Jab Tak Hai Jaan

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Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Yash Chopra
Produced by Aditya Chopra
Yash Chopra
Screenplay by Aditya Chopra
Devika Bhagat
Story by Aditya Chopra
Starring Shahrukh Khan
Katrina Kaif
Anushka Sharma
Music by A.R. Rahman
Cinematography Anil Mehta
Edited by Namrata Rao
Production
company
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release dates
  • 12 November 2012 (2012-11-12) (Mumbai premiere)
  • 13 November 2012 (2012-11-13) (India, United States, Europe)
Running time
175 minutes[1]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR600 million (US$9.4 million)[2]
Box office INR2.11 billion (US$33 million)[3]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan (English: As Long as I Live, literally "as long, or as far, as there is life") is a 2012 Indian romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra and written and produced by Aditya Chopra under their production banner, Yash Raj Films. It features Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma in lead roles. The movie is the first collaboration between Khan and Kaif, and the second between Khan and Sharma (they previously featured in the 2008 film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi). Yash Chopra returned to directing eight years after Veer-Zaara. This was to be his final film before his death in October 2012, at age 80.[4] The background score and soundtrack was composed by A.R. Rahman, with lyrics from Gulzar.

Set in London, England, Jab Tak Hai Jaan tells the story of Akira Rai (Sharma), an ambitious, hardworking intern at the Discovery Channel. Akira finds the diary of one Samar Anand (Khan), a bomb-disposal expert. The diary recounts Samar's time as a struggling immigrant to London, and later details his whirlwind romance with Meera Thapar (Kaif). The film was released during the six-day Diwali weekend beginning on 13 November 2012.[5][6] The movie received positive-to-mixed reviews from critics in India and positive reviews overseas. It opened well at the box office, and Box Office India declared the film a "hit" in India and a "blockbuster" overseas.[7][8] Jab Tak Hai Jaan emerged as the third-highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas at that time, after 3 Idiots and My Name Is Khan (2010).[9]

The film was praised for its direction, cinematography and the chemistry between its lead actors. Khan and Sharma were lauded for their performances, though the movie's predictable plot drew criticism. At the end of its theatrical run Jab Tak Hai Jaan received a number of awards, including four Filmfare Awards, which included trophies for Best Supporting Actress (Sharma) and Best Lyrics for Gulzar.

Plot[edit]

Samar Anand (Shahrukh Khan), a major in the Indian Army, defuses a bomb in Ladakh without fear or regard for his safety. Akira Rai (Anushka Sharma), a Discovery Channel filmmaker, dives into a river in Ladakh on a dare and soon regrets it after learning she has plunged into freezing water. Samar, who happens to be by the shore, rescues her. Samar gives her his jacket and leaves without retrieving it. Later, Akira finds his diary in the jacket pocket and begins reading.

The diary recounts Samar's earlier years as a struggling immigrant in London, working as a busker who also performs other odd jobs to support himself and his roommate Zain (Sharib Hashmi). Samar is working part-time as a waiter when he meets Meera (Katrina Kaif) at her and her fiance Roger's engagement party. Meera grew up, motherless, in an affluent Indian family. Meera's mother (Neetu Singh) left her family for another man (Rishi Kapoor) when Meera was twelve. This leaves the dominant parental figure in her life to be her father (Anupam Kher), for whose company she works. Samar notices that Meera often prays when he sees her at church, and after a night of wild street dancing, Samar and Meera begin to fall in love. Samar helps Meera face her past, taking her to visit her estranged mother and foster reconciliation. Some days later Meera decides to confess to her father about her relationship with Samar and break her engagement, but Samar has a serious accident on his motorbike. Meera, believing she is the cause of Samar's spate of bad luck, prays to God to save his life and promises never to see him again. Samar recovers and Meera admits her vow to him. Angry, he leaves her and London. Samar challenges God to keep him alive while he risks his life every day, because he believes his death is the only way to make Meera lose her faith in God. He goes to India and enlists in the army, becoming a bomb-disposal expert.

When Akira finishes reading the diary, she obtains permission to make a documentary about bomb-disposal squads. She asks Samar for help to make her film and develops an acquaintance with him and his team. Akira develops a crush on Samar; however, he does not reciprocate his feelings owing to his unresolved passion for Meera. Akira makes a successful film and prepares to leave for London. She wants Samar come along to help her publicise the documentary. After he reluctantly agrees to come to London, he is struck by a car.

