(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Five minutes into Sohail Khan’s “Jai Ho“, lead actor Salman Khan beats up scoundrels, saves a damsel in distress and breaks into a dance number (along with thousands of background dancers wearing orange sunglasses), singing about what is wrong with India.
Khan sings about farmers dying, women being unsafe and politicians looting the common man. The irony of this spectacle is that it’s been shot in Lavasa, a township in Maharashtra mired in controversy over illegal land acquisitions and regulatory clearances.
That is the kind of dichotomy that “Jai Ho” is pretty nonchalant about. Khan’s character claims to stand for women’s rights, but thinks nothing of commenting on a woman’s underwear. He rages against politicians for blocking traffic and inconveniencing the public, but rides his motorbike onto a crowded railway station platform.
If you accept that there won’t be a semblance of sense in the screenplay, and that the two-and-half hour film is essentially a showreel for Khan to show off his sculpted body, action moves and dance steps, then perhaps you can enjoy the madness that is “Jai Ho”.
Director Sohail Khan gives us his own take on vigilante justice, in which politicians and police are corrupt, and it is up to Jai Agnihotri (Salman Khan), an upright ex-army officer with a Hannibal Lecter complex (he bites the bad men in the neck) to make things right.