Originally published at PassionforCinema.
I didn’t watch Jab We Met for three years simply in my scepticism about the existence of a good Bollywood romantic movie, these days when most Hindi movies seem to me like ugly mashups of Bollywood and clichéd Hollywood aesthetics (Mr. Ali thankfully stays away from Hollywood style editing and scriptwriting)..
While Jab We Met is not a great or even a good movie, it sure as hell is not a slight movie.
It could have been great, if it had ended around an hour earlier. The guy’s left the girl with her boyfriend and is crafting himself a successful life of his own.He’s entering a boardroom and suddenly the girl’s next to him (“Naa hai yeh paana… na khona bhi hai… Tera naa hona… jaane… kyun hano hi hai“; “This is neither being with you nor is it losing you; your absence, I feel, is as your presence”). He takes her hand as she leads him into the room and they dance in front of the board members, and the ending of the dance fades into their applause: he’s learned something, he used to be stuck-up and sad and about to kill himself (by jumping in front of what Ali shows to be a toy train, as if the stakes were somehow low) and then he met a woman, uninhibited and irresponsible and ultimately beautiful, and he’s learned from her and now he has achieved perfect balance, that thing that is so rare when two opposing yet neither untrue worldviews come into contact.
After this, how can the fact that he eventually gets the girl be anything but incidental?