DIRECTOR: Sohail Khan
CAST: Salman Khan, Daisy Shah, Mohnish Bahl, Danny Denzongpa, Tabu, Genelia D’Souza, Mahesh Manjrekar, Nadira Babbar, Ashmit Patel, Aditya Pancholi, Suniel Shetty, Varun Badola, Nauheed Cyrusi, Tulip Joshi
The usual cautionary warning in the opening credits should have been replaced by this: in the making of this film, no Salman Khan fan was hurt. Because that’s all Jai Ho, like all Bhai vehicles, aspires to. But even for those that adore the man with agate bracelet, I’d say his new flick is little more than a damp squib.
The faithful who had gathered to have themselves a time on the first day first show could only be roused on two counts: one when he is wading into the baddies, and the other when he is at the centre of a running joke involving the size of a young fellow’s goolies, and the colour of a girl’s underwear. Yes, that’s right.
The rest is a series of dismal scenes and gags, which must have been written on an as-is-where-is basis, woven around an array of faces who wander about filling in space till Bhai comes on to kick more butt. Oh, he/she is also in the film? Quick, write a few lines, and send them off.
Jai (Khan) is an ex-Army aam aadmi, who wants to propagate the power of three. Do good, and tell the recipient of the deed to spread the word among three people, and those three to three more, and so on. It is not even original, because the film is a remake of the Chiranjeevi-starrer Stalin. Jai Ho has the loose, scattered quality of bad South remakes, and it doesn’t help that the Bhai’s love interest (Daisy Shah) is singularly uninspiring, whose only performing asset is her very flexible waist.
This must have been set up to be Salman’s Munnabhai, the guy who wants to be a do-gooder, and eradicate all evil. But it ends up as an unimaginative gore-fest, interspersed with some ghastly bits and pieces. On top of that list is the horribly exploitative side-story of a physically challenged girl (is this what Genelia D’Souza sunk to?), just a notch above a poor auto-wala, who is done good to by a stubbly drunk, and a little girl with a wooden arm. It’s enough to make a grown man cry, which our hero does. Thrice, in case you were counting.
All kinds of other inexplicable things happen, including Tabu showing up to play Salman’s sister. What is she doing in a film like this? Suniel Shetty (remember him?) pops up, gives a little lecture on patriotism (he plays an Armyman, in a tank, and fatigues, just in case we missed the point), and vanishes. Such solid actors as Nadira Babbar and Varun Badola are also spotted holding up the rear, as well as Danny D and Mahesh M and Mohnish B.
Jai Ho could have been a pure and simple “Dabangg 3”. It’s not. It’s not even a no-holds-barred South remake either, despite its quarts of spurting blood and broken bones). Jai’s aam aadmi (he says the phrase, and the audience erupts, rightfully, in this age of ascendant mango people) catches traction only a moment. In the rest, he goes back to snarling and kicking and scowling. Even the shirt-off moment is not Jai Ho’s money shot. Maybe Bhai should have gone in for a muffler around the head, instead.