Samar is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia, and he remembers only the events before his first accident a decade ago. Concerned, Akira tracks Meera down and persuades her to aid in Samar's recovery. Meera agrees, pretending to be Samar's wife. In the meantime, Akira realises that Major Samar is only a fragment of the young Samar; he used to be happy and sociable, but is now bitter and lonely. One day Samar finds a bomb planted in the London Underground, and helps defuse it. The event jogs his memory, and he realises that Meera is lying to him. Samar confronts Meera with a choice: to either be with him honestly, or to see him keep risking his life until he is dead. Meera is unable to give a definitive answer; heartbroken, Samar leaves for Kashmir, where he continues defusing bombs. During a conversation with Akira, Meera realises that her beliefs and prayers subjected Samar to a fate worse than death; realising her mistake, she goes to Kashmir and they reunite. Samar defuses his last bomb, and then proposes to her.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

In June 2011, Yash Raj Films released a statement announcing a new directorial venture by Yash Chopra coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his Bollywood career. The producers also announced that the film would be released during the Diwali[a] 2012 weekend.[10] Chopra said the film was untitled at that time, similar to previous project Veer-Zaara (which was named on the day of its submission to the Central Board of Film Certification).[11] The producers considered a number of titles but were not satisfied with any of them. In September 2012, it was announced that the title of the film was Jab Tak Hai Jaan. It was inspired by a similarly titled song from the 1975 film, Sholay.[12]

Aditya Chopra wanted his father, Yash Chopra, to make another film and approached him with the concept for Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Shah Rukh Khan was their first choice for the role of Samar Anand, due to his long-standing relationship with the production house and the Chopra family. Khan, who was working on other projects at that time, was unavailable for the shooting schedule so it was changed. As in his previous productions, Yash Chopra wanted to introduce a fresh pairing in Jab Tak Hai Jaan and chose Katrina Kaif to star with Khan. Anushka Sharma was cast in a supporting role to complete her three-film contract with Yash Raj Films, with whom she had worked on many previous projects.[13] Though casting was quickly completed, shooting was delayed because the lead actors were busy with other projects.[14]

Khan's role spans two ages: one (age 28) as a London-based street musician and the other (ten years later) as an introverted, composed and dutiful army officer in Kashmir. In an interview, Khan revealed details about his character: Samar is "angry, unforgiving, with loads of emotional baggage. I play him sweet when he needs to be. Actually, he is a lot like I am. Samar is a combination of angst, tenderness, anger, and yeah, he’s pretty unforgiving."[15]

Kaif's role was described as "the archetypal Yash Chopra seductress, an unattainable beauty".[16] She worked hard to make her character believable (with help from Khan, who had previous experience with the director).[17] Sharma's character, Akira, was described as a "21-year-old who works for the Discovery Channel and makes documentaries. She is on a quest to discover the truth behind the story of The Man Who Cannot Die (Samar Anand) in the film. She is extremely ambitious and will do anything to make it big and realize her dreams."[18]

Filming[edit]

Two men, the older one with arms raised and the younger one making a thumbs-up sign
Yash Chopra and Shahrukh Khan, filming an interview

The film's principal photography was expected to begin in November 2011 but was delayed because Khan wanted to take a break after his two previous films, Ra.One and Don 2.[19] Principal photography began on 9 January 2012 at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai, where a significant part of was shot.[14]

After filming in India, the crew began a 35-day shooting schedule in London on 22 February 2012. It was shot under the working title Production 45.[20][21] Khan arrived in London on 21 February 2012, and finished filming on 26 March 2012.[22] During the filming, photos of the actors on-set were leaked on the Internet, triggering a camera ban by the producers and increased security.[23] A number of locations throughout the city featured in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, including the Borough Market, Jubilee Walk, the Great Conservatory, the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Bridge, Trafalgar Square, the Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges, the O2 Arena, the Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. A dance sequence was filmed next to the law school of King's College London in Somerset House.[24] A car-crash scene was filmed at Shepherd's Bush by closing four streets in the area.[22] Filming was completed on 27 March 2012 at an indoor location in East London.[25]

The romantic scenes were directed by Chopra's son, Aditya, to give them a more contemporary feel.[26] The "Ishq Shava" dance scene was shot with the leading duo and freestyle dancers in an underground club and aboard a boat on the River Thames.[27] The film's climax, initially planned by Chopra to be shot in the mountains of Kashmir, was moved to Ladakh. This was reportedly suggested by Khan, whose Dil Se.. was shot in the area many years earlier. Portions of Jab Tak Hai Jaan were filmed in three Kashmiri cities: Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg.[26]

