Really big expectations? Oh yes! With the premier production house [Yash Raj] at the helm of affairs and Shaad Ali in the director's seat, JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM is expected to strike like a hurricane.
Let's come to the point straightaway. Don't look for a story in JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM. For, there's none here. What you get to see is a collage of interesting moments. It's not one of those conventional prem kahanis that have the lovers drifting apart or a misunderstanding creating havoc in their lives.
What goes against the film is the fact that you feel a vacuum at the end of the screening. Something is amiss. Sure, you are enamored by the gloss. You are awe-struck by the stunning locales of U.K. and France. You are hooked to the performances of Abhishek and Preity mainly. But, deep inside, it doesn't satiate you.
To sum up, JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM is all gloss, no substance. Body beautiful, minus soul. In desi lingo, unchi dukaan, phika pakwaan.
Busy London station. Delayed train from Birmingham. Two strangers waiting for the train... Rikki Thukral [Abhishek Bachchan], born in Bhatinda, living in London; and Alvira Khan [Preity Zinta], more Brit than the Queen herself, however with Lahori blood in her veins.
Crowded cafe. One table to share. Two hours to kill. Perfect setting for the start of a love-story. Hitch? Both Rikki and Alvira are engaged and have come to pick up their fiances, who are coming by the same train. To kill time, they end up telling each other their "how I met my fiance" stories.
Rikki met his fiance Anaida [Lara Dutta] at The Ritz, Paris. Alvira discovers her prince at Madame Tussaud's. When a gigantic wax model of Superman falls from the ceiling, Alvira is a sitting target. But Steve [Bobby Deol], a lawyer by profession, saves her life, but steals her heart.
Stories unfold, time passes, the two strangers start enjoying each other. Actually, they have gotten alarmingly attracted to each other!
Director Shaad Ali has handled a number of sequences well. Actually, come to think of it, you do enjoy a few moments in this 14 reeler. But can you stretch a rubberband beyond a point? That's what the writer does.
Writer Habib Faisal's screenplay is as taxing as driving in monsoons on a road full of potholes. When you realize the film offers no story, you sit motionless, flexing your facial muscles at times, but remaining indifferent to the goings-on generally. The director and writer have substituted the script with stunning visuals. But that's no compensation.
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is quite good. 'Ticket To Hollywood' is the track you carry home. The title track is another foot-tapping composition. Cinematography is exceptional. The film is a visual treat. Choreography [Vaibhavi Merchant] is different, but Abhishek carries it off very well. Aki Narula's costumes are smashing.
JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM belongs to Abhishek first and Preity next. Abhishek is in terrific form. It wouldn't be erroneous to state that his performance makes the goings-on watchable at times. A lesser actor would've fallen flat on his face in the absence of a cohesive script.
Preity is lovely and takes to her character like a fish to water. In fact, the two actors make an attractive pair. Bobby is relegated to the backseat. Also, would someone please tell Mr. Deol to chop off those locks? Lara Dutta is confident, though she's not in the forefront either. Amitabh Bachchan adds to star-value. He only appears in one song, flashed throughout the movie.
On the whole, JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM is no patch on Yash Raj's illustrious films. The film is all gloss, no substance. Body beautiful, minus soul. At the box-office, the all-powerful Yash Raj brand coupled with the lack of biggies will ensure substantial revenue for its producers/distributors in the initial days, proving that sometimes, a bad film also makes money.