I haven't seen a lot of Indian movies. Bride & Prejudice, maybe, and the Indian-ish Slumdog Millionaire? And, uh, Bend It Like Beckham? Yeah. So I learned a lot from JTHJ and I feel comfortable making sweeping generalizations about India and Indian cinema based on the one film. Ha ha. Wouldn't it be fun to read an outsider's opinion of America after watching one (1) American movie? A Walk to Remember, maybe, or The Notebook?
I mention those two movies because they thrive on romance and sentiment and tragedy and angst and generally seek to manipulate your emotions. But you guys, we Americans have nothing on JTHJ. I was actually brought to tears only once, but it could easily have been half a dozen times over the THREE HOURS (not including intermission) of the movie. The male Emirati student who lent me the DVD confessed to crying a few times. This movie didn't miss a single close-up of teary eyes, or a single swell of the violins during a sad moment, or a single twist that could keep our lovers apart for a little longer.
-It appears they allow kissing in Indian movies now. A few years ago, I don't think that was the case. Still, "kissing" here means a literal touching of the lips and that's it. The camera practically runs away from the scene after contact is made. Instead, there's a lot of passionate hugging. I said that to Jeremy and he looked at me weird, but what I mean is that they embrace for a long time and we get lots of close-ups of each person's face in the meantime.
-Despite the relative lack of kissing, this movie was undeniably sexy sometimes, but not in the same way an American movie would be sexy. I don't know quite how to explain it. There's one dance scene, for example, that is pretty provocative, but again, not in the same way Hollywood would do it (the dance scene is here; it takes place in London). Somebody watch it and explain better than I can why that scene is sexy, but in a non-American way. The movie is sprinkled with moments like that, where as an American, I expected it to go another way, and then it went somewhere completely different.
-So, music/dance numbers. There were a lot of them in this movie (and thus I assume ALL Indian movies), and they lasted a long time. This is not a bad thing, because they were kind of fun...but I also took bathroom breaks during some of them and they were still going strong when I got back.
-I was amazed by the way the main characters mixed languages. They went in and out of Hindi and English every sentence, or phrase, or even word. And there was a lot of talk about whose English accent was better than someone else's.
-Love love love this song.
-If you watched the video of the song, above, you noticed that there is a love triangle in this movie, and it consists of one man and two women. That is hard to pull off...but this movie succeeds without making the guy look like a jerk. Have any American movies done that lately?
-The two female leads in this movie have fabulous hair.
Anyway. Obviously I have The Blogorrhea about this movie. I look forward to having a long chat about Jab Tak Hai Jaan with my student the next chance I get.