Jhootha Hi Sahi: Helpline Hottie, Goody Liar!
By MovieTalkies.com, 22 October 2010
Abbas Tyrewala is back with his second directorial venture, 'Jhootha Hi Sahi' After the phenomenal success of 'Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na', the expectations from this writer director are immense and Tyrewala fulfills quite a few of them. In fact, quite like his first film, this one too is all about love and friendship. And, again quite like 'Jaane Tu…', this too is not a conventional love story and has its pleasant twists and turns.
In fact, Tyrewala carries a lot more into this movie from his first one, most of which is his generic style of writing. He has the knack of contemporising Hindi and managing a very youthful sounding Hinglish, which works well for the movie and fits the characters that inhabit this movie. So while this movie has a lot of cute aspects, most of them unfortunately are not about the lead pair, who lacks chemistry, a big stumbling block for a love story surely. But what makes up for this is the gang of friends, who are quirky and fun.
The reason why this review begins with some comparisons with Tyrewala's earlier film, is because he may have moved this film away from the college campus, but much of his idiom and style remains the same. It's not such a novelty second time round but he still manages to hit bull's eye number of times in this movie.
The film's story centres around Siddharth (John Abraham), who lives in London and works in a bookstore during the day and is a volunteer on a suicide helpline during the night. One such caller, Mishka (Pakhi Tyrewala) seems to reach out and touch his heart and compels him to seek her out in real life.
By night, he is her nameless friend and guide but by day, he becomes her boyfriend as they meet and fall in love. But there is also a whole lot of lies that he has told her over the phone in order to appear exciting and he is not sure of how to tell her the truth, which is that he is a simple bookseller with a fairly boring life like most people and has a girlfriend that he is not sure he loves.
The problem with the film, one feels, is that a major chunk of the movie is not about Sid and Mishka but also about Sid's various friends and the twists and turns in their life. These subplots take away a lot from the main love story, and the result is that in places the film becomes tedious. While the outline of this film is extremely interesting, there is a lot left to be desired about the manner in which the screenplay unfolds. Somehow, Tyrewala is unable to get it all across cohesively as one is not left satisfied at the end, when the lovers are finally united, which is the feeling that most love stories elicit. That sense of completeness is not there.
With the writing lacking consistency, there are parts which sparkle, the film fumbles and stutters mostly, quite like its main character, Sid. That magic is missing even in the music department. A.R Rahman, who had earlier delivered a fantastic score for 'Jaane Tu…', fails to get that x factor right, hence the songs lack that catchy quality, that easy appeal, which has generally been a Rahman trademark.
As for the actors John makes a brave attempt to break away from his hunk image and tries his best to get into the garb of a regular Joe. However, he doesn't quite get the stutter right, which mars things a bit. Pakhi delivers a confident act. The other actor who stands out is Raghu Ram, who makes quite an impression. However, R Madhavan makes an appearance as Mishka's ex and is quite wasted.
On the whole, 'Jhootha Hi Sahi' has a lot of interesting sequences and Tyrewala has a lot of scope for showing off his directorial prowess, especially in the manner in which he handles some of the sequences. But he fails to put everything together in the right measure, specially the crazy, whacky element. The ingredients are all there but the broth is quite inconsistent.