Jai Ho: Salman Khan, the new Sunny Deol?

Published: January 30, 2014

If you are planning to watch this movie, then leave your brain and thinking capabilities at home. PHOTO: AFP

Jai Ho has been the most anticipated movie of 2013 and 2014 as it was announced to be released initially at the end of 2013 by Sohail Khan under the name of ‘Sher Khan and later as ‘Mental’. The name was eventually finalised as ‘Jai Ho’.

The movie is a remake of the movie Stalin, a Tollywood film inspired by Pay It Forward (2000). The movie has a lot to offer to the common man, the ‘aam janta’ as they call it. It has drama, action, romance, comedy, weird songs, Salman Khan’s very own dancing style and, of course, Bollywood masala.

Salman Khan and Daisy Shah. Photo: Reuters

Jai Ho revolves around Jai Agnihotri (Salman Khan), an ex-army officer who was court-martialled because of his bravery and for not following the orders of his superior-in-command Major Arjun (Sunil Shetty).

Jai runs a motor garage and with his friends Babu (Yash Tonk) and Sumit (Ashmit Patel) helps the aam janta (common people) by saving them from the atyachaar (tyranny) of bad people. Accidently, Jai comes across the malicious politician Dashrat Singh (Danny Denzongpa) and his family of pitiless power-driven scoundrels (Mukul Dev, Sana Khan and Haroon Qazi).

The rest is the cliché story of good winning over the evil.

(Left to right) Naman Jain, Salman Khan, Sana Khan, Ashmit Patel and Yash Tonk. Photo: Reuters

The best thing about Jai Ho is that it has a cast which the viewers see after a hiatus. Even for brief roles, some big names of their times have been casted such as Sharad Kapoor, Mukul Dev, Aditya Pancholi, Nauheed Cyrusi, Vikas Bhalla, Tulip Joshi, Genelia Deshmukh, and Sameer Khakar along with Tabu, all of whom have been blessed with roles after a long gap.


After watching Jai Ho, one can easily understand that there is no one other than Salman Khan who can step effortlessly into the shoes of Sunny Deol.

It won’t be wrong to call Salman a ‘Muslim Sher’ just the way Deol is referred to as ‘Punjaab Da Sher’ (Lion of Punjab). The action sequences shown in the movie are larger than life – the way Salman bhai flies, fights, twists and turns goons in the air can only be matched with the class that Deol or South Indian movies have.

Salman Khan

Jai Ho offers a moral lesson too, ‘do good to three people in your life and ask them to pass on the kindness’.

As far as the performances are concerned, this, like all of Khan’s movies, is a Salman Khan enterprise. He fights likes a tiger and roars like a lion, which at times sounded quite funny as well. But if you are a die-hard fan of Salman bhai, you would agree that something of similar idiocy, if performed by anyone else, would have been the reason for embarrassment and boredom in cinema halls.

Salman Khan. Photo: Reuters

Tabu is, as always, composed, effective and effortless.

She sparks wherever the high voltage scenes demanded the flash. Danny is perfect in his character and leaves an impact. Daisy Shah dances really well and looks gorgeously sexy in all the songs.

Daisy Shah and Salman Khan. Photo: Reuters

Nadira Babbar (SalmanKhan’s mom) overacts and is very loud. On the other hand, there is not much to Aditya Panscholi’s role but he has a strong screen presence and his expressions are worth noticing.

Dev and Qazi’s debuts are remarkable.

Sameer Khakhar has returned to the screen after a very long time and truly gives a noteworthy performance. He should be given more roles, given the fact that Parinda was one of his finest movies.

Naman Jain, who plays the role of Khan’s nephew, has a natural talent to act. This is his fourth movie, after Chillar PartyRaanjhana and Bombay Talkies, and he is simply a sweetheart.

Salman Khan and Naman Jain. Photo: Reuters

Santosh Shukla (Manik) leaves a mark on the audience as well. Sudesh Lahiri manages to bring smiles on audiences’ faces whereas Pulkit Samrat adds freshness and delivers a very calculated performance.

If you are planning to watch this movie, then leave your brain and thinking capabilities at home. You will be going to watch a movie with a lot of dhishoom and dhamakas, over the top (literally) fight sequences, flying bikes and mostly one man beating up the entire nation.

