Saturday, November 03, 2007

Jab they met (and exceeded) expectations

Chill, bewdas, chill - no spoilers. :)

When a movie has a title as inane as ‘Jab we met’ and stars Kareena Kapoor, there are only two people in the world who can make me watch it. (They even look like each other, hehe!)

1. Raja Sen, Rediff movie reviewer – I have been a fan of the guy since I read an interview of his where he described the relatively unknown movie ‘Socha Na Tha’ as “an honest script” and I felt like he had literally stolen my exact thoughts about the movie. Yes, I may be a total Bollywood person with my share of love for the SRKs and the Karan Johars, but truth be told, my all time favourite movie is the simple and down to earth Socha Na Tha.

2. Imtiaz Ali, the relatively unknown director of the movie ‘Socha Na Tha’ who also wrote and edited the movie, and went on to script ‘Ahista Ahista’, another movie I like very very much. What I love about Imtiaz Ali's movies are the way the characters speak - just like you and me. I guess it helps that he's a writer/director, so nothing conceptualised by Imtiaz the writer is lost in translation - because Imtiaz the director ensures it is executed exactly the way it was conceptualised.

So Raja Sen did not review ‘Jab We Met’ (perhaps he’s gearing up for the OSO/Saawariya marathon next weekend) but as soon as I knew that Imtiaz Ali had directed the movie (check out this conversation between the two), I not only knew I was going to watch it, I knew I was going to love it.

Quick sms messages went out to my friends Shub and Pizzadude (I could not wait for certain people who live in China) and soon we found ourselves in the best seats of the house, thanks to my paranoid buying of the tickets 45 minutes before the show (an Imtiaz Ali movie can only be appreciated from nothing less than the best seats). We had all been rolling our eyes at the movie title, but the worst was when we saw the title written in the hindi script. All of us read it out as ‘Jab we mate’ and burst out laughing like maniacs even before the movie had started. Little did we know that we would be laughing every five minutes of the movie courtesy a certain very very funny Ms. Kapoor.

Now here’s the honest truth – I have disliked Kareena Kapoor rather immensely all my Bollywood-fan life. And over the years as she reprised the role of her K3G Pooja (or Poo, as she was better known as) in movie after movie, she became the warning signal and I ran in the opposite direction at the mere mention of her being in a movie. Just when she’d redeem herself in a Yuva or a Omkara (I was impressed by her in both movies, even though she had very brief roles), she’d make another bimbotic appearance somewhere. And I used to think – if only she got rid of the annoying Poo inside her (okay that sounded gross, but you know what I mean), perhaps she’d make quite a good actress. Maybe all she needed was the right movie.

And boy, is ‘Jab We Met’ the right movie.

Imtiaz Ali is a genius. Interestingly, all three of his movies so far have had the underlying theme of ‘running away from home’, yet they are all treated in very different and creative ways. His movies are like thrillers without the gore – you get involved in the character’s life and stay involved till the end. You want to know what is going to happen to the characters, and often you do not know whom to empathise with, which makes his movies amazingly real and relatable. And the creative ways in which he ends the movies, even if the ending is one of those happy predictable ones, always always get my applause. Not to mention the little ironic quirks he sprinkles evenly throughout the movie.

I believe the reason why I like Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia so much is the way Imtiaz presented them in Socha Na Tha (and later Abhay again in Ahista Ahista). He managed to get the best out of both of them. And just when you thought that it was because he worked with newbies whom he could easily mould into the characters he wrote, he pulled off a ‘Jab We Met’ with a seasoned commercial actress.

