Back in 2007, Geet called Aditya ‘bhaisaab’ when she bumped into him for the first time in Jab We Met. A decade later, in Jab Harry Met Sejal (JHMS), Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) refers to Sejal (Anushka Sharma) rather formally as ma’am in their initial interactions. Both the pairs of (potential) lovers have no inkling where they are headed in their respective relationships.
First half: breezy and unabashedly banal. Second half: riddled with toe-curling romantic mush. Sum total: a wayward, winding journey without maps that weaves concentric circles around sweet nothings and empty prittle-prattle. That, in a nutshell, is Imtiaz Ali’s perambulatory rom-com Jab Harry Met Sejal. It leaves you wishing they hadn’t met.
Jab Harry Met Sejal is predictable to the T like most Bollywood movies are. Yet, some manage to entertain. Not this one. Tour guide Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) makes a living by tagging along with Indian groups on holiday in Europe. He clicks photos for them and hopes to find that elusive something that he is missing. What is this ‘kami‘? By the time director Imtiaz Ali and his lead actor gives us the answer, we are fast asleep in our seats.
Jab Harry Met Sejal is supposed to be a ‘journey’. Trust me, you will have gone to Europe, seen Budapest, Prague, Berlin, Lisbon, Vienna, from the Amalfi coast to the Atlantic, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea in the duration this film runs in front of you. There is nothing in Jab Harry Met Sejal that can keep your eyelids from wanting to stay shut after the first 20 minutes of the film, and most of it is courtesy the lead actors Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma.