Think of an idea to change the world and put it into action.
– Writing in chalk on the green board in Trevor’s 7th-grade classroom in the Hollywood film Pay It Forward
Directed by Salman’s younger brother Sohail Khan, Jai Ho is scheduled to release on January 24.
If history offers us any clues, Jai Ho will be a blockbuster at the Indian box office a la Salman’s previous films Dabang, Dabanng 2 and Ek Tha Tiger.
I pray for an impossible miracle – Jai Ho should kiss the dust.
But my prayers are unlikely to be answered by Salman’s vast swineherd a.k.a. fans.
Jai Ho – Based on Pay It Forward
Since Jai Ho is a remake of the Tollywood film Stalin, it’s safe to assume that Jai Ho is a lift of the Hollywood film Pay It Forward (2000).
After all, Stalin is ‘written’ and directed by A.R.Murugadoss, who has dedicated his film career to stealing and delivering garbage.
And by all accounts, Murugadoss’ Stalin (Chiranjeevi, Trisha, Kushboo) is based on Pay It Forward.
Murugadoss’ Tamil/Hindi hit Ghajini (stolen from Chris Nolan’s Memento) too was an egregious instance of outrageous theft.
Jai Ho – Mighty Shame
It’s a mighty shame that Jai Ho is based on theft of Hollywood film Pay It Forward, albeit with some modifications.
Because it is one more instance of Salman Khan financially benefiting from a stolen Hollywood film.
Of course, Salman Khan is no stranger to crime.
Benefiting from theft of Hollywood films like Hitch (remade in Hindi as Partner with Salman Khan) and Bruce Almighty (God Tussi Great Ho) are petty crimes in Salman Khan’s dictionary compared to his penchant for murdering poor people sleeping on the pavement, assaulting girlfriends like Aishwarya Rai and killing endangered animals.
Basing Jai Ho on Pay It Forward would be a big shame for two other reasons as well:
First, Kevin Spacey is a million times better actor than Salman Khan. Be it on the big screen or on the small screen, the Oscar winning actor is a delight to watch. I have not seen Salman on the small screen but on the big screen the shaitan is terrible, impossible to endure.
Second, Kevin Spacey’s character is a honorable, decent guy. If Salman were to play Spacey’s character in Jai Ho it’d be a travesty, not to mention a grave injustice. Kinda like Narendra Modi being presented an award by Muslim organizations.
Pay It Forward – Not a Great Film
I would unhesitatingly say that Pay It Forward is merely an average film.
But this mediocre Hollywood movie is redeemed by class acting and fine photography.
Every single actor in Pay It Forward does a super job, elevating what would be an easily forgettable film into an average movie.
Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, the actors who play the three central characters in the film, are outstanding in their respective portrayals of the social studies teacher Eugene Simonet, the mother Arlene and her young son Trevor.
The essence of Pay It Forward is to do a good deed for your less fortunate fellow human and ask the recipient to “Pay It Forward” to three others, setting in motion a chain of kindness in society toward needy souls who can’t help themselves.
I did not consider the variation of “Do Good Unto Others” to be a great story idea for a movie. Goodness as a worthy moral element has been beaten to death in films, both foreign and Indian.
I also found it vexing in Pay It Forward to see the little boy Trevor speak in grown-up tones, exhibit so much compassion and display a maturity far beyond his 11-years.
Let’s face it. The overwhelming majority of adults (99.99999%) are grossly immature, callous, cruel creatures. In so many years in America, I have never encountered a single act of compassion of the kind that Trevor and others in the “Pay It Forward” chain demonstrate so effortlessly.
When adults are so terrible, it’s ridiculous to expect that children with their limited exposure to the world and incompletely formed brains will be different.
Although the story didn’t endear itself much to me, I thought the writing crackled with verve.
Besides the acting, I also liked the soundtrack and well chosen camera angles in Pay It Forward.
I wouldn’t put Pay It Forward cinematographer Oliver Stapleton in the league of my favorite movie photographer Darius Khondji (Midnight in Paris, Amour etc) but Stapleton is more imaginative than a lot many others.
Pay It Forward DVD is available at most U.S. county and town libraries and Netflix.
Jai Ho – Bottom Line
Given what we know of the Telugu film Stalin, Murugadoss and Salman Khan, it’s safe to opine that Jai Ho will be a distressingly rotten stolen version of a mediocre Hollywood film, Pay It Forward.
Since scatophagous Indians have an insatiable appetite for dung, these classless bottom-feeding cretins will surely lap up Jai Ho. 🙁