Jab We Met (2007)
Name: Jab We Met
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Did I watch this recently? Yes
Aditya (Shahid Kapoor) is heart broken after the girl he loves is getting married. Depressed and dejected he can’t return home so he drifts aimlessly aboard a train in the middle of the night. On the train he meets Geet (Kareena Kapoor), a beautiful but annoyingly talkative girl who is leaving Mumbai to go to her hometown in Punjab where she later plans to elope to her boyfriend Anshuman.
Geet irritates Aditya to the point of getting him to leave the train but as she tries to get back on the train she ends up missing the train and the two find themselves stranded on a desolate station. Aditya must now put up with Geet as they travel to Bhatindra to drop her at her families. However things do not go according to plan when they return home together. The rest of Geet & Aditya’s journey forms the rest of the story.
For the last couple of years Bollywood has tried to get away from the same old ‘boy meets girl’ simple storylines. Every movie has to have a USP or some complex storyline in order to be a success as many people were sick of the same old storylines. Jab We Met however is a nice return to the simple boy meets girl storyline. It really is only a re-package of the same old storyline but its packed with such great dialogue, scenes, banter, chemistry and songs that it could almost trick you to believing its new.
Director Imtiaz Ali returns with his second directorial since Socha Na Tha (2005). Even in that movie he took actors who had good chemistry together and dumped them in a simple boy meets girl storyline with a twist and a good screenplay and somehow that as well succeeded (although not commercially). Jab We Met is very similar.
Shahid Kapoor is Aditya, a quiet and depressed boy who one day aimlessly gets onto a random train after seeing the love of his life marry someone else. There he meets Geet played by Kareena Kapoor. A punjabi girl who is bubbly and just doesn’t know when to shut up. Geet feels a need to help out Aditya with his problems. But she has problems of her own as she has not told her family yet that she is eloping to marry Anshuman.
Something I’ve loved about Ali’s films is that he gives nearly all his characters a distinct personality. Aditya is very serious about life, mature and quite depressed at the beginning. While Geet doesn’t take life serious enough, can be a bit immature but she is very infectiously happy. Geet is exactly what Aditya needs at the beginning as she balances out his own personality and although he is annoyed by her at first, he soon learns the virtues of how she treats life.
Shahid does a wonderful job at balancing out Kareena’s high pitch loud acting in the beginning. I think Geet could have really gotten on some peoples nerves if it wasn’t for Shahid’s sarcastic quips at Kareena. A transition of the characters takes place in the second half of the movie and Kareena is no longer the loud bubbly character. I think Kareena does such a good job of this transition from bubbly to the dejected upset Geet of the 2nd half. Plus in the 2nd half it is Aditya who is positive and upbeat about life and is able to help out Geet when she is low on life in the 2nd half. This of course shows that the characters are well matched as they balance each other out in life.
After about 20 minutes into the film you know the movie isn’t going to be totally predictable. I could probably name about 5 movies that aspects of the movie could have been taken from, but it didn’t feel like deja vu or heavily one film. Its not your average boy meets girl, its just that much more enjoyable and the story really lets the viewer get attached to and love the characters of Geet and Aditya. Plus there are some very funny scenes including the ‘Hotel Decent’ scene and ‘Elopement Debacle’ scene. Anshuman in the second half also has some very funny reaction shots and is quite funny – but i’m not entirely sure he was meant to be so hysterical.
Another strong aspect of this film is the songs. They are extremely catchy especially Mauja Hi Mauja, Ye Ishq Hai & Nagada Nagada. Luckily also the picturisation only adds to how much i liked the songs.
Biggest downside of this film is it is perhaps too slow and could have done with a good edit in the 2nd half. It personally would feel hard to cut any of the scenes cause i really enjoyed them, but it can feel a bit repetitive nearing the end of the 2nd half. So if anything Jab We Met could do with some improved editing. Also there were many illogical points that you could easily forgive, but it was a bit too far when Aditya starts guitar singing to his employees in the office. Why doesn’t my boss sing to me!
Its sad to know that this will be one of Shahid & Kareena’s last films together (after the release of Milenge Milenge). After their breakup in real life there is little chance of them starring together, which is a shame because they finally get credibility for their chemistry here. I thought they had chemistry in 36 China Town and luckily a lot more of the audience is seeing it now. I know some people find Kareena very irritating and annoying – i used to be one of them. But since Omkara, Jab We Met, 36 China Town and Yuva i’ve come to like her. Jab We Met just reaffirms my opinion of how much she has matured as an actress. Shahid has always been a favourite of mine so no big changes after this movie, just always love to see him in a good film that showcases his romantic talents.
Overall Score: 4/5 Hairy Anil Kapoors – A extremely enjoyable timepass that has great re-watch potential. You fall in love with the characters, many funny scenes and it has everything to be a very nice repackage of the boy and girl dramas. Luckily also has just the right dosage of songs, comedy, drama and melodrama. Only downside is the length as second half could do with a trim and some illogical parts of the movie that are easily forgiven.