Let the best film win!

New Delhi, Nov. 13 -- After the war of words and beyond, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar finally saw the dark of the theatres on a bright Diwali day. We bring you the reviews and the story behind the tussle.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Direction: Yash Chopra

Actors: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

Rating:***

In what world would a beautiful, fabulously rich girl who cruises around London in a chauffer-driven Bentley fall in love with a waiter? In Yash Chopra's world, of course!

It helps enormously that the waiter is played by Shah Rukh Khan with charm turned on high-beam. In any case, you don't go to a Yash Chopra movie to delve into realism or the messiness of relationships. You go to partake in a fantasy of swooning, idealised love - and Jab Tak Hai Jaan delivers plenty of that.

This film has all the elements you would want in a Yash Chopra film - gorgeously shot locations in the UK and Kashmir, lavish songs and three inherently noble lead characters who struggle gallantly against their individual obligations.

But what Jab Tak Hai Jaan does not have is a coherent plot. Through a series of unconvincing story twists, the waiter becomes a major in the army - a bomb-disposal expert, no less.

We first meet Samar Anand as he is about to defuse his 98th bomb. He does this without any protection and has therefore been dubbed the man who cannot die.

Another girl, a feisty filmmaker named Akira (played by Anushka Sharma), comes into his life, but another series of clumsy plot twists then takes him back to London, where his first love (played by Katrina Kaif), waits.

The story by Aditya Chopra is grossly over-written and borderline ridiculous.

At one point, when Akira is looking for the major, she is told, 'Sir goes for quiet time after defusing a bomb.' The major is sitting by the river, singing loudly.

The Hurt Locker this certainly isn't. And yet, despite the wobbly narrative, Jab Tak Hai Jaan works as an ode to epic romance.

I didn't buy into the story, but I bought into the heartfelt performances.

All three - Shah Rukh, Katrina and Anushka - are top-notch.

And ladies, take note: Shah Rukh is easily Hindi cinema's most dashing army officer since Balraj Sahni in Haqeeqat, and with this film, he finally breaks his no-kissing rule.

You also have to admire his ability to play the romantic hero.

We've seen him do it for two decades but he still makes it compelling.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan is too tangled to transport you. At almost 180 minutes, it also requires enormous patience. 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.

Son of Sardaar

Direction: Ashwni Dhir

Actors: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Sanjay Dutt

Rating: **

In 1923, Buster Keaton directed a delightful comedy titled Our Hospitality, about a multi-generational family feud. The last descendent of one family returns to his native village after many years.

The rival family wants to kill him but they have a rule about not harming houseguests, so as long as he is in their house, he's safe.

Now, 89 years later, the story arrives in Bollywood via Telugu cinema (SS Rajamouli first made it here, as Maryada Ramanna).

In the hands of director and co-writer Ashwni Dhir, it has become one of those high-decibel, low-IQ masala movies that hit the screen every few months.

These aren't so much films as series of running gags, interspersed with action sequences, instantly forgettable songs and nonsensical dialogue.

The idea, I think, is to be entertained without straining your brain. I'm all for it, as long as there is significant entertainment.

There was none here.

Son of Sardaar is exhausting, painfully loud and way too long, with too few laughs.

Ajay Devgn as the buffoonish and burly Jassi has some moments of genuine comedy, but Sanjay Dutt, playing the ferocious Billu Paaji, is just large and lumbering.

The one bright spot here is Juhi Chawla as Billu Paaji's mooh-boli biwi - she sparkles in every scene she has.

Son of Sardaar made me miss Rohit Shetty, the reigning king of this type of cinema. That says it all.

STORT OF THE TUSSLE

Ajay Devgn sends legal notice to YRF

In a development that has shocked many in Bollywood, actor-producer Ajay Devgn has served a legal notice to Yash Raj Films for unfairly using their dominant position in the industry and putting pressure on the exhibitors to give prominence to their upcoming film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ), over Devgn's Son of Sardaar (SOS). Both the films are set to release on Diwali, i.e. on November 13. FULL STORY

Yash Raj Films issues strong rejoinder to Ajay Devgn's notice

Shocking is how Bollywood production house Yash Raj Films has described actor-producer Ajay Devgn's allegation that they indulged in "malpractice" to put pressure on the exhibitors, especially single screen theatre owners, to screen YRF's SRK-starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) and not Devgn's Son of Sardaar (SOS) that releases the same day. YRF'S TAKE

CCI to solve dispute between Yash Raj, Devgn's firms

The Delhi High Court today asked the CCI to "expeditiously" decide the complaint of Ajay Devgn Films Private Limited that its Diwali release Son of Sardaar was not getting enough single-screen theatres as Yash Raj Films has "used its dominant" position for better exhibition of its Shah Rukh Khan's starrer Jab Tak Hai Jaan. MORE

Shah Rukh Khan reacts to Yash Raj-Ajay Devgn tussle

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Friday said he was thankful he was not directly involved in legal tussle between producers of Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son of Sardaar. He was referring to actor-producer Ajay Devgn sending a legal notice to Yash Raj Films for allegedly asking exhibitors to give prominence to Jab Tak Hain Jaan over Son Of Sardaar. SRK SPEAK

YRF versus Ajay Devgn Films: Diwali BO competition heats up

The moods of the people behind the films Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) and Son of Sardaar (SOS), which are both releasing on Diwali, are getting more explosive by the minute. In the complaint they filed against Yash Raj Films (YRF) in the Competition Commission of India, Ajay Devgn Films (ADF), accused them of impeding the distribution of their co-production, Son of Sardaar. YRF V/S ADF

After YRF's rejoinder, Ajay Devgn hits back with a statement

A day after Yash Raj Films (YRF) issued a statement against Ajay Devgn Films (ADF) for filing a complaint against them with Competition Commission of India, ADF's lawyers have hit back with a strongly worded statement that reads: A producer/distributor/exhibitor cannot be allowed to enter into a tie-in arrangement which adversely affects competition. AND THE WAR GOES ON...

Ajay Devgn's plea against YRF rejected

The Competition Commission has rejected the complaint from actor Ajay Devgn against Yash Raj Films for alleged abuse of dominant position in the Hindi film industry, saying that the plea does not have any merit. FULL STORY

Knew I would be portrayed as villain in YRF-ADF tussle: Ajay Devgn

Now that the war between Ajay Devgnand Yash Raj Films has thickened over the number of screens alloted for the release of Son of Sardaar and late Yash Chopra's Jab Tak Hai Jaan, the actor-producer insists that he is waging a "fair" fight and knew he would be painted as a villain after he serves a legal notice on the issue. DEVGN SPEAKS

Kajol may not even get invited by Yash Raj Films

Actor-producer Ajay Devgn's big fight with Yash Raj Films (YRF) over their Diwali releases - Son of Sardaar (SoS) and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) respectively - may just spoil things for Kajol. Or so fears her hubby Devgn, since Kajol has been one of YRF's leading ladies but that equation may change in the wake of this ugly situation. READ

Everyone knows talks of being fair are rubbish: Ajay Devgn

Stating things as they are and only demanding a fair consideration of the current situation, Ajay makes himself heard and that too pretty strong. READ NOW

COMPAT refuses to stay Jab Tak Hai Jaan release, but issues notice to YRF

The Competition Appellate Tribunal refused to stay the screening of Jab Tak Hai Jaan produced by Yash Raj Films but issued notices to the production house on Ajay Devgn's plea over alleged abuse of dominant position. MORE

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Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.