Bollywood Movie Review: Jai Ho

Rashmi Daryanani
Jai Ho
Jai Ho

Sometimes I feel like letting people know your thoughts of a Salman Khan film – especially one like Jai Ho – is a pointless exercise (almost as pointless as the film itself), because everyone has already decided what they want out of it. They’re either going in with the intention of watching Bhai in all his glory, or they’re planning to enjoy it for all the WTFery. But either way, it gets watched.

Fortunately, for the first group, there’s enough in there to make Jai Ho a film that will be worth all your money – there’s Bhai beating up goons, Bhai taking off his shirt, Bhai dancing in his trademark manner. Unfortunately, for the second group, while there are moments of unintentional hilarity (like, Bhai beating up goons, Bhai taking off his shirt, Bhai dancing in his trademark manner), it also comes with the side-effect of a headache. For those people, I hope your cinema is offering a Crocin in the price of the ticket.

Normally, I’d start off my review by summarising the story, but there isn’t any real one in this film. Jai Ho has nothing new to offer, really – it has taken a) Salmania, b) your typical Bollywood masala elements, and c) the concept of Pay It Forward, and mixed it all together to create this – for lack of a better word – story. So you’ve got what is essentially a sequence of scenes which serve as an ode to Salman Khan, where he singlehandedly beats up goons, challenges authority, protects women, saves children, and – to top it all off – gets everyone to do something nice for one another.

While the entire concept should be inspiring (at its very core, it’s not all that different from Nayak), the film ends up looking contrived more than anything else. How can the political drama and common man empowerment have any real impact when you just can’t take the film seriously? I mean, Salman kicks an ambulance in order to get it to start, and Suniel Shetty shows up with a legitimate army tanker to save our hero!

Jai Ho
Jai Ho

What makes it worse is that this looks less like a film made with genuine intentions and more like a “friends and family” portrait, to give anyone who knows Salman an opportunity to start (or, in some cases, restart) their career. So, you have names like Ashmit Patel, Pulkit Samrat, Sana Khan and Aditya Pancholi associated with the project. There’s also newbie Daisy Shah, and while she is undoubtedly earnest and dances well, she doesn’t have much to do because this is Salman’s show all the way.

You know what, though? At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter even a little bit that the story is inane, the music is bad, and the film looks like a B-grade one. Because Salman Khan does what he does best, and his fans are still going to go all out and enjoy it. The film could have practically been named Being Salman Khan. Or they should have stuck with the earlier title, Mental – that, at least, better described my state of mind while exiting the theatre.


Does it matter? You’ll end up watching it anyway.

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