On Imtiaz Ali's Jab We Met
Jab We Met is a poetry. The metaphor is that the train symbolises the way of life. There are two passengers, two ways of life and the movie is of two halves. In the first half, we fall in love with Geet, who is a bubbly, young, carefree girl trying to live life as it comes by following her heart. Everything works fine for her that way, till the beginning of the second half. Aditya is depressed with his life; he does not know what he is seeking but the moment he understands Geet and her world, he gets his answer - C'est La Vie.
The second half makes life easier for Aditya who learned to live life to the fullest from Geet. Taking decisions at his family business by following his heart makes his company witness success that it had never seen before.
The movie has a connect and the connector is Geet. She is so full of life that after the first half, I wished that their journey from Mumbai to Bhatinda had a little more show time. There is a sweet scene in the second half where Aditya asks Geet to shed her tension wala face and make the earlier bubbly wala face, and Geet makes that for a second. The film has many such feel-good scenes.
Imtiaz Ali went on to make Highway which is yet another journey involving rediscovering life. Even Tamasha which is his next is based on the theme of reinventing self. His movies have marvellous landscapes. Jab We Met is set in the northern part of India. The movies are visually so beautiful with exhaustive natural aspects whether it is the scene where Geet calls Aditya to meet her in the lush green fields at five in the morning or their jeep journey to Anshuman’s place where they travel on roads sandwiched between snow clad mountains. There is a freshness in his movies which can be felt throughout.
The running behind the trains scene from DDLJ is an eternal one. Jab we met has many of them because Geet has this record of never having missed any train in her life. When she chooses Anshuman over Aditya towards the film’s end, she says, ‘Aisa lag raha he ki koi train chootne wali he’ where she refers to the intuition of her life decision going wrong. The Punjabi family shown in the family is a true blue Punjabi family; enthusiastic and dare devil. The energy in the song Nagada Nagada is super contagious.
Finally all is well in the end when Geet and Aditya marry and have kids. Just before the end credits, the four of them are talking to the Late Dara Singh where he says, ‘Arey bachho, hamare umar me waqt nahi lagta. Ek jhalak kaafi hoti he, ye jaanne ke liye ki ladke aur ladki k beech kya chal raha he’ and Aditya says ‘Jee daarji’ and the end credits roll. What a movie!