A scintillating romance of life, ushering in a symbiotic catharsis.
Jab We Met is a story of two incredibly believable characters, whose intentions of going on a journey are different, yet meet on a train, which is too much of a coincidence to be a mere coincidence.
However, their karma-tic coming together leads them on to an inner journey of rediscovering themselves.
Jab We Met is a dynamic saga of rising expectations and receding hopes. It is a vibrant journey of vigorous aspirations and a destined culmination of desperate cross-currents.
The hero of Jab We Met, Aditya (Shahid Kapur ) is an upcoming businessman going through troubled times. Conniving situations compound his adversities, the girl he is in love with being married to someone else. Trying to run away from the conspiracy of circumstances, Aditya decides to go on an aimless train journey. As part of an inevitable coincidence, he is accosted by Geet (Kareena), a pretty but an irritatingly chattering girl, who is on her way to Bathinda. She has her own plans to elope with her boyfriend, after reaching home.
Geet’s constant annoying tittle-tattle irritates Aditya so much that he gets off the train. While trying to get him back, she too misses the train and the two find themselves stranded in an isolated station without any resources.
Then, they embark on a unique journey through the gorgeous north Indian hinterland. They make their way through all sorts of modes of travel, right from six-wheelers to two-wheeled camel carts and finally reach Bathinda.
When Geet reaches home, her family mistakes them for lovers. Even before this misapprehension is cleared, Geet goes away to her boyfriend in Manali with Aditya in tow. The trip to Manali rejuvenates Aditya completely and he rediscovers his normal confident self. He decides to return to Mumbai and take care of his business and succeeds. Everything is going on predictably smooth lines, when he is suddenly confronted by Geet’s family.
He is surprised to know that Geet had not returned to her home. He takes the responsibility to track her down and ultimately locates her in a Himalayan town. The two start one more journey. The rest of the film deals with the questions of what transpired between Geet and her boy friend, the reasons for Geet not returning home and what transpires between Aditya and Geet. The answers to these questions give the lead to the climax.
Jab We Met is undoubtedly Kareena’s best performance till now. She portrays the fun loving babbling character of Geet with such commendable ease that you see shades of Nagis in Chori Chori and of Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
Shahid Kapoor, in his subdued hued Armani suits, shows commendable maturity in his performance. He essayed his role with remarkable restraint. He gave one of his finest performances so far.
Pawan Malhotra and Dara Singh essay cameos as members of Geet’s family. Kiron Juneja and Divya Seth are adequate as the supporting cast. Tarun Arora looks natural in his wimpish character.
Director Imtiaz Ali conceived the journeys of the hero and the heroine in the film as a metaphor for the intricate inner expeditions of self discovery and self actualisation. What we see on the screen is a vivacious voyage of vibrant lives, the vignettes of which help the disturbed lead characters to overcome the debris of their shattered dreams and rebuild a credible hoard of hopes.
The story is simple and the conclusion is predictable, yet the screenplay allows you, not exactly suspense, but sufficient accelerated anticipation, just making you eager to know how the couple would ultimately unite.
The various modes of journeys are idiomatic and symbolic. If the train represents modernity, the camel cart denotes antiquity. If the scorching desert is the haven of Hades decimating the dreams, the ice-cold peaks are the symbiotic heaven of restoration of self confidence, which has been in cryogenic isolation.
Music by Pritam is in sync with the various moods of the film. While songs Hum Jo Chalne Lage and Ye Ishq Haye are melodious, the numbers Nagada Tumse Hi and Mauja Hi Mauja are swinging foot-tappers. The background score adds to the emotional tempo or to the psychological dumps of the characters.
Cinematography by Nataraja Subramanian is fabulous, capturing the true colours of sylvan, yet vibrant vagaries of life in Hindistan’s hinterland.
The choreography by Ashley Lobo may not satisfy die-hard viewers of MTV and ZOOM, but appropriately reflects the mood of the place and time of narration.Dialogues and lyrics enhance the flavour and fragrance of unflickering narration.
Jab We Met is an eminently watchable film, particularly for the exquisite performance of Kareena Kapoor and a surprisingly extraordinary acting of Shahid Kapoor. Of course, the film will remain as an excellent creation of Imtiaz Ali, for its visual splendour and its narrative metaphor.