Jai Ho is literally a new-age version of One Man Army and just a tribute to Deol’s Dhhai Kilo Ka Haath.

In my opinion, this movie deserves a three out of five rating purely on the basis of performances, Salman-power and certain emotional scenes.

Shafiq Ul Hasan

Shafiq Ul Hasan

The author is an avid movie lover and reviews films and dramas regularly. He is a professional digital inbound marketer. He has worked with a silicon valley-based social network as a content analyst. He blogs at www.shafiqsiddiqui.com and tweets as @shafiqulhasan81 (twitter.com/shafiqulhasan81)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • water bottle

    Now I seriously believe, notwithstanding your denial, that you are paid by the pakistani distributor of Indian cinemas.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    ‘Muslim Sher’ ??? I”d rather call him a ‘Hindustani sher’ than anything else.There may be a few exceptions but most indians call themselves indians first before identifying themselves as hindus or muslims.You will never see indian hindus brag that Amitabh Bachchan is Hindu, similarly indian muslims dont boast about the fact that Salman follows Islam.. please, dear author, dont categorize Indian stars in this manner because Indian fans dont care about the religion these bollywood badshahs follow. We are just proud that they all belong to India..


  • water bottle

    Muslims in India out of choice and compulsion live double lives.

    This is a fact all Muslims will agree with.

    What they say to you in public is not what they say among themselves.

    However, what I don’t understand is, how did someone who illegally shoots down wild animals, runs over pedestrians with his SUV, beats journalists arrogantly, has absolutely no discernible talent to be an actor become the ‘sher’ of Hindustan?

    Muslims have a history of praising violent/boorish behavior.

    Do you also, Nandita?Recommend

  • Nandita.

    My point is that Salman is an indian first before anything else.I am not commenting on his personal life which I have no clue about, as far as his stature in hindi cinema goes he is a sher.Secondly, you may be an indian-I dont know … but I definitely am an indian so I dont need fellow indians or pakistanis to tell me what indian muslims are like.i have first hand experience so I will stick to my opinion.You may have a low opinion of ALL muslims (sad generalizations ) but I do not agree with you ..
    Lastly, I am not a salman fan and rarely watch his movies but clearly the rest of india loves him and thats the reason he is where he is. He is definitely a star or sher ..you can argue about it but he is a stalwart of hindi cinema.I may not like his kind of cinema but I am proud that we have actors ppl of other countries appreciate.


  • water bottle

    I think you are being too naive regarding YOUR generalization of muslims. If you have met any journalists/trade union related or modern educated Muslims, yes they are vehemently secular.

    But most others are not. You have only had superficial interaction with Muslims of India.

    I know, because I have done enough research on Muslims of India and met from Qazis to maulvis to Ulemas, journalists to politicians, ordinary citizens to software engineers, actors to social activists, poor slum dwellers to rich businessmen.

    And my assessment is based on years of study.

    Killing animals in a reserve forest or pedestrians on busy mumbai streets are not his personal life. They are crimes for which he is under trial in PUBLIC courts. One cannot ignore these things, unless he or she expects a convenience for argument sake.

    The rest of India loves him. True. But that proves nothing. popularity is not the index of one’s genuine talent nor is it the indication of one’s attitude. I could name several criminals and even terrorists who are more popular than Salman Khan. Being proud solely on the basis of popularity is an indication of immature mindset.Recommend

  • BossLady

    Your allegations are purely based on? He is innocent till proven guilty. What about all the good deeds he is doing? I agree, he is not a good actor(he was damn good in Tere Naam, and his earlier movies like Baaghi, Love, Maine Pyar Kiya) but he is a good human being. Just because he is not a kiss ass doesn’t make him arrogant nor a criminal. Why don’t you ponder on that before you make such allegations/statements.Recommend

  • Lalit

    now that is hitting below the belt.i didn’t expect this from you bottle.what i expected was a meticulous explanation on ALL MUSLIMS THINK THIS WAY issue.btw Salman is indeed a Sher if you care to follow his hunting abilities.Recommend

