Jhootha Hi Sahi – The film deals with telephonic relationship between two strangers.
Rating: **** (four out of five)
Starring: John Abraham, Pakhi, Manasi Scott, Raghu Ram
Direction: Abbas Tyrewala
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
Jhootha Hi Sahi may be a love story, but it’s smartly written and told by the duo, Abbas Tyrewala and wife, Pakhi. The script has a few teasing twists and turns that do not let it fall into the rut of predictable run-of-the-mill romances. The parallel friendship — and romance — between the angst-ridden Mishka and the geeky bookstore employee Siddharth, who doubles up as the anonymous and wise helpline buddy, zigzags across the picturesque London backdrop in an engaging manner. John’s grubby apartment, his goofy encounters with Pakhi in the bookstore and the DVD store, his zillion slips of the tongue which are hastily covered by a series of lies, all have a sparkle and wit to them.
But more than all this, it is the gang he hangs out with which provides most of the fun and the games. It’s an odd assortment of characters — gays, Pakistanis, unmarried mothers-to-be, a desperate wannabe groom — that form his `Friends’ circle and lends meat to the proceedings with their crazy banter. Leading the extended family bratpack is best friend, Omar (Raghu Ram), the Pakistani who doesn’t miss a chance to joke about the testy Indo-Pakistan equation. The fringe-folk fraternity is more reminiscent of the Hugh Grant gang in films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill than the Ross-Rachel-Joey-Chandler-Monica-Phoebe Friends circle.
The film largely follows the idiom which Abbas Tyrewala enunciated in his debut venture, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, reiterating his use of youthful lingo (strange becomes ajeebs here), wisecrack humour and `cool gang’ bonding, with a celebration — and a spoof — of the traditional Bollywood `andaaz’ (style) of essaying romance. Needless to say, it’s an idiom that has a refreshing quality and an allure to it, as was proved by his earlier film. Jaane Tu… however, stood out due to its novelty while Jhootha Hi Sahi is a successful encore with a brave attempt by John Abraham to break the mould and prove his mettle as something more than molten beefcake.
His stutter does seem awkward in places, but we’ll forgive him these minor glitches, since he does manage to get the Clark Kent imagery quite right. Add to this, a peppy music score by AR Rahman, a confident debut by Pakhi, a strong support cast and you have a fun-filled film waiting for you this weekend.