Nothing. Not SRK’s arousing looks, (yup still manages to make me swoon) not Imtiaz Ali’s desperate attempt at handling mature love, not Anushka Sharma’s accent.
It’s really tough for me to say this because the man has given us Love Aaj Kal, Jab We Met, Socha Na Tha, Tamasha, Highway and Rockstar (I liked it).
So WHY, WHAT didn’t make it work?
Was it the absence of AR Rahman’s magic? Maybe not.. the songs were decent. Way toooo many, but bearable.
Was it then, star power? Bigger the star, more the interference in the writer’s vision of telling the story?
I can’t reason.
Character motivations are vaguely defined because of which I couldn’t gauge why Harry was so frustrated with all that pent up anger? He’s lonely, he says, and keeps thinking of Punjab. For the longest I thought there was a back story there. Harry drowns the loneliness and cynicism in women and strip clubs. He’s bruised and hurt, by what, we don’t know.
BUT WHAT IS SEJAL’S DEAL? Is she a bimbo, sly, smart, but dumb as per the writer’s convenience (She sees Harry cry.. sings an entire song with him.. then inquires ‘casually’ why he was crying.
CINEMATIC LIBERTY I GET IT!)
Sejal, who feels the excessive need to explain the meaning of her stereotypical gujju name, meets Harry, ‘a lost tour guide’ (ohohoho whattey pun) because she accidentally loses her engagement ring on the trip (where her entire fam and fiance Rupen were along with her). Rupen fights with her for losing the ring and let’s her stay back in Europe to look for the ring – there – established fiance is a dick. Okay.
BUT that isn’t good enough a reason for me to believe her asking Harry if he finds her ‘laayak’ (worthy), meaning, let’s just say it – is she fuckable, or is she ‘sister material’?
THE VERY FIRST NIGHT THEY MET WTF!
But when he tells her that she isn’t like the ‘other girls’, she’s to be protected and taken care of. To which 90% of the country’s women and Sejal took offence – but obviously for completely opposite reasons.
Sejal wasn’t pissed coz Harry was being a sexist pig characterising women based on their personal choices, she was pissed coz he thinks she ain’t fuckable.
TO WHICH, MY FAV – HE TAKES COUNTER OFFENCE COZ YEH LADKIYON KI PROBLEM KYA HAI, COMPLIMENT DO TOH BHI ATTITUDE DIKHAATI HAI..
And then starts a series of meaningless episodes of running away from goons (you guessed it right SEJAL CAUSED THE TROUBLE CUZ WOMAN WILL SHRIEK WHEN GOON YELLS AND GIVE AWAY HIDING PLACE.. COZ.. WOMAN), discussing some sweet-nothings in between and not taking hints from a tharki confessing his extremely tharki behavioural pattern.
I wonder if they were seeking to be killed by goons.
They go on some more random ring-hunting trips, meet more comical goons, get outta situations like pros coz SRK BRO, and eventually Sejal finds the ring in the most obvious place because – yup. Brews amidst all this a lusty love affair, with the awareness that once the ring is found she’s gotta go to badass Rupen to marry the fuck outta her arranged marriage. Got it. Umm but no!
Blurring the lines of fidelity can be justified, made to be felt for if tricky love is handled maturely. Gulzar did it in the 80s with Ijaazat. Imtiaz Ali has done it in the past, then why go so wrong this time? And I don’t mean it has to be serious and melancholic, watch the second season of Master Of None, a comedian did it so beautifully!
It hurts when SRK, who’s atleast trying to make different cinema (I mean Salman who doesn’t even try and gives hits) is failing at this back-to-back. It hurts when the man who gave us those iconic moments to be cherished writes superficial characters and pointless moments, and it hurts when an actress who talks so openly about gender bias in the industry can’t see through the casual sexism.
If you must, watch it for SRK’s sexy midriff, Anushka’s glam looks, Safar and Europe.