Another year, another aam admi focused movie (in 2013 it was Singh Saab). It is difficult to talk about a Salman movie because lately he has been pretty much formulaic. All his movies are essentially Salaman playing himself along with improbable action, and stupid comedy- the audience though has been lapping it up, prompting a whole generation of solid actors go the Sallu way.
Salman plays Jai, essentially a do go-oder, a mathematical genius who can multiply up-to 3*3*3*3, (after that he needs help), an ex army-man with a heart of gold who likes to give bad guys an earful before ending their thankless existence. In today's times, think Somnath Bharti on steroids. Like a good old cowboy he strides around dishing punishments, cracking skulls, breaking bones and occasionally killing anyone who does not adhere to his definition of good, but reserves exceptional ferocity to goons who lays eyes on his family. Jai's eureka is to start a people's movement based on the concept of paying it forward when you do a good deed. But then Salman Khan is anything but aam, and there is very little of a people's movement in Jai Ho. It is a one man mission after all.
Jai takes quite a lot of damage it seems- stabbed, shot, bloodied, beaten black and blue, but then in a matter of seconds he proves that he is Salman Khan after all, when he tears off his shirt, and along with it disappears a knife that was apparently plunged deep in his back. The ludicrity reaches a whole new level when Sunil Shetty rolls in on a tank as Salman's wingman. Towards the end, all that Salman doesn't do is to don the chief minister's cap on his head. But that right belongs to another aam aadmi leader, right?
The dialogs are straight off a b grade TV serial, and the music jarring. Tabu and Danny lend a touch of class to an otherwise special appearance filled proceedings. Either the khans were flush with funds, or appearing in a Sallu movie is a major draw- anyone and everyone of Bollywood, including out of work actors such as Aditya Pancholi, Mohnish Bahl, Nauheed Cyrusi, Vatsal Seth, Ashmit Patel, Varun Badola, Yash Tonk appear in bit roles. Daisy Shah may be a Rani Mukherjee look alike but is the inconsequential sallu heroine. Even though she is in the pink of health (pun intended), and puts and dances as well as any, with zero screen presence, and screechy acting skills, we may have seen the last of her. Nukkad's Khopdi features here too, probably playing Khopdi- the drunk. Talk about stereotypes .
Can one person make a difference? The original plot is based on Mimi Ledger's excellent 2000 flick, Pay it Forward. Released on the eve of Republic Day, Jai Ho had the potential to be inspiring, pity though in the hands of a myopic director, it descends into a standard mas-ala movie with song, dance, cheap comedy and action.
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