Energetic. Hyper. Over-the-top. Loud. Pure high-octane. We are, of course, not describing director Shaad Ali's previous Bunty Aur Babli
, but his latest, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which, though painted on a similar canvas, is a much bigger and bolder venture.
To begin with, JBJ has been shot extensively - and stunningly - in Paris and London (never before has the Asian hub of Southhall been paid homage to more refreshingly in mainstream Bollywood) - a credible first attempt by Ali.
While Bunty Aur Babli was the somewhat unusual love story between two pure-hearted con artists, in JBJ unfolds another hatke
love story, that between Rikki Thukral (an uncouth Bachchan, sporting a ridiculous but apt 'Haryanvi' get-up that includes a Fu Manchu-style moustache, mismatched clothing and accessories, and a horrendously large topaz-stone ring) and Alvira Khan (Zinta, every-inch the British-born, mini-skirted, well-booted sophisticate).
In keeping with the Bollywood bump-and-grind tradition, these two opposites bump into each other at a bustling railway station in London, and grind their teeth in frustration when forced by circumstances - aka Cupid - to spend time in the other's company at the same restaurant table. Over the next two hours, much to their surprise, they swap not only anecdotes involving their colorful, intimate histories, but phone numbers, too.
Their consequent attraction is mutual, but so is their dilemma; both are engaged to be married to different people - Rikki to Anaida Raza (a drop-dead, gorgeous Dutta, purr-fectly French in her accent, and from the top of her coiffured head to the tip of her gleaming heels) and Alvira to Steve Singh (a hunky Deol, quite convincing as a shark lawyer).
Suffice to say that JBJ concludes on a happy note, not only for Rikki and Alvira, but for their prospective spouses as well. Meanwhile, there is plenty to appreciate apart from the plot developments, starting with Aki Narula's imaginative styling - enough has been said about Amitabh Bachchan's Pirates Of The Caribbean inspired look, but it works, and how!Jhoom
to Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's catchy, pulsating rhythms, especially with Big B to the fabulous title track, which, happily, plays recurrently. Also, please do notice that huge chunks of the second half of JBJ are danced out, rather than acted out, by the talented ensemble cast, an unusual and bold move by a Bollywood director.
Laugh through certain memorable scenes, especially one where the heroines drop their groomed demeanor and throw insults at each other. Ali also pays tribute to his leading men and their legendary fathers in one beautifully shot scene - Deol and Bachchan riding atop a scooter identical to the one used by Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay
, complete with Yeh Dosti
playing softly in the background.
Much after the curtain falls on this film, these bits stay with you. No better gauge to measure the worth of a film, we say!