Yash Chopra wanted to add scenes from the Swiss Alps to the title song; however, the scheduled shoot was cancelled after his death. Aditya Chopra wanted to keep the film as it was because he felt that doing otherwise would "tamper" with his father's vision.[28][29]

Marketing[edit]

Man sitting at a table and woman on TV screen
Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif at the audio launch of the film

A preliminary trailer was released with Ek Tha Tiger and through the company's official YouTube channel on 15 August 2012.[30] The 90-second clip featured glimpses of Yash Chopra's successful, acclaimed directorial ventures and highlighted his upcoming film, incorporating the prelude of "Challa" as background music. The film remained untitled: A Yash Chopra Romance. The trailer had over one million views in less than three days.[31]

The two-and-a-half-minute main theatrical trailer, with the film's title, was released on 20 September 2012 on Yash Raj Films' YouTube channel.[32] It received a million views on the first day and thirty thousand "likes" within a week (surpassing the record held by The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), making it the first film trailer to have so many views so quickly. The trailer recorded more than eight million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched Bollywood film trailer at that time.[32]

Following the trailer's success, Yash Raj Films released promotional videos of songs on YouTube and Bollywood Hungama. "Challa", "Saans", "Jiya Re", "Heer" and "Ishq Shava" were well received. The marketing also involved public appearances by Kaif, Khan and Sharma. A premiere of Jab Tak Hai Jaan was held on 12 November 2012 (a day before its worldwide release) in honour of Yash Chopra.[33]

Soundtrack[edit]

The music for the film was composed by A.R. Rahman, who teamed up with Yash Chopra for the first time. He signed to compose the soundtrack in May 2011.[34] The first song of the soundtrack was completed in December 2011.[35] By February 2012, Rahman said in an interview with The Times of India that he had completed three songs for the film.[36] He summarized the soundtrack album: "It's a combination. They wanted to do my kind of songs at the same time they wanted the old charm and soul of music that Indian audience would love and which I wanted to do for a long time."[37] The soundtrack features nine songs, with eight lyrics by Gulzar and the title track written by Aditya Chopra. It was released by YRF Music on 9 October 2012.[38]

Release[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan was released on 600 screens in overseas markets;[39] the estimated number of release screens in India was about 2,500. Yash Raj Films distributed the film to 1,000 multiplexes and 1,500 single-screen cinemas.[39][40] Jab Tak Hai Jaan was selected for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival and the Marrakech International Film Festival. It was chosen to "honour the legacy" of Yash Chopra, since it was his last project.[41][42]

Controversy[edit]

Two weeks before Jab Tak Hai Jaan's release, Ajay Devgn sent a notice to the Competition Commission of India accusing Yash Raj Films of monopolistic business practices; the notice contended that they used "their dominant position in the Bollywood film market" to secure many desirable single-screen theatres for their release.[43] Yash Raj Films responded by saying that they were "shocked" and questioned Devgn's "motives". The studio denied Devgn's claim that high-quality single-screens were unavailable, pointing out that they had only booked 1,500 single-screens for Jab Tak Hai Jaan out of the 10,500 available in India.[40] After the rebuttal by Yash Raj Films, Devgn said he only managed to book 600 single-screens for Son of Sardaar and would take legal action if not allotted more. He accused Yash Raj Films of signing tie-in agreements for Ek Tha Tiger with exhibitors, requiring them to show Jab Tak Hai Jaan on Diwali and keep it in cinemas for at least two weeks thereafter.[44] A week before the release of Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar, the commission dismissed Devgn's claim. In an interview a commission spokesperson said, "We considered the plea application. We have not found any merit in the case as there is no case of abuse of dominant position. There is no violation."[45] After his notice was rejected, Devgn appealed the decision;[46][47][48] the Appellate Tribunal refused Devgn's request to nullify agreements made with single-screen exhibitors for the release of Jab Tak Hai Jaan, but agreed to reexamine the case to determine if Yash Raj Films engaged in monopolistic practices. Both films were released on 13 November 2012 in the number of single-screens originally contracted.

Critical reception[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan received positive-to-mixed reviews from critics in India and positive reviews from critics overseas.[49] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an average rating of 68%.[50]

India[edit]

Man standing in blue jacket and vest, without a tie
Young woman with long dark hair, in strapless dress
Young woman with long, dark hair, standing in a long red dress
Khan (top) and Sharma (bottom) received praise for their performances, while Kaif's (middle) performance attracted mixed reviews.

Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film 4 (out of 5) stars, saying that it was "attention-grabbing from inception till conclusion. The drama only soars higher and the complex love story gets more and more gripping as the conflict between the characters come to the fore."[51] Rachit Gupta of Filmfare gave it 4 (out of 5) stars: "At a gracious 3 hours runtime, JTHJ feels like an epic love story. And it is just that. JTHJ is the perfect adieu to a hallmark career. It is the best romantic film made in this generation."[52] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave it 3.5 (out of 5) stars: "Despite the lovey-dovey nothingness that drives the plot, Jab Tak Hai Jaan has more substance than most romantic films that come out of Bollywood."[53] Meena Iyer of The Times of India rated it 3.5 (out of 5) stars, saying "Every frame is picture-perfect, the emotions are well nuanced. But there is one inherent flaw – the story by Aditya Chopra is hackneyed."[54] Subhash Jha (also from The Times of India) said, "Jab Tak Hai Jaan makes you fall in love with love all over again."[55] Anupama Chopra of the Hindustan Times gave the film 3 (out of 5) stars: "Jab Tak Hai Jaan is too tangled to transport you. But I recommend that you see it. Because only Yash Chopra could make heartache so attractive and ennobling that his characters wear it like a badge of honor."[56] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave it 3 (out of 5) stars: "I'm going with three out of five for the late Yash Chopra's Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Despite its many script problems, it's a consistently watchable film that oozes with feeling and real emotion. A fitting swan song."[57] OPEN magazine gave the film 3 (out of 5) stars, praising Yash Chopra's direction. Ajit Duara called it "a deeply-felt cinematic perspective from 80 years of living."[58] Raja Sen of Rediff.com gave it 3 (out of 5) stars, saying "As a swan-song for the master director, Jab Tak Hai Jaan might only be a middling effort. But then, sometimes, all we need is a Khan-song."[59] Shabana Ansari of Daily News and Analysis gave the film 3 (out of 5) stars: "If you must, watch Jab Tak Hai Jaan for Shah Rukh, who can still convey love and passion in a fleeting look or a dimpled smile; and for Yash Chopra who gave us some of the most enduring romances of all times."[60]

Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express gave the film 2.5 (out of 5) stars, saying "watch this one for Shah Rukh, who can still do the dimpled boy wonder and the older, mature lover with a wry smile and wounded wink and sexy nudge."[61] Sukanya Verma (also from Rediff.com) described it as an "elegant, harmless entertainer for [the] most part", praising the visuals, acting and music. She criticised the screenplay, contending that the film could have been "snappier", and gave it 2.5 (out of 5) stars.[62] Piyasree Dasgupta of First Post wrote, "You have seen everything Jab Tak Hai Jaan has many times before, just in other films. And probably with far better music than A.R. Rahman threw into this one."[63]

Overseas[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan received positive reviews from critics overseas.[64] Priya Joshi of Digital Spy gave it 3 (out of 5) stars: "The film is invested with a healthy dose of Shah Rukh, the very heart and saans of Yash Chopra and the message which he lived and breathed through his films: that love is eternal."[65] Simon Foster of the Special Broadcasting Service also gave it 3 (out of 5) stars, calling it "a grand cinematic work boasting all the pros and cons of the genre." He observed, "Chopra fans will not hear complaints that the great producer-director had become mired in a rut, or that his films are rote melodramas reliant on boisterous music (here, a typically string-heavy work from the omnipresent A.R. Rahman) and over-active camerawork. One could argue that it's their very vivid cinematic nature that makes them particularly noteworthy, even when the dialogue (at times, awful) and plotting (rarely based in logical realism) can test one's patience."[66] Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The film has a freshness that would never lead one to think it was directed by an 80-year-old while at the same time it has a sureness of tone, a certainty about itself even at its most audacious, that only comes from the hand of a seasoned master...Jab Tak Hai Jaan serves as a fitting tribute to the career of Chopra."[67] Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Director-producer Yash Chopra's film, his final project before he died, delivers not only the romance and human touch, but also reflects a modern sensibility."[68] Nicolas Rapold of The New York Times wrote, "Even though the film drags, the magic of Bollywood is that this story's muddle of twists only clarifies the urgency behind the undying desires of all concerned parties."[69] Mazhar Farooqui of the Gulf News wrote, "Despite its inherent flaws, JTHJ comes across as a beguiling romantic film that takes you on a roller coaster ride of high emotions set amidst picture postcard locales but more than anyone the movie belongs to Chopra. In his swan song, the celebrated director once again proved why his legacy will be hard to match."[70]