The casting of ‘Jab We Met’ could not have been more perfect. However, it must have taken some vision to imagine Kareena in the role of Geet. And it must have been quite a task to make her shed her Poo-ness and get under the skin of Geet so effortlessly that even hardcore anti-Kareenas like me melt away and root for her. It's the kind of role that is difficult to portray without making the character an annoying, hamming over-the-top one, especially by someone like Kareena Kapoor. Though Imtiaz Ali is the kind of director who has that perfect control over his cast and does not allow them to ham, due credit must go to Kareena for letting him portray her in such an un-Kareena manner. Throughout the movie, she had many unconventional lines to say, which are extremely difficult to pull off, but Kareena got away with them and how. I am pleased to say that as of 3rd November 3.55 pm, I officially like Kareena Kapoor as an actress. And that is a brave brave statement for me to make.

Don't you love it when the so-called ‘predictable Bollywood’ takes you by surprise? I totally totally love it.

Shahid Kapoor has a shaky start in the movie. In fact, in the first two minutes of the movie as he wanders around in the streets in his business suit and glasses, sans the monkey-grin that we’re all so familiar with – you will actually think of him as a miscast. But as the movie progresses, he grows on you, just like Kareena does. I never believed that real-life couples can be convincing in reel life, but this movie has changed my belief. There could not have been a better fit for the role of Aditya than Shahid. Mainly because this is an out and out Kareena Kapoor movie, and Shahid lends able support to the larger-than-life character of Geet she portrays. He steps back and lets her shine, in a way that perhaps a boyfriend, not a co-star, would. You see the genuine chemistry between the crazy-bubbly Geet and the sensible-serious Aditya, you yearn for their togetherness and wonder - why oh why did Kareena and Shahid have to break up?

(And you also realise that if he turns off the monkey-grin you see in every movie of his, the Shahid dude is quite a looker. The intense gaze, the glasses, the rolling his eyes and shaking his head at her antics, all welcome.)

The movie, in spite of being brilliantly funny, is intense, moving and honest. It will touch you - if not now, some day in your life, one of the lines from the movie will come back and get you. I am so going back to watch it again (can't let Viv miss out on this one, and can't wait for the DVD).

Kareena and Shahid may not be together now (damn you Saif, now you’re going after the kids?!), but this movie is the best parting gift they could have given each other.

And us too.



Unknown said...

Gold??? After yonks?:o I so need to see this movie tomorrow then:p

Sowmya said...

Didn read it completely... Half way through I felt there might be spoilers in the blog :D.. Booked tics for tomo's show :)

And "Jab We Mate" it seems.. hehehe :D


Alice said...

Exactly my thougts abt the movie..right down to the 'mate' part. :D

btw...hi...been lurking here a while now. :)

Bivas said...

I actually ended up watching this movie first day first show last accident of course...and may I say...absolutely NO REGRETS! :-)
Never liked Kareena except for in Chameli and Refugee and yes I'm one of those who think that she does have some kinda attitude that is repelling...but Boy...has she proved us wrong in Jab we met!
Simply loved the movie...was in splits for almost the entire first half of the movie...second half was a bit stretched but still good and well handled...
I never thought that Shahid could act...apart from trying to imitate SRK...but again, he was genuinely good in this movie. In fact, the two of them really looked cute together...(I can't believe I'm saying this but it's true :-) )
In fact I so liked the movie that I watched it a second time and am definitely gonna add it to my DVD/VCD collection...moreover...superb songs!
Can't wait for next's Diwali indeed :-)

Angelsera said...

interesting...mayb will go catch it sometime.. :)

Unknown said...

I have to watch this movie now! It's one of those (rare) movies when both reviews and feedback by friends are positive.

Unknown said...

I was thinking of watching it and now after reading your thoughts, I have to. I want to laugh! :-)).

Unknown said...

The movie will make u fall for the characters, aptly crafted n scripted.
its not usual banana comedy...but far above it, one has to appreciate Imitiaz for such a creation.
Thanx to bhai for giving us the space to comment.

Sayesha said...

Yes you should watch it ASAP!! :D

No spoilers re... anyway, watch the movie then come back to the bar! :)

Hii! Welcome to the bar, o lurker! :D

//was in splits for almost the entire first half of the movie...

