a list of some thoughts about Jab Harry Met Sejal

I'm so glad I'm not a paid reviewer who has to deal with this film in carefully-constructed argument-building paragraphs.

I am of the opinion that When Harry Met Sally is Hollywood's greatest rom com, and it should not be invoked as an afterthought or by someone whose major interest is self-discovery angst.

We do not actually see the moment Harry and Sejal met. "Met" does not mean "got to know." Yet another reason to poo-poo this title.

Furthermore, isn't ten years too soon for your film's title to refer to the title of one of your previous films?

Sejal has a lot of admittedly very small clothes in that carry-on-size suitcase. Harry hardly even bares his arms. I'm not sure they're in the same climate very often, kind of like how 90s heroines wear chiffon saris in the snow while heroes get sweaters, which Anushka has already had a chance to enact in a very fine tongue-in-cheek meta-moment.

Everyone should have made much more rigorous use of checking the tour group's photos to confirm the cities in which Sejal is wearing her ring.

Harry knows the best scenic back roads into major international airports.

I'm not sure if the script is written as lopsidedly as the energy feels, but Shahrukh is enough of an attention-puller that Anushka seems...if not secondary then one-and-a-half-ary at times. Most of what he's doing works for me, but it does feel incredibly shoehorned into the script. So much of the self-stated boyfriend/girlfriend-pretending is for no organic reason. As much as I like romantic SRK, I like it much more if it makes sense.

I had completely forgotten about Evelyn Sharma. She has nothing to do here, so I will probably forget about her again before this weekend is out.

I feel guilty for doing this, but while watching I was so convinced that they had Shahrukh standing on boxes to be the same height as Anushka that when I got home I looked up their heights. The internet says she is 2" taller, so something is up.

Despite Harry's protestations that they can't retrace their steps because it is high season, they have no trouble getting classy-looking accommodation or transport.

It is very nice to have someone to lean on or cuddle with when you are tired or uncertain.

The last few minutes are full NAHIIIIIIIIIIN. Did Imtiaz phone up Aditya Chopra to finish this film? Or Yash?

Harry's warning to Sejal in Prague about "This is a bad area! You're dolled up!"implies that her clothing may be the cause of troubles befalling her. Whoever wrote this: kindly hold other people responsible for their own actions and do not blame women's clothing choices.

Sejal repeatedly wants to know how she compares to other women Harry knows, and after he tells her she's better than a societally-sanctioned sexy European sex worker, she insists on taking selfies with the woman she has "bested."

The conversations Sejal and Harry have about how he views her—nice, sweet, sister-type, "China vase," "don't touch," pure (SERIOUSLY DUDE IT'S 2017), —further support the tired and harmful idea that a woman's value is what a man decides it to be, especially as a commodity to be assessed for sexual desirability.

And heaven forbid anyone have sex for fun.

And how about when Harry grabs Sejal on a nighttime street and she tells him to stop and he keeps grabbing her? Or when Harry assumes other brown people are illegal immigrants? Or when Sejal blackmails her way into this whole completely ludicrous plot but is too ignorant to know what country Amsterdam is in despite having been there twice?

As not-great as JHMS is, I despise Rockstar so much that JHMS will never be the director's worst for me. I happily sat in the cinema mentally praising Shahrukh's wardrobe crew (notes duly taken from Dear Zindagi) and waiting for Anushka's smile to light up everything around and watching the European cities flit by, but I turned off Rockstar halfway through and have never regretted it. That said, I cannot wait to dig into the reviews that, based on summary tweets, rip into this film gleefully (such as these). It's clearly time Imtiaz followed his own advice and took a trip towards something else.





Comments

batulm said…
Totally, totally. Why? The hell? Shahrukh is so good, he wants to make you cry, what a pity it is wasted in this messy non-story.