Waheeda Rehman, Anil Kapoor, Fardeen Khan, Abhishek
Bachchan, Urmila Matondkar, Mahima Chowdhary
Director: Anupam Kher
Music: Anu Malik
OM JAI Jagadish is a prayer for togetherness. Like a
prayer it is beautiful, soothing, even rewarding in
parts for those who are prepared to patiently persevere,
ignore the moments it appears more like a family ritual
of union, disunion and the inevitable reunion. Nothing
wrong with it. After all, one is supposed to seek with
patience. For all the collective prayers of the viewers
that go up, some blessings do come down.
if they do not come down raining they do quench the
thirst for decent, passable cinema, which may not be
a visual poetry from the first frame a la Devdas but
holds enough appeal to keep you occupied.
some ways, Anupam Kher's directorial debut takes us
back to school, to all the small things we learnt in
the moral science classroom and forgot when the art
of life unravelled a few complex contours.
film talks of the strength of unity, the fate of those
who stand divided and those who seek to divide to rule.
We have had countless films which have been nothing
but a song for family.
not just Hum Aapke Hain Kaun! and Hum Saath Saath Hain
but even films like Pyar Ka Mandir, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani
and the rest.
there have been countless films on fraternal affection
and friction. Deewaar is probably the best face of that
genre. Now here comes a film, which blends family unity
with a tale of brothers in arms.
some ways it is the age-old tale of Ramayana without
a scheming maternal figure. In some ways it is an ode
to the age-old concept of "the family which eats
together stays together". But all this comes in
a modern, cosmopolitan package that widens the appeal
of the film.
Kher's film is different within the commercial format.
For once, the characters are not all black or white.
They are numerous shades of grey as the three brothers
- Anil Kapoor as Om, Fardeen Khan as Jai and Abhishek
Bachchan as Jagadish - drift apart, not because one
of them has less love for mother dear - Waheeda Rehman
in a purposeful comeback - but because they view things
differently. Love for each other and the family runs
in their genes. Only thing is they express it differently.
And occasionally put the self before the social before
quickly coming back to sing family paeans. Ditto for
the two daughters-in-law of the family - Mahima Chowdhary
and Urmila Matondkar. Hence, we have Jai who would not
mind selling the family home or going to the U.S. to
earn megabucks for repaying the loan his brother took;
something Om cannot even dream of. He is the prim and
proper one who believes that family values and valuables
are forever. Then we have Jagadish who does not make
much of his career until he decides to marry his fate
to computers, leave the family home to find his anchor.
Just like the women.
the elder daughter-in-law is tied to family tradition,
the younger one yearns for her own space but is prepared
to go a few yards to see if she can vibe with them all.
this tale unfolds, you realise that here is a film,
which has its own appeal despite the clichéd
it could have done with much better editing, better
dialogues and music too, it is still memorable for three
portrayals it puts together. We have Waheeda Rehman
telling us that old is, well, always gold.
have Fardeen putting up his hand for a long innings
in Bollywood with a polished performance in a difficult
role of a young man devoted to family, rooted to ambition
and sandwiched between a wife who does not care for
tradition and others who do not value freedom of mind.
there is Abhishek in what is easily his best performance
so far. As the brat of the pack, he is a scene-stealer
and manages to just about pass in emotional sequences.
Jai Jagadish may not send you running to your family
temple for a quick prayer for togetherness but it still
manages to tug at your heartstrings.
is nice cinema without being anything near great.