Awards[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan received a number of nominations and awards at Bollywood award shows. The film has been praised for its direction, cinematography and chemistry between the lead actors, with Shahrukh Khan and Anushka Sharma receiving accolades for their performances; however, its script and predictable plot have been criticised. The film won four Filmfare Awards,[71] five Zee Cine Awards[72] and two Colors Screen Awards.[73] Jab Tak Hai Jaan received several marketing and business awards for its overseas performance, promotions, distribution and music.[74] However, Sharma and Kaif were nominated for Golden Kela[75] and Ghanta[76] awards; some critics felt that their acting was less than stellar.

Box office[edit]

The film's colour-coded distribution map.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan grossed INR2.11 billion (US$33 million) worldwide. Box Office India declared the film a hit in India and a blockbuster overseas.[3]

Domestic[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan had 95 to 100-percent occupancy at multiplexes and single screens across India on its opening day.[77] It earned about INR125.0 million (US$2.0 million) on its first day.[78] Jab Tak Hai Jaan showed 50-percent growth and earned INR195.4 million (US$3.1 million) on its second day,[79] netting INR448.4 million (US$7.0 million) during its first three days.[80][81] The film earned INR736.8 million (US$12 million) over its long six-day weekend.[82]

Earnings dropped the following Monday to INR48.1 million (US$760,000), bringing the total to INR780 million (US$12 million) for its first week of release.[83] The film continued to do well at the box office after its first week, netting INR822.4 million (US$13 million) in ten days.[84] It faltered during its second week (netting only INR157.9 million (US$2.5 million)),[85] and crossed the INR1 billion (US$16 million) mark 20 days after release.[86] After three weeks, Jab Tak Hai Jaan earned INR1.02 billion (US$16 million).[b][90] The distributor share was INR570 million (US$8.9 million), and Box Office India declared it a hit in India.[91]

The earnings of Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar were affected by their conflict on Diwali day. Jab Tak Hai Jaan outperformed Son of Sardaar, earning INR140 million (US$2.2 million) more than Son of Sardaar in India and INR580 million (US$9.1 million) more overseas.[92][93] According to Box Office India, Jab Tak Hai Jaan netted INR1.02 billion (US$16 million) domestically near the end of its run and Son of Sardaar netted INR880 million (US$14 million).[94][95] The earnings difference between the films was greater abroad; Son of Sardaar earned $3 million overseas, and Jab Tak Hai Jaan earned more than $13 million.[96][97]

Overseas[edit]

Jab Tak Hai Jaan earned US$1.3 million on its first day and $3.50 million at the end of three days in overseas markets.[98][99] After the first weekend, the film earned $7.58 million in six days.[100] Jab Tak Hai Jaan grossed about $11 million overseas in thirteen days before the number of screens decreased.[101] At the end of its theatrical run, it is estimated to have earned INR745.0 million (US$12 million).[102] Box Office India declared it a blockbuster overseas.[7][103]

Records[edit]

At the time of release, Jab Tak Hai Jaan set records for the highest opening-day earnings in Singapore and Pakistan by grossing $100,000.[104][105] Jab Tak Hai Jaan became the highest-grossing Bollywood film in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, earning more than $4 million.[106][107] It was the highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas for 2012, and the third-highest-grossing Bollywood film that year, after Ek Tha Tiger and Dabangg 2.[108]

Home media[edit]

Yash Raj Films launched Jab Tak Hai Jaan in VCD, DVD and region-free high-definition Blu-ray Disc formats on 3 January 2013. The Blu-ray Disc edition featured Dolby TrueHD 96k upsampling, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Surround 5.1 sound and two additional DVDs.[109][110] Four hours of extra footage were included on the discs, including the making of the film and songs, an interview with Yash Chopra and Shahrukh Khan, deleted scenes, videos of Khan learning to play the guitar and ride a bicycle, and a preview from the film's premiere held in a specially constructed vintage theatre at Yash Raj Studios.[111]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Diwali is a five-day Hindu festival which falls between mid-October and mid-November.
  2. ^ While Box Office India stated that the film netted about INR1.02 billion (US$16 million), trade analysts Taran Adarsh and Komal Nahta claimed it reached an 8-percent higher figure (about INR1.20 billion (US$19 million)) during the same period.[87][88][89] Nevertheless, Box Office India's figures are used here.

References[edit]

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