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Mixed reviews as ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ opens worldwide

Yash Chopra’s final romance ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ has received decidedly mixed reviews after the film premiered in Mumbai Monday night.

The film opened worldwide on the eve of Diwali with the glittering premier attended by the biggest stars in Bollywood who set aside their differences and came out in force in honour of Chopra, who died last month.

The benevolent sentiment extended to film critics in India who generally panned the movie’s weak and illogical plot but were at pains to celebrate yet another singular Romance from Bollywood’s King of Romance.

The Hindustan Times’ Anupama Chopra said the film had “all the elements you would want in a Yash Chopra movie – gorgeously shot locations, lavish songs and three inherently noble lead characters” but described the story as ‘incoherent’, ‘unconvincing’ and ‘clumsy’. 

Chopra nonetheless praised lead actor Shah Rukh Khan – who finally breaks his ‘no-kissing’ rule to smooch Katrina Kaif – and his ability to still play ‘the compelling romantic male lead’.

Writing on Rediff.com, Sukanya Verma said the film was “nothing more than lovely fluff” that could have been shorter (the film runs for 180 mins) and snappier but said it was “definitely worth watching once for the man whose name appears against the bright blue sky – Mr Yash Chopra.”

Filmfare magazine’s Rachit Gupta – a film critic with seemingly unbridled passion for Shah Rukh Khan – was more effusive in his praises for the film. 

In a 600-word review, Gupta described ‘JTHJ’ as “rich in philosophy, poetic love and honest emotions”, which “weaves its magic on the tender hearts of die-hard romantics.”

The critic was even moved to describe the 3-hour run-time as ‘gracious’. 

Amitabh Bachchan, who attended the premier and after-party alongside the likes of Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Subhash Ghai, tweeted afterwards: “Just back from YRF and the premier of the film ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan‘, followed by a party… And the film… what can one do, or say about it … each portion poetry, each artist at his and
her best, and for Shah Rukh his best performance after ‘Swades‘.”

Set in picturesque Ladakh and the UK – one of Chopra’s favourite locations – the film tells the story of Samar (SRK), who works as a waiter in London when he falls in love with a wealthy businesswoman named Meera Thapar (Katrina Kaif). 

After their romance flounders, Samar returns to India and becomes a bomb disposal expert.

As he whiles away his days disarming explosive devices and pining for his lost love, he meets Akira (Anushka Sharma), a 21-year-old documentary filmmaker for the Discovery Channel who offers to make a film on Samar’s life and ends up falling in love with him.

Yash Chopra described the film as his best work and said it would be his swan song. 

But the filmmaker behind such iconic romances as ‘Silsila’ and ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ never had the chance to see his final romance on the big screen.

‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ is now in cinemas around the UK.

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