As a guest blog post by one of our readers, brings to you an open letter written to Salman Khan by his fan. Read on…

Dearest Salman, Jai Ho! Not because the film is any good but simply because this is your favourite salutation these days.


This is an urgent call for you to come back from wherever you have strayed and get back to being this much loved rock star who wears his stardom light and unapologetically delivers his brand of entertainment. The good looking Romeo, the endearing tapori, the dude with an attitude who saunters in on the screen in style, mouths quirky dialogues with deadly punch lines, shows the perfectly chiseled body, sings and dances and sets the baddies straight with a panache. All this delivered with an unmatched charisma and style like nobody else. Please come back to doing all this as soon as possible!

Salman Khan in a still from 'Jai Ho'
Salman Khan in a still from ‘Jai Ho’

You are most welcome to do meaningful films with a good story and a powerful character. In fact, we are waiting for that but there is no need to be a role model in every sense and give a message through film etc. You entertain millions, make them forget their everyday drudgery for a while, give them vicarious pleasures and give them hope. It is a much greater social service than you can imagine. Not to mention the actual charity work that you are doing in every possible way. Trust me, you are doing enough and inspiring enough. There is no need to get on this slippery road of giving a message through films.

This marriage of entertainment and a socially relevant message is difficult to achieve in the first place. A carefully constructed screenplay, a proper characterisation, intelligent dialogue writing, realistic detailing, apt casting, good production values and a serious attitude to overall film-making could have probably made Jai Ho what you intended it to be. But with somebody as immature as Sohail Khan at the helm, it has become almost laughable. It is too childish and immaturely handled to be taken seriously and too boring to be entertaining. In an attempt to appear serious and meaningful, it has lost its capacity to entertain. And with the director’s inability to actually get serious and put together something meaningful, it fails to convincingly give out a message.

We know that you love your brothers and we love you for that. But that doesn’t mean they get to make these eagerly awaited event like films starring the colossus of a star. A film, that comes only once a year and has billions of rupees and huge expectations riding on it! I am sorry to say that Sohail has not grown as a filmmaker at all. He is still a kid getting his whims fulfilled by the big brother who he is in awe of. He doesn’t seem aware of the fact that times have changed, film making has changed and technology has changed. He doesn’t seem to realize that film making is a serious business and there exist things like coherence and consistency in a film. Even the seemingly illogical entertainers have a method in madness and once you adjust with the settings and get in the vein, they can entertain you. A film like Jai Ho demanded a much more of method and a deeper understanding of the subject as well as technique but Sohail has completely failed on this count.

Salman, you support your friends and people in need of support to their careers. We love you for that too. But turning the message of the film into the main criterion for casting is stretching it too far. It helps neither the film nor the actors. These actors are not going to get anything on the basis of their roles in Jai Ho nor is the film gaining anything by having these people around. So many known faces popping up in two bit roles might have been a good idea in a David Dhawan comedy. But here, it simply kills whatever little impact it could have had within the constraints of screenplay and direction. E.g.- The moment you see Genelia with amputated hands, you know it’s fake and you are instantly disconnected. The believability quotient becomes zero. Same goes with the corrupt cops, the army officer or the rickshaw wala. Unknown faces in these roles would have created a much better impact and would have lent some believability to this unimaginative fair.

The charity approach seems to have extended to the technicians as well. Music directors who have become tired, choreographers who are running out of ideas, cinematographer whose standard of work is pathetic and the overall low production values that give a very cheap, artificial and worn out look to the film is what Jai Ho has got. This is a bad news.

There must be expert technicians and specialists with proven credentials who may be dying to work with you. So what if they are not close to you? Give them a chance too. Some of your earlier films have had good technicians and the results were there for everyone to see. You have given opportunity to many newcomers and have made them big. Once in a while you can ignore them and do what is in the best interest of your film.

Just the good intention is not enough to make a good film. This film is lazily made. There is laziness in thoughts, in developing the story & the characters, in realistic detailing, in creating a larger than life experience, in shooting on real locations and in every other department. If this was a project close to your heart then it is totally devoid of the passion and the hard work that usually goes with such projects. The film banks heavily on the star power of the main character but doesn’t care to look after the proper presentation of even this main character.

I don’t think your fans mind a film with a good story and screenplay, intelligently choreographed action and the sleek look and feel of Ek Tha Tiger or Dhoom 3. Why assume that they don’t want it?

Jai Ho brings some questions to my mind. Are you getting overconfident? Have you started underestimating your audience? Are you taking things for granted? And most importantly, are you taking your stardom and popularity too seriously? So seriously that it’s becoming a burden?

Yes your stardom is big and your popularity is mind boggling but don’t let it alter your choices beyond a limit. It doesn’t work this way. Your real life persona and deeds have already inspired many to do good for others and to do many other things your way. You have media like Facebook and Twitter to interact with your fans and communicate whatever you want. There is no need to make a film for that.

Most of the critics have refrained from calling Jai Ho an outright bad film or giving it one and a half star like they used to do in the past. Many are writing in a resigned tone while some are making an effort to understand the psyche of your fans, expectations of a common man and what he looks for or likes in a film. But that doesn’t make Jai Ho a good film.

The film may still do well (looks doubtful, though) and that will be simply because of the love people have for you or because of the way business is run these days. Some of them may even like it but that doesn’t make ‘Jai Ho’ a good film.

The fact is that the film is a huge disappointment even for many fans and doesn’t do much for them.

Your intentions were noble. You wanted to put your stardom to good use. We appreciate that. But ignoring the main job of entertaining and putting a huge responsibility in inept hands is not a right way to go about it.

I think, Jai Ho is a serious slip –up. A well intentioned effort that has gone all wrong. Your main job and obligation is to engage, entertain and give people a good time in whatever way possible. Everything else is secondary. This is the motto that you have gone by so far and should continue to go by in future as well. If at all you have to make something like ‘Jai Ho’, it better be made by an intelligent and a capable director. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing. You are doing just fine.

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