  • Latisha

    ‘Muslim Sher’ Shame on u publisher…Punjab is a place….n as for u water bottle..I see u in every posted comments about Salman. u change ur name out of fear of ghosts chasing u…u have so much hate just coz he is a celebrity. I wonder what on earth someone Muslim did to u that u taking it out on Salman daily. India belongs to people of all religions, they have good n bad people, they love each other despite their differences…its part of human norm to have differences…its unheard of to be all the same…no two people r the same.. Those who hate differences suffer from seriously deadly mental problems. Recommend

  • Latisha

    I find it funny that comments await for moderation here yet..Mr bottle is allowed to defame a person without any evidence..Maybe the post is created by him n he is the moderator…enjoy the moderation of this post 2 bottleRecommend

  • water bottle

    I said what I had to say because the author understands what I am talking about. We have had this discussion before.

    I like the second part you said. Yes, if you consider the hunting ability of Salman (hunting both humans and animals), he is a sher.

    There are very few people who speak the truth. And fewer people who have the guts to listen to it.Recommend

  • Lucky

    This in very very nice movie and salman Bhai pori dunya ka sher hain for all of us love you bhaiRecommend

  • Shafiq Ul Hasan

    Oh really? wow! How do you know that? and you are so correct!
    As you are full of your own assumptions :P There is no point of answering such a comment…Recommend

  • Shafiq Ul Hasan

    I thought you had some background knowledge about indie cinema, as i have read your comments a few times on other posts, sorry to say but you don’t get it.
    By PUNJAABI SHER, it always meant “SIKH SHER” Take any of Sunny Deol’s “Sher” kinda movie, and tell me the name of his character, it’s always a “SIKH NAME”, there isn’t any harm in comparing SIKH with MUSLIM.
    And if it’s about you selecting what to call him, it’s definitely your call and your choice. But why then Sunny Deol is known as Punjaab Da Sher? and not Hindustani sher?Recommend

  • Waseem Sarwar

    errr. forgive my ignorance but who is Sunny Deol?Recommend

  • tungi

    im surprised this film even needs a critical analysisRecommend

  • usman

    I would sooner stab myself repeatedly with a pencil than watch this tripe.Recommend

  • gp65

    Salman’s father is a Muslim and mother a Hindu. His mamas therefore are Hindus. His sister Alvira is married to Atul Agnihotri and there he is also a mama to Hindus. The only woman that he was really close to getting married was a Hindu. His step Mom (Helen) is a Christian and his brother Arbaaz Khan isn’t married to a Muslim either. IT is evidence in the conduct of their very personal decisions that he and his family show respect for faiths. In any event, Indians identify themselves as Indians first. The notion of Muslim sher to describe Salman Khan is weird to say the least.
    When everyone was angry about 26/11, it is Salman who brought up the point that if the government had reacted appropriately when the serial bombings in Mumbai trains happened in 2006, then the terrorists would not have been emboldened to do 26/11. His loyalty is unquestionably to India.Recommend

  • gp65

    People’s beliefs can be judged by their actions. When Salman’s brother and sister are married to non-Muslims, his mother is a Hindu, his step Mom a Christian and he himself had been on the verge of marrying a Hindu – whatever else one may conclude about him, one cannot say that he is living a double life.
    Incidentally, what is the basis of your conclusion that all Indian Muslims say one thing to others and another among themselves?
    Yes there are indeed some aggressive Muslims like Owaisi but then there are others like Abdul Kalam and Azim Premji who are role models. Please stop stereotyping whole communities based on one or two people that ou may personally know.Recommend

  • Salman’s Fan

    hey guys y r u all fighting,fighting for just that Salman couid be called Indian sher/Muslim sher.He is Muslim/Hindu.Dont fight on this please.In an interview Salman had said that no one in the Bollywood is Muslim/Hindu,they r just the entertainers.If u want to call him something then, “Sher of Bollywood”,”People’s Man”.Man with the Golden Heart”.Recommend

  • dheeraj

    Muslim sher????common pakis kabhi toh uske alawa socha karo yaar!!!!!life is meant to live fullest not for majhab and all that even salman would not like if he comes to know that someone has call him muslim sher…..i think this is the biggest barrier in paks development……socho yaar socho agar tum jaise padhe likhe log aise soch ke honge toh what about illetrate….Recommend

  • Nandita.

