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A would-be wish fulfilment...

Arkadev Ghoshal, Jan 25, 2014 DHNS 2:23 IST
Salman Khan and Daisy Shah in a scene fromthe film
Jai Ho
Hindi (U/A)
Director: Sohail Khan
Cast: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Danny Denzongpa, Tabu, Mohnish Bahl et al


A little explanation first. The scientific-journal-like “et al” at the end of the list of actors is a necessity, because the list of mentionable actors in Jai Ho is extremely long, and not everyone deserves a mention in this list because of acting.

As for not mentioning the so-called “heroine” of the film, Daisy Shah has little to do in the film, barring looking pretty, being the butt of a couple of jokes and singing some songs that induce headaches. Heck, even when the baddies come, they target the protagonist's sister (Tabu) instead of her!

Now for the story, what passes for it. While the credit officially goes to A R Murugadoss for Stalin, whose remake Jai Ho claims to be, here's a request to think a little further in the past. Imagine an ageing-yet-buff Haley Joel Osment in Pay it Forward, who has been “suspended” (we don't know if this means “court-martialled”) from the Army because he did not obey a senior’s orders.

This character (need we say who plays him?) promulgates the concept of helping three more people when someone does you a favour, gets involved in a conspiracy with corrupt politicians, corrupt cops, indifferent beneficiaries et al (yes, that again, because Jai Ho for quite a bit is a scientific study in bad filmmaking), and then “good” wins in the end. Oh, and frothing-at-the-mouth Salman fans can calm down, because he doesn't die at the end of the film, unlike the protagonist in Pay it Forward.
We could go much farther back with the concept of passing on favours to three more persons, up until a 1929 novel, but let’s stick to the bad songs, soggy dialogues, predicable plot twists and a desperate attempt to bilk sentiments, be it human emotions or fanaticism around Salman.

And let's not even get into how a handicapped girl, who jumps to her death face forward and causes a nasty blood spatter on the ground, manages to put her best face forward after that. Or what a tank is doing in a military operation undertaken to rescue children held hostage in a house. Save yourselves the trip to the theatre for this one.

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