JTHJ is the love story of Samar Anand(Shahrukh Khan). And as fate puts it, he comes across two women who love him equally. The film starts off in London where Samar is a desi lad desperate to earn an honest living in a foreign land. He runs into the ravishing Meera(Katrina Kaif) who entrusts all her faith in Jesus. Samar helps Meera get over her pent up anxieties and in the process they fall in love. And just when you think the film’s running into the oh-we’ve-seen-that-before territory a twist separates the lovers. SRK’s forced to move to India where he runs into the boisterous Akira(Anushka Sharma). Akira’s daredevil personality and spirit impresses Samar. But of course she’s alive and happening because she loves him.
Yes the structure of the story seems like a run-of-the-mill love triangle but there’s more to their dilemma than just the obvious. You don’t have melodramatic and unreal sacrifices or two women competing to woo their man. Instead you get a mature sense of camaraderie between the characters. And some master class writing where the same-old same-old “yadaash kho jaana” is crafted in the form of retrograde amnesia.
On the subject of writing, one of JTHJ’s commendable features is its real and uncomplicated dialogue. You don’t have characters being theatrical in expressing love. Instead they say it casually and in underplayed tones. And then there’s the core philosophy of faith and time that sets JTHJ apart from Bollywood’s regular fare of romances. The film says destiny and time can be the most important factors in a love saga.
That the actors look as beautiful as the exotic locations they’re in is a trademark feature of Yash Chopra’s films. JTHJ is no different. Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma steal the thunder from the landscapes of Kashmir, Ladakh and England. Shah Rukh Khan even in his grungy avatar as the army man lends to the authenticity of his part. (Save for a handful of amateurish make-up instances during the early London sequences).
But JTHJ is so much more than its flawless visual appeal. AR Rahman’s music and background score adds a touch of magic to the proceedings. It complements the actors’ performances perfectly. Shah Rukh Khan makes a stunning entry, he owns the screen space and he weaves his charisma into a net that holds JTHJ together. Especially effective are his scenes as the reserved army officer. Katrina Kaif is just a thing of beauty. That she looks stunning is a given, but she manages to give one of her career’s finest performances as Meera. Her underplay is the perfect contrast to Anushka’s lively and bubbly act. Anushka lightens JTHJ with energy, while Katrina anchors it with firm emotions.
At a gracious 3 hours runtime, JTHJ feels like an epic love story. And it is just that. JTHJ is the perfect adieu to a hallmark career. It is one of the best romantic film made in this generation.