    So, where can I find this study and so called ‘research’ of yours. Has it been published anywhere- that is if there is actually some research that you did ? Where can I access it? Let me see what your ‘research’ says. BTW, who are you to decide whether my interactions have been superficial ?What do you even know about my relationships or interactions with people. What a joke! I have lots of muslim friends, neighbours and colleagues with whom I share a warm and close bond so I am entitled to my own opinions. I really do not need you to tell me what muslims in India are like. If you don’t have logical arguments , keep quiet instead of undermining other people’s interactions. All of India’s love for Salman proves nothing, you say but you want me to believe your ‘research’ proves that muslims in India don’t love the country? Haha. Lol.
    Btw this ‘research’ of yours – how many people did you reasearch ? 100 , 200 or 1000? And these muslims you ‘researched’ spoke to you and revealed their true feelings ( dislike) for India ? And is that sample a good representation of the whole community ?

    People love him so he is a star – you can keep arguing but that doesn’t change facts.
    What I meant in my previous commet was that i am referring to his onscreen life not his offscreen life. Instead of using the term ‘personal life’ I should have used the word ‘offscreen life’ .. And his onscreen persona has made him a star. There’s no doubt about that.

    Quote – popularity is not the index of one’s genuine talent nor is it the indication of one’s attitude

    Paani ki bottle – did I speak about Salman’s talent or his attitude ? Please read and comprehend statements before assuming things. I am simply saying he is a star in India because people love him. And that’s the truth whether you accept it or not.Btw, there is something called ‘soft power’ ..read about it.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Sunny is called Punjab da sher NOT sikh sher (punjab and sikh are not interchangeable words)..Punjab does not only comprise of sikhs – there are hindus , muslims , christians etc in Punjab as well … And Sunny deol is more popular in Punjab than the rest of India hence the name Punjab da Sher.. His popularity in Punjab is unparalleled .. whereas Salman is popular among all Indians all over the country (not just muslims).Recommend

  • an Indian

    Fact is these frustrated Pakistanis some times blame Hindi movies . Some times put a ban on Hindi movies . Some of them even come up with Hindi movie reviews like this guy , don’t know whether it was a pirated CD review or a satellite rights review . These losers should come up of their own movies and rate it . But we know they can never create their own industry , be it a movie industry or a successful business empire , thanks to backward class ,mentality and their belief system. They have already eaten up the movie industry they had after exodus of non-muslims from Lahore or Karachi . These people are good for nothing except reviews and comments. It seems Sunny , be it Deol or Leone has put their life on fire.Recommend

  • water bottle

    What Salman’s family does has got nothing to do with Salman. Read my comment and understand that I was not referring to Salman leading a double life, even though he does.

    Besides, only fools believe that marrying a non-muslim makes a muslim secular. Jinnah married a non-muslim and he vehemently opposed when his own daughter wanted to marry a non-muslim. That’s not even the point of discussion.

    I am not talking about all muslims. I am talking about a majority of them.

    I am talking the truth. If you find it as stereotyping, then that’s your fault.Recommend

  • water bottle

    If you need evidence, I urge you too stick your eyes off bollywood channels and read some news.

    Funny, people ask for evidence when multiple cases are going on against this man (who I call a boorish thug).Recommend

  • water bottle

    You will do well in life to understand the difference between research and publishing.

    “People love him so he is a star – you can keep arguing but that doesn’t change facts.”

    That’s the most inane argument I have ever heard. Osama bin laden is loved by people even more. So are Md. Ghauri and Md. of Ghaznavi Perhaps, he is a bigger star only for some fools.

    The rest of your comments are spurious. I have already wasted enough time on someone with little comprehension and analytical skills. no more.Recommend

  • water bottle

    Good question. That’s called as double life.Recommend

  • water bottle

    well, if it is just a comment, you don;t answer. You only answer questions.

    But, yes, I seriously believe in 2 possibility about you. 1) Either you get paid by Pakistani distributors to write flowery reviews about brainbead films. Or 2) you have never been exposed to good cinema all your life.

