When his bracelet enters the frame before his face, you can make out that it is going to be yet another Salman Khan bash. More of an advertisement for his NGO, this one is a potpourri of borrowed ideas which talks about the power of the common man but underestimates his common sense in the process. Not just the title, the basic premise of helping three people in need leading to an altruistic chain reaction, thereby making the society a better place to live in, is lifted from Chiranjeevi’s Telugu hit Stalin.

No doubt the idea retains its potency in times when self-interest is fast becoming the driving force of a consumerist society but the way the noble idea is shoved down the throat with a sledgehammer you choke for a whiff of fresh treatment. From disability and organ donation to alcohol addiction, director Sohail Khan employs every trick to stir melodrama but for the most part of the film one doesn’t feel any emotional rush. In a way it is an image changer (or is it builder!) for Salman for here he is talking about helping others, about the bigger picture and is not just fighting his own battle from the word go. It could well have been his Munnabhai moment. However, the episodic and shallow treatment of the points that the script raises, mutes the punch.

Perhaps, Sohail doesn’t want to give up on the fan base. So a slight provocation means that Jai, yes he is not called Salman, reduces the opposition to pulp. The humour is stale, the action sequences fall short of expectations and the music fails to salvage the situation. Sohail takes Dilip Shukla’s lines a little too literally. So when he writes a common man can become a tiger, Sohail makes Salman bite off his opposition. It could have worked if he had kept it for the climactic battle but he believes in overdose. Similarly, the basic premise of helping three people is repeated so many times that you feel like shouting: got the point, now move on.

Like it happens in a public service advertisement, Salman’s friends have turned up in thankless cameos and make way for the centre of attraction the moment he makes an entry into the scene. Here again Sohail fails to bring a degree of cohesion so that we can feel their contribution to the enterprise.

As Jai’s sister, Tabu returns after a hiatus and looks jaded in a role that hardly tests her talent. Similarly Nadira Babbar is wasted in a generic mother’s role. As for romantic angle Salman seems to believe that even a shapely cardboard will do opposite him. Daisy Shah disappoints. She seems to believe that fluttering of eyes and simpering before the camera constitutes acting. When you cast Danny Denzongpa as the counterpoint better give him some solid lines and scenery to chew but Sohail has put him in the long list of ‘walk in and punched out’ parts.

By the time Sohail reaches the custom of removing his brother’s shirt, our patience is also punched out!

JAI HO

Genre: Drama/ Action

Cast: Salman khan, Tabu, Daisy Shah, Nadira Babbar, Danny Denzongpa, Mohnish Bahl, Aditya Pancholi, Sana Khan

Plot: When an ex-army officer tries to teach the people around him to be a little altruistic, he faces the wrath of a corrupt politician and his family

Bottomline: It is going to test the devotion of even the most hardcore fans.