//In fact, the two of them really looked cute together...(I can't believe I'm saying this but it's true :-) )

Couldn't agree more!! :D

You totally should!! :)

Go go go watch it!!!!! :D :D :D

Hans hans kar paagal ho jayegi, especially first half! Go catch it!! :)

Yeah, Imtiaz rocks!!! :)

//Thanx to bhai for giving us the space to comment.

You're most welcome! :)

shub said...

arrey you forgot to mention the most amusing do do part :D

Angelsera said...

I watched the movie last nite...
enjoyed myself..I think tis is the first movie of shahid that I am watching...had not realsied tt he cud dance well :) .. I have a thing for good looking guys who can dance well (unfortunately the one I am marrying cant move a foot...sigh)

methodactor said...

I watched this movie last evening. This movie stumped me. So many times when I was expecting Geet and Aditya to mouth the regular lines and react the standard way, they DID nt. And that was the high point of the film, it is a huggable, believable film.

Somya said...

I completely and totally agree wid u..."socha na tha" is even of my faves and I had loved the scenes where abhay proposes his girlfriend(that song is so good) and the last scene where Ayesha reaches his office...and am really fond of its songs...I watched JWM IInd day 1st show and loved it...but alas the first these two(shahid n kareena) showed some promise as a couple, it was after their breakup. Still a very nice movie and a must watch.

dharmu said...

just back after watching this movie.i guess i am falling in love with the poo babe.

i must say the movie is really well done. no complaints, only praises!

satish said...

director of socha na tha has made this. ab toh dekhna hee padega.

Sidin said...

Loved the movie. Loved Socha Na Tha too. Oddly SNT has two types of fans: people who got it and people who hated it. My theory is simple: With an SRK/ABJr./HR in the role the bloody flick would still be running in Chitra in Dadar.

Alas Abhay Deol!

The music of SNT has accompanied many a tumult in my life.

Besides the leading pair, who rocked sufficiently, I thought Pawan Malhotra was brilliant.

Also they showed Lassi being made in wasshing machine in the movie. Thus vindicating a long held theory of mine.

Big fan of blog. Daily checking and all.

Sayesha said...

Hehehe! That was one of the highlights re - counts as almost a spoiler so couldn't talk about it! :P
ps: Just realised people in India won't get to see that part!!! :O

Shahid is an awesome dancer! He was in Shiamak Davar's troup!! :)

//unfortunately the one I am marrying cant move a foot...sigh

Hahahaha! Teach him!! :D

Oooh I couldn't agree more!! :)


Yeah babay! :D

Egg-jactly! Besides, Bhai ne bol diya na... bas bol diya! Ja dekh kar aa abhi! :/

//Oddly SNT has two types of fans: people who got it and people who hated it.

Haha! True true! Often I get blank looks from people when I rave about how good the movie is! :P

//With an SRK/ABJr./HR in the role the bloody flick would still be running in Chitra in Dadar. Alas Abhay Deol!

His time will come... he's too talented to disappear into the background. :)

//The music of SNT has accompanied many a tumult in my life.

I LOVE SNT's music, especially 'Na sahi'... it is such a REAL, relatable song!! :)

//Thus vindicating a long held theory of mine.

Hahahaha! I had no idea at all! :D

//Big fan of blog. Daily checking and all.

Sidin checks my blog daily??
*faints again*

Arre jagah banao bewdon, Sidin Bhai bar mein aayela hai! :)

It's a real honour to have you here. :)

Tech and finance said...

i cant tellyou how happy i am that u have a blog about this movie.... i have been smitten by this movie big time...i am so in love with geet .. its been three days since i watched the movie and couldnt get over it .. so i came in hoping i could get you to put ur views on this .. and i was like OMG its already here .. i share the same thought abt Saif (damn you..he is the male version of Ash ..loves dumping ppl)..Thank you thank you

mythalez said...

err .. I saw the movie in a half-asleep state and didn't find anything new in it < admits .. trembling in fear >
I guess I need to see it again properly .. yah ur review has prompted me to see it again and listen to the dialogues this time :D

shub said...

yeah same here! that song aint no fun without subtitles :D do do do re mi la la la! :D

@angelsera, can't move a foot, eh? I'm convinced opposites attract! :)

Angelsera said...

