Every film should be judged purely on the basis of its merits/demerits. Comparisons or drawing parallels with another film, even if it’s helmed by the same director, is not right, in my opinion. But if the posters/billboards/newspaper ads/promotional material of JHOOTHA HI SAHI has an eye-catching line that screams ‘From the director of JAANE TU YA JAANE NA’, if not comparisons, the expectations from JHOOTHA HI SAHI do multiply five-fold, since JAANE TU YA JAANE NA was, in terms of economics, the biggest hit of 2008. Sadly, Abbas Tyrewala’s new offering JHOOTHA HI SAHI falls flat for this reason [it doesn’t meet the expectations] as well as several other reasons. What comes across is unexciting, boring and lethargic. Moments make a love story work and JHOOTHA HI SAHI never reaches there. It lacks the fizz and heart, to put it bluntly. Also, the chemistry between the lead pair – John Abraham and Pakhi – is plastic. Another department where the film fumbles, besides writing, is its music. It’s an unspoken rule that love stories should be embellished with terrific music, but maestro A.R. Rahman’s compositions in JHOOTHA HI SAHI are lifeless. Final word? Thumbs down! When Siddharth [John Abraham] wakes up one night to a call from a desperate man threatening to jump out of the window, he isn’t prepared for what lies ahead. A mixed-up phone number. A desi suicide helpline in London. And various callers demanding that Sid give them a reason to live. Or else… Until one fateful night, Mishka [Pakhi] calls. And they both discover an unlikely bond. Sid becomes her nameless friend. Her faceless philosopher. And she becomes his reason to rethink about life. Along the way, he also lies to her. Lies about his exciting adventures and daring escapades. The mountains he has climbed and the sharks he has tamed. Until the day they accidentally meet. And Sid falls in love. How can he tell her the truth? That he’s just a simple bookseller? With four friends, a small apartment and a girlfriend whom no one likes and he doesn’t love. The first and foremost thing that you expect from a film is an engrossing story and of course, a cohesive screenplay that keeps your attention alive for the next two hours. But the screenplay [Pakhi] is devoid of moments that bring a smile on your face at the end of the screening.
Ideally, one would expect the focus to be on the principal pair, but the sub-plots [the friends and their sequences] dominate a good chunk of the film. And that, consequently, makes the film verbose, talk-heavy, tedious and verrry lengthy. On retrospection, the female protagonist [Pakhi] comes across as a confused character, who finds stability in her life when John stages an entry, but goes back to her ex [Madhavan] for no particular reason. And the moment she does that, she drops John like a hot potato. That’s not all, she, all of a sudden, dumps her ex too and goes back to John. Thanks to this reason, the character comes across as someone who’s stone-hearted, cold and confused and that’s also the reason why you don’t jump with joy when the lovers unite towards the end. Also, like I pointed out earlier, the multiple tracks in the film are a deterrent. The track of the gay couple is silly and unimaginative, while the relationship between the aggressive and dominating pregnant sister and her Japanese fiance is weird. Also, if the sensibilities of the film are Western and the humour British, the ending becomes Bollywoodish conveniently. The entire sequence at the bridge looks so filmy. Director Abbas Tyrewala has filmed a number of sequences impeccably, but the writing is flaccid and the prime reason why the film fails to register an impact. Rahman’s music is of the fast-forward variety and that’s all the more surprising since the duo [Rahman and Tyrewala] had come up with a winning score in JAANE TU YA JAANE NA.John makes a sincere attempt to look the part, but he’s awkward, especially in sequences when he stammers. Pakhi is a complete miscast. She looks too matured and has her limitations as an actor. Amongst the sundry characters, Raghu Ram is noticeable. R. Madhavan should avoid such flimsy characters.
On the whole, JHOOTHA HI SAHI is an absolute letdown in terms of content. Given its high costs on one hand and weak merits on the other, the film will make a big hole in the pockets of its investors.