally effective in the end.
OM JAI JAGADISH is actor Anupam Kher's directorial debut, and I enjoyed it, but it is not a great film by any measure. The editor toys with bafflingly haphazard jump cuts that are so artless and - frequently - minute, as to have virtually no effect at all. It's as if he were ordered to cut several minutes from the film, and having not a single clue how to do so, decided to randomly remove two frames here... four frames there... without any hint of reason. Similarly, the scriptwriter expects the audience to make leaps that Evel Kneivel wouldn't risk. And finally, the music, lyrics, and choreography are pleasing, but redundant. Each number briefly entertains (the first number not occurring until after the 30 minute mark), but is instantly forgotten as soon as it's over. Yet, despite the technical and artistic incompetence's, this film does somehow manage to move one before the final curtain falls.
Anil Kapoor, Fardeen Kahn, and Abhishek Bachchan play three brothers: Om, Jai, and Jagadish, respectively. Though not fully explained in the English subtitles, I gather that the names, spoken in order, replicate the beginning of a traditional Hindi prayer for family unity. In fact, the films full title is "Om Jai Jagadish: A Prayer For Togetherness".
Om is the eldest brother, an honest, responsible man who guards the family honor, while looking after his younger moral and financial well being, as best as he can afford. To Jagadish's disappointment, however, Om's financial ability appears to have been largely exhausted on sending Jai to American for a college education. This causes Jagadish's future (as a software designer) to have to sit on a back burner until Jai finishes his education and returns to India. Om's expectation is that Jai will agree to commit to a long term corporate position in India, which will earn him a large monetary advance (and apparent Indian custom), with which Om can pay back the loan he took out to finance Jai's education.
But the Americanized Jai has other ideas. He intends to pay his brother back, but he sees his options as brighter and more open in America, where committing to a long-term position could be career suicide. As such, he will not immediately be able to provide his brother with the lump sum that is needed to pay off the loan. Unbeknownst to Jai, however, this decision of his may cost Om the family home! Jagadish, in the meantime - who also does not know about the threat to the family home - spends his time hacking into the school computer in order to assist his friends with their grades and attendance records. Naturally, this lands him in great trouble, leading him to have to leave home, as he has so horribly embarrassed the family honor.
But wait a minute you say, what about Mahima Chowdhary, Urmila Matondkar, and Tara Sharma? Aren't they important to this film? Sadly, no. Chowdhary does a bit of vivacious dancing, but beyond that she is merely wallpaper. As for the stunning Matondkar (sigh!), she isn't even given a single song or dance to tantalize with! She is here merely as a symbol of the challenges that Westernization forces upon traditional Indian family values. Credit must be given to her for chutzpah, though! She must be very confident in her position within the Indian film industry in order to agree to play such an unlikable character. As for Sharma, like Chowdhary she does a bit of a dance floor tease (while wearing a super-mini fringe cowgirl skirt), but she is completely tangential to the plot.
The message of this movie, hammered in again and again, is that the strength to overcome adversity lies NOT in money, but in familial love. And before the end of the film, I'll be damned if I didn't buy it, Bolly-hook, Bolly-line, and tear-drenched Bolly-sinker!