Disclaimer: The movie was watched and reviewed when it released! But I just realised that I hadn’t published it…here you go! A little late in the day, many movies later…I won’t delete a written post!
“John Abraham cannot act!” – when someone says that to me, I am disappointed! Not because I think otherwise, but because I like him for reasons outside his acting capabilities. And it is in moments like these that I empathise with someone called Himesh Reshamiyya…the man has the distinction of being the only entity in the film world that I cannot stand! Again, it’s a personal stand…and I am very aware of the popularity of his famous nasal twang. But John is a personal favourite not because he is a looker (which he is! but because he earnestly tries to perform every time he is put before the camera. Now is that the reason why Pakhi (Abbas Tyrewala’s wife) insisted on playing the lead in Jhootha Hi Sahi and have John play the male lead?? I won’t blame her if she thinks like me…
Yes, I liked John in his stammering, stuttering, non-macho, adorably dimpled, clumsy book seller-cum-counsellor role. The reviews (that I read all over before I watched the film) compared him to Clark Kent but perhaps that is because in the film too he referred to as the dumb wit newspaper reporter by day-turned-super hero by night! The similarities are for you to see, giving that away would be giving away the plot!
So here is what worked & didn’t!
1) The Plot – Adorable and funny…the lies, contraptions, emotions and revelations, all packaged with a generous dose of humour. Works! However, the execution of it was a tad clichéd…meandering in parts, JHS could have been a good 30 minutes short! Writing I believe is Abbas’ scoring point, but then he did fail in some parts.
2) The Characters – By far the most eclectic mix that we have seen in recent times. Homosexuals, single unwed mom-to-be, Pakistani’s, globe trotting haughty flight attendant, a firangi desperate to get married to his pregnant girl friend, a lonesome woman low on confidence and companionship hopelessly in love with her ex and dangerously suicidal! All characters are believable; however there are a few things that cannot be digested easily! I was delighted to see the extinction of homophobia from Hindi cinema, it’s another thing that Prashant Chawla the actor who played Uday regrets he took up the role for his first film! Raghu Ram was natural – all that brouhaha in Roadies was after all playacting! Alishka Varde, again a natural effortless actress, her quirky performance worked again! Madhavan, wasted and too fat for the big screen!!!
3) The Music – Ever since I heard Rahman way back 1995, I knew that this is one sound maker who every listener will have to develop a taste for, like they say, “Rahman’s music grows on you!” But there is a signature in his music that you cannot ignore…surprisingly, JHS didn’t have the familiar ‘pappu-cant-dance-saala’ flavour! I believe Rahman had Abbas trot around the world to complete the background score and re-record parts of it! Well, distraction is bad…this is how! Disappointed!
4) The Heroine – She was pretty, earnest and tried very hard to dance…but somehow for me she didn’t suit Mishka’s role! Agreed JHS is her story…and I strongly believe that Pakhi could have stayed with her casting director tag from her JTYJN days, and cast another actress.
5) The Hero – John tried really really hard, again! We heard rumours of his shedding his beefcake look to play the bespectacled Sid, but that was not really all that enough! But with John, I have come to settle with the fact that for some people, you must appreciate their effort.
Now put all of the above and what do you get? A concoction that produces a half baked dish! Some of the elements fell into place, but most of it was left loose. Perhaps the film maker assumed that the audience won’t mind being a bit bored. Well, Mr Tyrewala…we did! It’s a one time watch for me…take back the quirky characters if you like!