Bollywood Film Review “Jab Harry Met Sejal”

 

   

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

First, the Recap:

Sometimes, we don’t realize what we’re truly seeking until it rises up in front of us, captivates our very being, and allows us to open up to elements of life we had buried deep within for fear of being hurt. Yet, even in the midst of such blatant exposure to everything we’ve ever desired, it still remains to be seen whether we actually take the leap, or forever remain frozen in hesitation. Yes, when two souls collide, anything can happen. For career tour guide Harinder “Harry” Singh Nehra (SRK), life is all about hellos and goodbyes, but solely in the context of the tourist groups he leads around to see the sights then drop off at the airport, usually with quite a sense of relieved gratitude, able to relax finally, but still be haunted by memories of his home village and the life he left behind there.

This day, however, takes an unanticipated and initially unwelcome turn when one of his now-former tourist family members named Sejal (Anushka Sharma) catches him before leaving to advise of her misplaced engagement ring that she cannot return to Mumbai without. After much debate and frustration, Harry agrees to take Sejal around to look for the ring, which soon becomes a country-hopping escapade, all the while with Harry’s womanizing ways and Sejal’s revealed insecurities about her own upcoming marriage bursting to the forefront in the midst of it all. Yet, with Harry suddenly gleaning more about the real nature of love and commitment and Sejal feeling more emancipated and protected by Harry than expected, will choices be made that can keep them together, or separate them forever?

Next, my Mind:

Bollywood once again proves they truly are masters of the romantic dramedy with this spunky, energetic, fun-filled effort from writer/director Imtiaz Ali that takes on the basic theme of unpredicted attraction, but then also finds a way to delve deeper into the concepts of being confronted by your inner turmoil, owning up to your outward actions, realizing that changing your mind and heart is possible, and that there is great healing in having a willingness to open up and let someone new in. With the ever-present, ever-effective mix of joyous and humor-filled elements paired with the dramatically potent and heartstring-pulling, pathos-filled, and fanciful romantic notions we expect, the narrative beautifully moves forward with well-paced intention and emotional integrity. Smooth camerawork embraces both characters and their surroundings alike in a way that simply brings the entire affair alive while maintaining a keenly human, solidly established atmosphere that helps us as the viewers to relate to everything while still feeling swept away in the fantastical reality the film offers. The wonderfully chosen music and catchy dance sequences add to the proceedings as only Bollywood can–with excellence.

Let’s continue to let it be known that when it’s a film involving the one and only SRK, you’re pretty much guaranteed it’s gonna be great and he once again provides us proof of this in his role as Harry, a regular guy harboring some hard memories of the past whose simple career in another country showing other people around then allows him to be the suave cad he is, with no real sense of commitment needed for any of it. Of course, this all gets shaken up upon his meeting Sejal, a woman who’s not intimidated by his forward demeanor or admitted reputation and instead leads him to a much better outlook towards himself, love, and life. All high charisma, charm, and acting prowess, SRK delivers as only he can.  But, let that not allow us to overlook in any way the beautiful and superbly talented Sharma as Sejal, a strongly independent, confident woman who can be all bubbly, innocent, and girlie in one moment, then authoritative, immovable, and stubborn the next as she ropes Harry into the crazy adventure to locate her missing engagement ring. Yet, under all of it, her fears of what life will actually be like in the marriage planned is eating her alive, and the time spent with the outgoing Harry helps her find that sense of security and peace she’s desiring. Watching this dynamic ebb and flow through Sejal is so acutely enacted by Sharma, and you honestly cannot resist falling in love with her yourself.

Supporting turns are present from Aru Krishansh Verma as Harry’s fellow tour guide and friend Mayank, Chandan Roy Sandal as a rather hilariously gullible criminal nicknamed “Gas”, as well as Evelyn Sharma, Manjot Singh, Rana Ranbir, and Sayani Gupta among others.  In total, with the palpable chemistry between icon SRK and Sharma, timeless themes, and engaging mix of whimsy and drama, “Jab Harry Met Sejal” is another winner from the halls of Bollywood and further indication that Indian cinema isn’t going to disappear or become irrelevant anytime soon.  If anything, this reviewer hopes it only comes more into the world spotlight as it deserves.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

 

 

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