    I pity the people who read such reviews and believe them. I wonder what is your qualification to write reviews. Especially since you do not seem to know diddly squat about the art of cinema.Recommend

  • anil

    That is the difference between Indian and a Pakistani . When you say Punjabi sher , it has implicit meaning which you mentioned. But we carefully steer our words to avoid religious backgrounds which is good for our country. If I take your words into account , then we can also tell Mr.Mujibur Rahman as ‘Muslim sher’ in stead of ‘Bengali Sher’ which he is famous for , Pakistanis might have reservations against it . Mr.Aurenjeb can also be called as ‘Muslims sher’ which can be opposed from certain section of muslims like Bohra community . Being an educated person , you can understand our point of view . Few years ago we had a Muslim President who had nothing ‘Islamic’ in him , he was a strict vegetarian and only spoke English and Tamil . I can understand your the environment and surroundings where you are born and brought up , but you have to come out of that to smell the outer world. If you understand it , then most of the problems your country suffering from will be resolved. By the way can you tell me who was “Sher-E- Punjab” or “Punjab Kesari” , was he a Hindu or Muslim or a Sikh ?Recommend

  • water bottle

    What nonsense are you talking about?

    I don;t even use my real name to change my name. LOL.

    Your comments are completely spurious. I have got nothing against Muslims or anyone of any faith.

    My comments are based on truth. Based on enough research I have done. And when I point out at the ills of Muslims, I say it with sadness and not out of any grudge.

    I wish Muslims become secular and work towards progression. but instead they are mired in their own warped world with grudge against everyone else. You go to any -part of India, you will find Muslims living in slums. How unfortunate that they are failed by themselves, their own leaders and others.

    I have never expressed any grudge about Muslims. I have only told the truth about Muslims, that needs to be told instead of pseudo-secular mumbling I see in India.

    Not a sinlge commenter here knows as much about Muslims of India or have interacted with them or not a single one of them has the guts to tell the things as they are. I feel sorry for such pseudo and stupid people.Recommend

  • water bottle

    I find your comment not relevant to the topic.

    Where’s your thinking, man?

    India has 20 crore Muslims. If a Muslim of India is called a Muslim sher, that does not mean his loyalty is not to India.

    A Muslim Sher might as well be a proud Indian. But the problem here is about calling someone a sher, who has no discernible talent, has committed crimes, has been violent/boorish in his public behavior.

    What is wrong is Abdul kalam or Azim premji (the two you mentioned) are called as Muslim sher? They are proud citizens of India and perhaps, proud Muslims. Let them be Muslim shers and also proud shers of India.

    It’s funny people are taking offense to him being called a Muslim Sher and not about him being called a sher.

    I would take a bigger offense if someone like Salman is called a sher of Hindustan. I would take equal offense if someone like Bal Thackeray is called a Sher of India.

    Sorry, India doesn’t need criminals to be called ‘sher’s.

    P.S: Some times, I think you are stuck in an era when G Parthasarathy used to be a diplomat in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sab33N

    It is an awful movie .. even if we go by Salman’s standards .. The reference to Muslim sher is just hilarious and out of context. Absurd to be honest.. However the most absurd of all is the reaction from our neighboring country readers .. i mean c’mon .. you don’t have to validate or prove the fact that Salman is not a Muslim sher and that his family is secular .. most of the Indians are secular unless they are of course Hindus :PRecommend

  • Nandita.

    Are you telling me you didn’t document your ”years” of ‘Research’ .. did you just do your ‘research’ for timepass? You didn’t save even a copy of this ”research” for your own reference? Tsk tsk … You will do well in life to understand that it takes no time for readers to differentiate between the truth and lies. Ab ho gaya na doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani :) :) :)

    The most inane comparison I have heard is the comparison between Osama Bin Laden and Salman Khan.
    Food for thought : What makes film stars in India popular ? Newsflash : The love of their audience. Without audience appreciation , what are they ?

    Don’t go around comparing film actors to terrorists. lolRecommend

  • Nandita.

