Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing
If we were to make one of those obnoxious „the best of the past decade“ lists, then Jav We Met logically has to appear in it. And why just decade? It is one of those rare films that, I dare say, will always be relevant and loved. Appealing especially because of its simplicity and light-heartendess, yet not lacking emotions, Jab We Met is a great film with repeat value, that is given by a certain pleasant predictability of the plot, but at the same time being full of delightful surprises and funny twists.
Aditya Kashyap (Shahid) is a wealthy young man, who has interited a business from his late father not long ago. Yet he shows no interest in his work, and his personal life too is a mess. His mother had left the family years ago for another man, and the girl he loves is just getting married to somebody else. In a sudden moment of „burning out“, Aditya leaves his car and mobile phone on a street and after roaming aimlessly for hours he boards a train, without even knowing where it´s heading. Perhaps he would just let his loneliness and misery engulf him, perhaps he would have jumped out of the train, but instead he meets Geet, a young girl and, as it turns out, rather a nutcase!
Geet is everything Aditya is not. She doesn´t think, she just acts. She is confident and an optimist. She does what she wants. And she never shuts up. She is, in fact, the most talkative film character ever, it would seem, beating even Basanti from Sholay, yet staying „adorkable“ (while Basanti I just wanted to smack repeatedly with a dead fish or something). Within minutes Aditya is flooded with information. Where she is from, who are her relatives, where she studied and what was her dorm like and oh, by the way, she plans to elope and marry a guy her family would disapprove of. Within several hours and two missed trains later Aditya finds himself stuck with Geet in a cheap hotel, and then has to run away before the police, and finally soon after arriving at her home, he helps her to elope among other things.... And the wonderful thing about all this? We´re only as far as the interval!
Oh have we not seen the „opposites attract“ and „the jolly ones has a good influence on the moody one“ before? Sure we have (Junglee immediately springs to mind), but Jab We Met does great job with the same plotline, bringing lots of freshness, unseen situations and reaction, and ends on a rather crazy note, bringing us back to the endearing first half after some emotional bits, that easily could have swallowed the story and lead to a teary drama. But Imtiaz Ali did not let that happen. That Geet realizes what she wants doesn´t mean she is going to „grow up“ and be a perfect heroine repenting her previous wrong choices and turning into a responsible, obedient and shy maiden. She remains mad and we all love our Geet mad!
Kareena Kapoor probably found her role of a lifetime in the chatterbox Geet. And in return she gave her so much energy and life that Geet became pretty much iconic. Kareena is the soul of the film, believable in her dorkiness, madness and grief as well. At the same time it is impossible not to give credit to Shahid Kapoor. He may seem a bit overshadowed, because his character of Aditya lacks the drive and loudness of Geet, but in fact his restrained manner is just as believable and it is what makes Geet so unique – because we actually see the story told through Aditya´s point of view.
Adorned with pleasant song and painted with vibrant colours (yet not to the unrealistic point YRF likes to do it), Jab We Met is one of the high points of modern Bollywood filmmaking, proving that a simple romantic story will never really be out of fashion, and also gives me hope we have not seen everything just yet.