I had a lot of expectations from Abbas Tyrewala for his second film, Jhootha Hi Sahi. His first was Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, which was a fun film, with a lot of heart, and was very impressive given the first time director, and many new actors in the ensemble cast. Jhootha Hi Sahi is also sort of an ensemble movie, but it only gets half way in making the audience love the characters. There is a lot of focus of John Abraham’s character, Sid/Siddharth, and Pakhi’s character, Mishka, which is fine. But either make it about just those two, or use the other characters properly as well. Jhootha Hi Sahi is stuck in the middle somewhere.
The characters of the friends, though funny, are a little distracting, and don’t give the audience enough of a reason to want to give them the attention they’re demanding. It was nice to see the two female friends from the Jaane Tu… ensemble in this as well. And the gay friend bit, though unnecessary, had its funny moments, and I guess it was refreshing to see it just as accepted. Most films still treat it as either a taboo or a joke.
I quite liked the story, but the script, written by Pakhi, could have been better, and ditto for the directing. It feels a little like Abbas Tyrewala has actually taken a step back in his second film. If there wasn’t Jaane Tu… as a reference point, he would have come off as a decent enough director, but he’s definitely capable of better. Possibly directing his wife in the heroine role has something to do with it. Or just casting her is the problem. She wasn’t right for the role. She’s not a bad actress, but it just seemed wrong. She looked too old, and often a bit pregnant. She also made John Abraham look really good with loose clothing, and glasses. Basically, she reversed the effect of John’s new look for the film.
The cinematography was mostly good, London looked wonderful, especially the scenes on the Thames. However in the song Maiyya Yashoda (so glad they used the Thames Mix), there were some odd lighting and camera angle choices. It may have been the projection of the print, or something happened to the actually film they shot on, but all the people were slightly bluer than usual. And all the awkwardly positioned close ups, and medium shots made the set look very small. Why do that? Why?
The choreography was awful in Maiyya Yashoda and Pam Para. Or Pakhi just can’t dance. But just was just all wrong.
So the film has its flaws, I haven’t even started on how disappointing the soundtrack is coming from A. R. Rahman, or the ridiculous role of Madhavan, and the pointless moment of action thrown in for no good reason. It was still sweet, and was a few changes from being good. Quite far from being anything better than just good, but its average… like a “meh” and a shoulder shrug. Hopefully Abbas Tyrewala will do something amazing to redeem himself with his next feature (and I pray it doesn’t involve his wife).