Vashu Bhagnani's OM JAI JAGADISH, directed by Anupam Kher, tells the tale of three brothers ï¿½ Om (Anil Kapoor), Jai (Fardeen Khan) and Jagadish (Abhishek Bachchan).
Om is a simple man with extra-ordinary abilities. Working for a music company, he has an unerring instinct for spotting talent, sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. Jai is ambitious and obsessed with creating a fast car that will revolutionise the automobile industry. Jagadish is a youngster studying in college. When he's not fooling around with his pals, he is stuck to his computer, trying to hack into sites.
Recognising Jai's brilliance, Om takes loans from his company to send Jai abroad for studies. Jai receives a job offer from General Motors, but because he loves and respects Om so much and because Om wants the entire family to be together, Jai reluctantly comes back to India.
Meanwhile, Jagadish wants to specialise in computers and requests Om for monetary help. Already burdened with loans, Om flatly refuses him. Hurt and angry, Jagadish accuses Om of favouritism and discrimination. Jai also shocks Om by informing him that he is returning to the U.S.
In one day, Om loses what he loves most in the world ï¿½ his brothers. Three brothers, three separate ways.
With Anupam Kher at the helm of affairs, expectations from the film soar. After essaying a wide gamut of roles and working with the best of technicians over the years, Kher seems to have learnt his lessons well as far as extracting performances from his principal stars is concerned. But his storytelling leaves a lot to be desired.
The story is old wine in new bottle. It reminds you of the immensely successful socials of yore, of the 1960s and 1970s to be precise. But to give it a contemporary feel, Kher and his writer (Rahul Nanda) have added fast cars and computer-related scams and video-chats to the plot so that the present generation identifies with the goings-on.
The first half of the film has several tender moments and Kher does leave an impression in a few sequences. The video-chat sequences, first between Abhishek and Fardeen and later, when Anil chats with Fardeen, are remarkably executed.
The second half begins equally well and the narrative continues to hold your interest till Fardeen and Urmila leave for the U.S. and simultaneously, Abhishek hacks the university website. Thereafter, the narrative gets tedious, slow-paced and lengthy before it reaches the finale, which fortunately is very well executed.
Directorially, Kher has extracted fine performances from the main cast, but the pace at which the story moves dilutes the impact to a major extent. His handling of the emotional moments and dramatic sequences deserve kudos. Kher's shot takings, at places, are plain average and at times impressive.
On the script level, the romantic track of Anil-Mahima and Abhishek-Tara Sharma have not been developed well. Even Fardeen's struggle to make the fastest car does not come across strongly.
The climax is the scoring point of the film. Although the auction bit looks slightly unpalatable, Kher's treatment makes it watchable.
Anu Malik's music is just about okay. Barring the title track and 'Pyar Ka Matlab', the remaining songs are mediocre. 'Chori Chori', which is foot-tapping and its picturisation is classy, comes at an inappropriate place.
Dialogues (Rumi Jafry) are wonderful at places. Cinematography (Johny Lal) is fairly impressive. Editing (Apurva Asrani) is loose. The film is very lengthy towards the second half and if trimmed, would only help in enhancing the impact.
Waheeda Rehman excels in a role that seems tailormade for her. Her climax sequence is worth applauding. Anil Kapoor is first-rate. The sequence between Fardeen and him, when the latter has packed his bags to leave for the U.S., is proof that the actor is amongst the best in the business.
Fardeen Khan's sincerity shows in his work. The actor is improving with every release. Abhishek Bachchan takes a step forward with this film. His performance is better than his previous works.
Amongst heroines, it is Urmila Matondkar all the way. Although her role has negative shades, the actress handles it alright without going overboard. Mahima Chaudhary has been wasted. Tara Sharma looks photogenic, but gets no scope to perform. Parmeet Sethi is so-so. Achint Kaur and Lillete Dubey lend adequate support.
On the whole, OM JAI JAGADISH is not the type that may set the box-office ablaze, but it may find some flavour with ladies in particular. Should grow with word of mouth publicity.