The Rahul Rawail-Sunny Deol combo is special. BETAAB, ARJUN, SAMUNDAR, DACAIT, YODHA, ARJUN PANDIT... irrespective of the films' box-office outcome, the fact cannot be denied that one looks forward to their films.
Their latest outing, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL, is special too. In sharp contrast to Rahul and Sunny's earlier movies, this one tries to balance the two extremes -- light moments and action -- and the result is akin to a roller-coaster ride. The film starts off with a bang, taking you to dizzy heights as it gathers momentum, but the journey towards the finale isn't as euphoric.
The film has some excellent comedy and also brilliantly executed stunts, but if the protagonist is strong and the opponent weak, the outcome falls like a pack of cards. That's precisely the problem here: Sunny Deol like never before, but a not-too-convincing villain in Kamaal Khan dilutes the impact to an extent.
Yet, despite the hiccups, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL is a better attempt than Rawail's last viewed films. And, yes, those who felt that Sunny was not in his elements post-GADAR, are bound to chew their words back. The Punjab Da Puttar breathes fire this time around!
Nihaal Singh [Sunny Deol] is an honest and immensely lovable constable from Punjab.
A chance encounter with Romeo [Kamaal Khan] changes his life forever. Romeo is an ambitious mercenary who moves from country to country, spreading a chain of terror. He uses Nihaal Singh's innocence to escape from the hands of the law.
Nihaal is branded a traitor who helped a terrorist escape. He is suspended from his job, he is ridiculed and his family faces the wrath of the entire village.
Amidst all this, Romeo is spreading terror all over the world and has finally reached the land of opportunities -- New York.
The F.B.I. is desperately looking for Romeo. Also, according to intelligence reports, there is a possibility of an organization hiring the services of Romeo to assassinate the President of U.S.A.
However, there is one problem. Romeo is a man without a face. No one in the world knows what he looks like. No one except Nihaal Singh!
The F.B.I. takes Nihaal Singh to New York to help them put an end to Romeo's nefarious activities. Nihaal Singh, on reaching New York, agrees to identify Romeo, but on one condition: He will first bring Romeo to his hometown in Punjab to clear his name, bring back his lost glory, redeem his family honor and then hand him over to the American authorities.
JO BOLE SO NIHAAL bears a striking similarity to a number of Hollywood films that depict the cat and mouse game with aplomb. Bollywood has also tackled similar themes in the past, with the two opposing sides involved in a game of wits.
Director Rahul Rawail is an interesting storyteller. He merges the two diametrically opposite genres -- comedy and action -- effortlessly and narrates a tale that has several attention-grabbing moments. The light moments between Sunny and his grand-mother, to start with, are well executed, as also the witty one-liners that keep flowing in with regularity.
In fact, it won't be wrong to state that JO BOLE SO NIHAAL has some of the best comic sequences witnessed in the recent times. And with Sunny carrying off these portions with ?n, the viewer keeps asking for more.
From the writing point of view, the first half moves at a bullet's speed. It's fast paced and thoroughly entertaining; the masala is packaged with style, which has always been Rawail's forte.
But the post-interval portions aren't as absorbing. There're no inherent flaws as such, but the screenplay meanders on the same path [terrorism] that has been witnessed time and again. Besides, the narrative gets quite slow paced in this half. Yes, there are a few well executed sequences as also stunts, but the impact isn't as absorbing as the first half.
The climax is another downer. You expect an exhilarating conclusion to the film, but the finale is so long-drawn that the impact gets diluted. Besides, there are certain points in the script the viewer may find difficult to absorb.
As far as execution is concerned, director Rahul Rawail merges form and content beautifully. The film bears a striking look all through [the locales of U.S.A. are well captured] and certain sequences have been handled amazingly well. Rawail, who has not attempted comedy many times in the past, handles this genre with effortless ease, proving his versatility as a storyteller. But the screenplay, in the post-interval portions specifically, could've been better and more innovative.
The dialogues [Sanjay Chhel] are amongst the highpoints of the enterprise. The witty one-liners and the comic dialogues are sure to entertain the viewers. Cinematography is excellent, with the spell-binding locales of U.S.A. making the film appear like a visual treat. Action is another area where this film works in a big way. The stunts are simply outstanding!
Music [Anand Raaj Anand] is quite alright. The songs fit in the narrative and even their placement is proper. But the absence of a hit number is felt when the show concludes.
Some people are born to play certain roles. For the main role in JO BOLE SO NIHAAL, you just can't imagine any other actor than Sunny doing justice to it. He handles the comic as well as moments demanding histrionics with that rare understanding and delivers a performance that's sure to be talked about in days to come.
Kamaal Khan doesn't register an impact. The terror and fear associated with the character is clearly missing here. He also needs to work on his dialogue delivery, so vital for any actor. Shilpi Sharma doesn't get much scope. Nupur Mehta is expressive enough. Surekha Sikri is first-rate. Aroon Bakshi impresses.
On the whole, JO BOLE SO NIHAAL has three aces -- Sunny Deol, excellent comedy and vibrant action. But the post-interval portions are plain ordinary. At the box-office, the business will be the brightest in North India [Delhi-U.P., Punjab, parts of Rajasthan]. At other places, it will range from good average to average.