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A social "do good" injection doesn't dent Salman-ness of the film.
He may be a cop, a thief, a spy, a bodyguard or a buffoon - He's Salman Khan and he'll beat people around him to pulp. He'll do it to the cheers and whistles of his audience. He'll do it with his unique style that you can hate or love, but cannot ignore even if you tried. Oh yes, they try to have a story in Jai Ho which attempts to ignite the human in you.
So, here's our good samaritan (yeah, that's how good he is) Jai (Salman Khan) who helps people and wants to spread his idea of goodness. Only that he is hot-tempered, so his help invariably involves violence. A lot of violence. I guess, being a Salman Khan film we should just be thankful that this time around the character he plays isn't looting the rich to help the poor, to give his character that shade of grey.
There I go again, looking for work in the writing department in a film of this genre, having this star. However, I did like that they try to propagate the "do good, feel good" idea. If only, the movie stuck to it, itself. Unless of course, the idea of a common man beating every criminal in sight - is "do good". Aah, now there's an idea. And yet, when a military tanker vandalizes property, it gets a bit much, even if it is out of goodness of the heart, for the goodness of the heart.
I must admit though, for a change Jai Ho has more focused writing than any of Salman's recent films. It doesn't deviate from its theme or violence, but for that occasional song and dance number. It doesn't take the romantic detour for too long too. Even the villains want to harass his other family members rather than his love interest.
Which is about as good as it gets, for to see Tabu play a side character hurts. She stands tall, she tries to bring composure to the film, she does her bit, but it still hurts. I felt sorry for Genelia D'Souza too. Maybe her character too, but mostly the actor for the length of the character she plays. It is very difficult to no relate it to her post-marriage career.
Anyway, lead lady Daisy Shah is the quintessential pretty, dumb love interest who does her bit of cutesy and is "out of sight, out of mind" for the other characters, writers, and the audience. The only actor who actually gives a performance-performance is Naman Jain who plays Salman Khan's nephew. Not only is he cute, he is confident and delivers his lines with perfect timing. Also, his role is written well - doesn't make him sound like an adult but at the same time keeping him in line with any boisterous child of this day and age would talk.
Otherwise, Jai Ho is the typical mix of action, silly humor, romance, loud background score, and ill-placed mediocre songs. Though, "baaki sab first class hai" does have decent lyrics. Too little to hang on to for a film that last 2.5 hours.
Throughout the film, I just couldn't shake off the fact that Salman Khan is calling himself a common man. Oh, it's the character that's the common man? Yeah right! Even for the sake of argument, if you ignore that Salman plays Salman in the film, how can you ignore not every common man or a common woman's brother has six packs and muscle power to take down 20 people in one go. And without that, how do we do good and spread the word?
- meetu, a part of the audience
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