To his millions of adoring fans – mostly young Indian men – Bollywood superstar Salman Khan can do no wrong. He has consistently delivered countless, mindless blockbusters in the last decade, making him perhaps the most successful actor of his generation. In ‘Jai Ho’ (‘Let There Be Victory’), he’s Jai, an honest car mechanic. His philosophy is as simple as the script: help people and encourage them to help others in order to form a ‘human goodness’ chain. When Jai encounters a corrupt politician (Danny Denzongpa), he embarks on a commando mission against injustice. Of course, as is now customary, this climaxes in a shirtless, bloody fistfight between Khan and the stock baddies.
This Hindi remake of the 2006 Telugu potboiler ‘Stalin’ (itself a homage to 2000's ‘Pay it Forward’, starring Kevin Spacey) is loud, crass and laughable. Khan’s fans will be in orgasmic bliss as he mashes up villains by either kicking or biting them. He romances a heroine half his age (Daisy Shah) and frequently roars: ‘The common man is like a sleeping lion, so don’t poke him!’
Khan’s gym-toned body dominates almost every scene. Three songs with inane English titles like ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ and ‘Love You Till the End’ appear swiftly in the first twenty minutes but add little to the story. Still, Khan’s devoted fans will lap this up. The film claims to champion the power of the common man, but it looks more like Khan and his director brother, Sohail, are intent on underestimating their common sense.