Om Jai Jagadish
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 19 July 2002
Om Jai Jagadish
Fardeen, Urmila, Abhishek, Mahima, Anil Kapoor
Rating: Just Average
When a brilliant actor like Anupam Kher makes a cliched and predictable film like Om Jai Jagadish as his directorial debut, it comes as a disappointment considering the number of directors he has worked with in his eventful career. When producer Vashu Bhagnani launched OJJ, a lot was expected from this multi-starrer, with Kher in the helm of things. But looking back, all that hype seems to have been wasted over a regular family drama, revolving around three brothers.
Om (Anil Kapoor), works in a music company and lives his life simple and clean. He fights immoral issues with a passion and has one dream - that his family should always be united in the face of all odds. Jai (Fardeen Khan) is his younger brother - an ambitious guy who wants to create the world`s fastest car. Since he`s studied abroad, he talks with an accent and dresses sharp. Jagadish (Abhishek Bachchan) studies in college and is a computer freak, always trying to hack into sites. They live together with their doting mother Saraswati (Waheeda Rehman), in a huge home where everything seems picture perfect till bad luck strikes their happy home. After having gone abroad to study automobiles, Jai returns home as he knows Om wants the family together. But after marriage, his wicked wife Neetu (Urmila Matondkar) insists that they return to the U.S to lead a better life. At the same time, Jagadish gets caught hacking his university exam papers and is thrown out of university. He accuses Om of favouring Jai over him and this causes a split between them. Om`s life is shattered as he is let down by both his brothers at once. Jai shocks Om by informing him that he is returning to the U.S.The family splits up and goes separate ways. Things get further complicated when Om is asked to vacate the house by his boss Shekhar (Parmeet Sethi). But his belief that the good times will return makes him triumph over this crisis. With him is his soulmate and wife; an MTV-VJ- turned domesticated bahu, Mahima Choudhary. Finally how they get together despite all odds and live happily ever after makes up the second half of this social drama, which is very much like the social dramas of the 70`s and 80`s. In an interesting climax, the brothers come together giving OJJ a happy and predictable end.
Directorially, Kher has extracted good performances from his cast. Even technically the film is good, but somewhere it lacks the soul to make it a winner. Of the cast, Waheeda Rehman proves that a good actress never fades with time or age. She is excellent as the devoted loving mother, especially in the climax scene. Anil Kapoor is a delight and even with younger actors, he shows his class as a superb performer. Fardeen Khan looks smart and shows a lot of improvement in his acting and Abhishek Bachchan is better than ever before in this film. Of the three actresses, only Urmila makes any impact and both Mahima and Tara Sharma are wasted in inconsequential roles. The rest of the cast including Parmeet Sethi, Lilette Dubey and Achint Kaur are able. Overall, this is an average film with good performances and decent direction. Don`t expect it to be a classic just because Kher is its director. The poor chap seems to have somewhat lost direction himself in this venture!