Okay, so the other film that I saw over the weekend was Jab We Met. I have mixed feelings when it comes to films with Kareena Kapoor. But Imitiaz Ali’s Socha Na Tha was such a wonderful watch, that this one had to be given a fair chance.
I liked Socha Na Tha quite a lot. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s such a fluffy and cute film – the kinds that would usually make me nauseous. Not to mention the fact that boy-meets-girl only to part, but they-meet-again stories are so common. But there was something to be said about the screenplay and the gentle humour.
By contrast, Jab We Met is not a gentle film. It’s overwhelmingly loud at some points. But consciously so. The last time Kareena Kapoor came on screen minus one inch thick make-up was in Omkara. Though I thought she looked her best in Yuva. Somehow, it’s almost as though when the make-up is gone, you can actually see her facial expressions. There are some things that don’t obviously make sense. But that’s irrelevant. It’s entertaining, and makes puppy eyes at you. Enough for a good movie no?
Except that it is so slow at times. You just want the movie to go forward. The storyline is predictable. But there are a few touches that make you sit back and forgive the meandering ways of screenplays. Like the Punjabi touch. I am so sick and tired of the Punjabi stereotypes on screen. The loud big-hearted aunt, the over-annoying sister etc. Instead, you have a family that is strikingly easy to relate to. Without the histrionics. Without the designer lehengas. The girls don’t sleep in flowing nightgowns, but in t-shirts and salwars. Not to mention the amazing shot of a washing machine being used to make lassi. (As it often is in Punjabi heartland – with families and appetites that large – the only thing that can churn out copious amounts of lassi is a heavy duty washing machine.)
The other thing I’ve liked so far about Imitiaz Ali’s films is the way he acknowledges taboos, but doesn’t quite project it as a judgement. For instance, there are no lengthy dialogues on the legendary “Ghar Ki Izzat” (the honour of the household) when the girl runs away with a random boy. She comes back, they accept her. But they miss her. They are worried sick. They weep and sob, thankfully though, there is no dying grandparent who must see the girl before she dies.
The “bad mother” who left the family to go run into her lover’s arms is a wonderful touch too. The boy is upset, but he doesn’t get all misogynist about it. He doesn’t go around saying all women are lousy. The mother doesn’t blow smoke rings in his face. They sort of see eye to eye without any melodrama.
This is a film for the faint and fluffy hearted. I won’t remember much of this film though. The music, and everything else is immensely forgettable. But in that moment, you end up enjoying it nevertheless.
PS – On that note, definitely watch Manorama – Six Feet Under. Wonderful film.