    LOL. Mr ”researcher” who has no way to prove that his ”research” work is not only in his mind, is calling my comments spurious. Lol.Recommend

  • anup

    anil , these people also have some Sunni and Shia shers , so your justifications are baseless to them .Recommend

  • Weezy

    Greatest actor of all timeRecommend

  • Rakib

    Punjab is region specific, Muslim is religion specific, Hindustan is jingoism specific. Bollywood da Sher is specific. (considering Sunny is no longer bonny)Recommend

  • Rakib

    @anil says: (Few years ago we had a Muslim President who had nothing ‘Islamic’ in him , he was a strict vegetarian and only spoke English and Tamil .) A Muslim man prefers vegetarian food, speaks English/Tamil, and therefore there is nothing “Islamic” about him!! Very insightful! No wonder Hindus here appear to be such experts on Islam & Muslims. One of them is in fact a fly on the wall who can hear private conversation of “majority of Muslims”. And here is another “expert”! Now some other will start wondering whether the metaphorical “Sher” had undergone due surgical snipping before getting chosen as an honorific for Salman.Recommend

  • Spock

    BTW Sher is the name of Salman’s Bodyguard. He is a pakistani hindu who migrated to India.Recommend

  • Tony

    the strangest thing which I noticed after reading this movie review is you all are not concerned with the movie, reviews or expression but the fact is, you all have tried to revolve the entire argument around Muslim, Hindu and Punjabi. Come on guys, why are you all making a hill out of a mole. I have noticed this ting in the people from third world countries, specially India and Pakistan, they keep pointing out the negativities in the society and life and when it come to analysing, understanding and appreciation of the positive things, they just close their eyes or maybe consider that it’s their right and what’s the big deal in it. Quite an irony though.
    How many of you actually commented on the movie, or the writer’s analytical skills? NONE.
    for those who have said that this movie did not require any review or it is not of that worth, then why at first place you clicked on the post and read it? Double standards. Go, get a life.
    @ Author: I am not into watching Indian movies but here I have many friends who have liked this particular movie and the main lead of the movie is really a heartthrob of countless. I enjoyed reading your review. Good work!Recommend

  • Tony

    @Waseem Sarwar:
    Google it! Duh :PRecommend

  • danish yass

    Shame On you Publisher But No One Gonna Hate To With Sallu Bahi Whatever is His Religion is Real Indian first And He Is Great Man Real Hero Helping Poor Peopls
    Shame On you Saying This ABout Sallu Bahi Is Indian Hero We All Love Him
    And The Entire World Love Him Coz he Is Reall Man And REal Human BeingRecommend

  • WankaBoy

    @Nandita.: Well there was a time when Sunny Deol was the “sher of hindustan”.This was during the 90’s when all his action movies were super duper hits and who can forget Gadar outdoing Lagaan!!Sunny Deol is now old and all but done although he still gives a few decent movies.You make it sound like India hasn’t heard of Sunny Deol!!Also bear in mind that during the 90s when Sunny ruled the roost Bollywood was not too interested in simply remaking South Indian films like Salman does.Ghayal,Arjun,Ghatak,Damini,Border,Gadar,Ziddi were all blockbusters and Salman Khan hardly gave hits nor was loved pan-India the way he has been of late nor was Salman even known as an action hero back when action movies were very popular.Recommend

  • Adil Uddin

    I guess both Sunny Deol and Salman Khan defies laws of physics in their movies. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @WankaBoy: CLearly, you have completely misunderstood my statements about sunny deol. Pls re-read carefully. And if you continue to misunderstand, I cant help it.Recommend

  • http://www.et.com Shiva Ji the boss

    There is only one sher (lion) in India today… he is the person by greeting him and calling him best man like his role in this movie Jai ho but the only difference is he is in real…. he’s one and only Sher-e-hind Namo…..narenda modi…..Recommend

  • http://www.et.com Shiva Ji the boss

    By the way we have both hindu sher a.k.a. sher-e-hind Narendra modi and your so .called muslim sher a.k.a. our movie sher sallu…..wat do you have Sharif sher who is negotiating with TTP who have murdered thousands of innocent lives….who’ll take their revenge were they not worth of state of Pakistan…Recommend

  • http://Google.com Arjan

    @ wasim sarwar

    I can understand your feeling towards sunny deol as he did few anti-pakistani films which drilled you deeply.lol


    Take a look at this video which shows you who is sunny deol.Recommend