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Jhoom Barabar Jhoom Review

Bollywood 05/10/2007

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (romance)
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol, Lara Dutta
Direction: Shaad Ali Sahgal

Bunty isn’t bubbly at all. As for bubbly, she’s lost her zing too. With both Abhishek and Preity, the quintessential Ms Bubbly, creating zero masti on screen, it’s left to the next best bakras to juggle up the requisite bedlam that usually forms the bedrock of Shaad Ali’s entertainers. Can Punjabi puttar Bobby Deol and Southall’s sharp-tongued slut, Lara Dutta save the day for our high-profile film production house? Nah! Even Amitabh Bachchan’s attempts to recreate the kaala jadu of ‘Kajra re’ with his Jack Sparrow-meets-desi gypsy jigs fails to give Yash Raj films its next big hit. There simply is no spin in the tale. End result? The bechara viewer keeps waiting — and waiting — to jhoom. To no avail.

So what’s the problem with the film? The confusion primarily springs from the director’s attempts to be oversmart and give a new take to Bollywood romance. One where the story unfolds more through the dialogues than through episodes. But unfortunately, the conversation between the Pakistani girl (Preity) and the chokra from Bhatinda (Abhishek) as they wait for their respective ‘fiancees’ on a crowded London station is mostly inaudible, inarticulate and a load of gobbledygook.

They both talk a lot, yet the talkathon — and their endless tales — fail to make you laugh, even though there is an attempt to create a series of bizarre situations. Zinta tells the story of her romance with the super-rich Deol who saved her from a crumbling Superman and Abhishek weaves a fable about a French kiss with Lara Dutta. But really, the stories aren’t funny at all.

Secondly, there is the hangover of Bunty aur Babli all through the film. Everybody seems to be a con artist here and the truth lies somewhere in between the seen and the heard. But unlike the earlier film which became a metaphor for small-town dreams and success stories, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom shows a great disconnect, both with the cosmopolitan viewer and the mofussil dreamer.

Even the romance seems unreal, minus an emotional core and leaves you cold. While Preity is too plastic as the Paki-Brit girl, Abhishek is absolutely awkward as the downmarket Brit from Bhatinda. Bobby and Lara have little to do while Mr Bachchan gets repetitive as the street singer who sings the same song and dances the same steps, again and again. The only thing that works is the music, another foot-thumping score from Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Despair. This one might just end up as the great summer let-down.

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