Opening this week

‘Jab Harry met Sejal’ review: A woman looks for a ring and a plot purpose

For the amount it would have cost for travel, stay, food and party, Sejal may as well have just bought a new ring.

Imtiaz Ali depends on metaphors and uses travel as a device to open up trapped emotions and desires. But these ideas, which were strongly explored in Jab We Met, Rockstar and Highway, are too superficially addressed in Jab Harry Met Sejal, a 143-minute tour of Europe, which is 100 minutes too long.

Writer-director Ali’s idea of a girl finding herself while searching for her missing engagement ring in the company of a womanising tour guide is a slim premise. As they retrace their steps traversing Europe from Amsterdam to Prague to Budapest and Lisbon, their search for one thing, but obviously, leads to the discovery of the unexpected. No points for guessing that somewhere between the canals of Amsterdam, the arches of Prague’s Charles Bridge and Budapest’s terrace cafés, Harry and Sejal don’t just find each other, they also encounter their own true selves.

Logic is totally cast aside here. Sejal abruptly leaves her family and embarks on a retrieval trip around Europe, in the solitary company of a virtual stranger, Harry. Her family seems okay with this plan, and this wastefulness. For the amount it would have cost for travel, stay, food, partying etc, Sejal may as well have just bought a new ring.

Harry is a lonely man. He finds comfort in meaningless one-night stands. He’s the modern day equivalent of the proverbial ship that passes in the night, never dropping anchor for long. Sejal, for all the conservatism you might expect of a Gujarati girl about to have an arranged marriage, is rather self-confident. What’s disappointing though is that what she seems to seek is acknowledgement, not of her beauty or brains (sister-type) but her sexiness (one night stand material). Her half-hearted search for an heirloom ring is also a full-hearted pre-marriage honeymoon.

Besides one scene with Harry’s tour group colleague Mayank (Aru Krishansh Verma), the only actors you see throughout the first half are Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma who prattle on about nothing at all. Several scenes are airy and silly, such as one scene in a Prague nightclub from where Harry and Sejal have to flee. Considering the sketchy story – looking for this ring – it needn’t have taken as long as it does to get to the expected end.

The relationship between Harry and Sejal also gets a bit creepy, as one between an older man and a young woman would. It’s particularly off-putting when Sejal suggests that until the ring is found, Harry should pretend she is his girlfriend. And the next thing you know they are – platonically of course – sharing a queen size bed and singing songs on medieval balustrades.

Usually an Ali film scores on music, but here the songs are unable to touch a chord or find the soul of this film, perhaps because that’s the very thing that is absent from this story. What’s also missing from the screen is tingling, crackling chemistry between the leads because a largely two-hander, that follows a burgeoning attraction and self-discovery, needed fireworks.

While Khan does his best to reignite the magic of the romantic hero he so finely defined in the 90s, Harry is no Raj or Rahul. He certainly has his moments, as does Sharma with both being far more effective in the humorous and cutesy moments.

KU Mohanan’s cinematography, Aki Narula’s costumes and breathtaking European locales can only do so much. If the baseline for Jab Harry Met Sejal is ‘what you seek is seeking you’, then it’s time for Imtiaz Ali to seek a new canvas, because the idea of characters travelling in order to find answers within themselves seems to be suffering from acute jetlag.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.


It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.