//teach him me if u meet him u will realise why tt is not so simple :)

@shub, hehehe.. sigh
he is into bahut nautanki karta hai

Stone said...

Seriously they should consider releasing 'Socha Na Tha' again!!

Btw, Kareena sounds little loud in first 10 minutes, and then adaat padh jaati hai.
Shahid and Pawan Malhotra were fantastic, and that other guy seems that he is under some contract or something to be Kareena's screen father..first in Omkara and now in JWM.

Everyone will like this movie except Tarun Arora who was reduced to a mere comedian.

My Fav. dialogue was.."Bhatinda pehli baar aaye ho" :-)

Sayesha said...

Hehe... you're most welcome! But there's no way I can watch an Imtiaz Ali movie, love it and not talk about it at the bar! :D

*thwacks Mythalez with her infamous rolled-up newspaper*
*commands Mythalez to go watch it again* :/

Hahahahaha! The great thing is - the DVD will have 'em! :D

//he is into bahut nautanki karta hai

Hehehehe! I like and approve oredi! :D

//Seriously they should consider releasing 'Socha Na Tha' again!!

I swear! Maybe they will... some day when Imtiaz Ali is like... THE director... they will! :D

//My Fav. dialogue was.."Bhatinda pehli baar aaye ho" :-)

Hehe... mine was "Aap convinced ho gaye ki main aur bolun?" Hehehe! :P

Nidhi said...

Amazing movie Sayesha...this was one helluva movie...even I loved it...and what more..."Socha Na Tha" is my fav movie too!!! :) Thanks for letting me know that its from the same director!!
However, I still found Kareena too be a lil overboard again..but yeah, she was still much-much bearable...and Shahid...umm..I have fallen in love wid him after this movie :D

Sayesha said...

You know what we should do? We should all together somewhere and watch Socha Na Tha and munch on potato chips! :P :P :P

//However, I still found Kareena too be a lil overboard again..but yeah, she was still much-much bearable...and Shahid...umm..I have fallen in love wid him after this movie :D

Hehe... I found her fitting the role to a T without hamming... considering my past intolerance for Ms. KK, any nonsense from her would have made me tick her off my list again. :P

Bivas said...

Kya Diwali ki chhutiyan shuroo ho gayi come up so early and blogging!
Btw...wot was that Do Re Mi waala song??? Don't remember in the soundtrack as well...or was it thr?
\\Aap convinced ho gaye ki main aur bolun?
Definitely one of the mast dialogues.
Me also liked the way the poor station master was ragged...
"...Chillar nahin hai apne paas!" :-)

VIDYA said...

Hey Sayesha,

happened to come across your blog!very interesting!
"but this movie is the best parting gift they could have given each other"...

So true...

Sayesha said...

Hehehehe... yeah, sometimes I check mail at home before I leave for work, cos no time at work to check gmail! :O

//Btw...wot was that Do Re Mi waala song??? Don't remember in the soundtrack as well...or was it thr?

Hahaha! It was the subtitles, whenever the song had "Pa dha ni sa" stuff, the subtitles said "So la ti so" etc. :P :P

//"...Chillar nahin hai apne paas!" :-)

Another favourite of mine was Anshuman saying, "Kyun dekhun main ganne ke khet??" Hahahahahahaah! :D

Welcome to the bar, and thanks for commenting! :)

Adorable Pancreas said...

There are other people who like Soch Na Tha? Jab We Met (dear lord, who on earth came up with that title?), here I come.