The film tells the story of a feisty Punjabi girl who is sent off track when she bumps into a depressed Mumbai businessman on an overnight train to Delhi. While attempting to get him back on board when he alights at a station stop, both are left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Having walked out of his corporate business after being dumped by his girlfriend, the man has no destination in mind, until the girl forces him to accompany her back home and then on to elope with her secret boyfriend.
Released in the United Kingdom a day before its worldwide release of 26 October 2007, the film became a hit at the Indian box office as well as overseas. The distributors of the film, Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd, announced that Jab We Met would be remade by corporate entity Moser Baer in four other Indian languages: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. However, eventually it was remade only in Tamil as Kanden Kadhalai. The film remains one of the most romantic movies in Bollywood. The movie catapulted to one of the best success stories throughout the bollywood cinema.
Aditya Kashyap (Shahid Kapoor), a wealthy industrialist faces many problems in business and personal life. He seems depressed and suicidal. After attending his girlfriend's wedding to another man, he leaves his mobile, car and identities behind and walks away. At Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminal he boards a departing train. He is not even aware where the train is headed to and just boards it. It is there where he bumps into Geet Dhillon (Kareena Kapoor), an energetic, talkative Punjabi Sikh girl. He is so lost in his thoughts that he tries to jump off of the train but Geet reaches there on time and stops Aditya from doing so. He finds her irritating and shouts and eventually ends up offending her but she continues her chatter after he apologizes.
Aditya gets off the train and Geet follows him making her miss the train. Aditya reluctantly agrees to help Geet by driving a taxi at a stupendously fast speed to the next train station where the train Geet was in was to stop next. However, Geet misses the train again and Geet and Aditya rent a room but is later raided by the police.
Aditya starts to feel good about life again and starts to have fun with Geet who takes him to her home in Bhatinda where her family is very thankful to Aditya. When Geet's grandfather (Dara Singh) sees them both together, he thinks that they are a couple and that they are in love with each other. But no one seems to believe him. Aditya has fallen in love with Geet but is aware that Geet loves Anshuman (Tarun Arora). Geet decides to elope with Anshuman as she is sure that her family wouldn't agree for their marriage as their religions are different. When she escapes from her house along with Aditya, her family thinks that they both eloped. They go to Manali, where Anshuman resides. Geet requests Aditya to come with her and meet Anshuman, but he says that their journey together is over and bids her farewell, and the two part ways.
Nine months later, Aditya's company announces the name of a new caller card as Geet on television which Geet's family sees. When Geet's uncle (Pavan Malhotra) angrily meets Aditya he says Geet is not with him but somehow knows that she is fine but actually he does not know Geet's condition as he thought Geet would be with Anshuman. He goes to meet Anshuman and discovers that Anshuman had rejected Geet.
Aditya then goes to Shimla where he is shocked to see Geet as a depressed and quiet schoolteacher, having lost her bubbly and energetic character. He brings her back home to Bhatinda to her family as promised to her uncle. He takes Anshuman there too as his friend. Geet's grandfather again says that they are a couple which is true as Aditya and Geet love each other but Geet thinks she loves Anshuman. All the rituals are performed with Aditya when they should be done with Anshuman but the family does not know about Anshuman.
Aditya chooses to leave as he still thinks Geet loves Anshuman. After Aditya leaves the field where he, Geet and Anshuman were, Anshuman tells Geet that she needs to tell her family that she loves Anshuman. Upon hearing this, Geet realizes that she was unable to tell her mother about Anshuman despite having an opportunity and cannot do so because she realises that she loves Aditya. She runs away from the field only to find Aditya with her nephew and kisses him showing that she has finally realised that she loves Aditya. They get married and have twin daughters.Kareena Kapoor as Geet Dhillon KashyapShahid Kapoor as Aditya KashyapDara Singh as Geet's grandfatherPavan Malhotra as Geet's uncleKiran Juneja as Geet's motherSanjay Kushwaha as SanjSaumya Tandon as RoopTarun Arora as AnshumanDivya Seth as Aditya's motherNihar Thakur as RaghavBrijendra Kala as Taxi driverVishal O Sharma as Aditya's lawyerRubina as Geet's Cousin
Pre-production work on the film began in early 2007 when Shree Ashtavinayak Cinevision Ltd announced that director Imtiaz Ali would be directing the then real life couple Shahid and Kareena Kapoor in their first "full-fledged romantic drama". When Ali began casting for the film, Kareena Kapoor was the director's first choice to portray the role of Geet Dhillon whilst actor Bobby Deol was the first choice for the role of Aditya Kashyap but Shahid replaced Bobby after Ali met him and discovered the actor was more than a poster boy. On the two lead actors, Ali commented, "I wanted a girl who could look natural in scenes where she misses the train. She had to be without make-up, someone who could be hyper, talkative and interesting but not irritating. I was never a fan of her [Kareena] and hadn't seen too many of her flicks, but I just knew Kareena was perfect as Geet [...] [On the other hand], When I met him [Shahid], I realised he wasn't the forgettable actor that he comes across in several of his movies. He has gone through a lot in life and that maturity had never been brought out. He was perfect for the role of a young, mature, quiet guy."
The film was shot throughout the Punjab region, and filming started on 20 March 2007 in Chandigarh and later headed to Shimla and Manali, where the crew filmed a song on the Himalayas and the Rohtang Pass. Manish Malhotra served as the costume designer. The summer shots in Punjab of the haveli were filmed in Nabha near Patiala. While shooting the last schedule of the film in Mumbai, sources had indicated that the lead pair had broken up. Though the media projected it as a publicity stunt for the film, it was later confirmed that the couple had indeed parted ways. The title of the film was decided by a popular vote; moviegoers had a choice between Punjab Mail, Ishq Via Bhatinda ('Love via Bhatinda') and Jab We Met.
To promote the film, the actors appeared separately on different television shows. Kareena Kapoor appeared as guest judge on the singing talent contest Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007 whilst Shahid Kapoor appeared on Amul STAR Voice of India and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa; they later appeared together on the television show Nach Baliye. Apart from this, the producers also painted two full local trains in Mumbai from the Western and Central lines with Jab We Met imagery, where Shahid Kapoor chatted up with fellow passengers and informed them about the movie. On the night of 23 October 2007, a special preview of the film was organized at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai for those associated with the film and their families.
The film opened to positive reviews on 26 October 2007 with a fairly good opening of 70% all over India and later increased to 90% during the weekend. Making a total first week net business of 11.75 crores from 350 cinemas, the film went into the second week with very strong collections and saw a massive increase with 40%-50% increment in shows worldwide.
Continuing its strong march in week two with collections of over ₹90 million (US$1.4 million) and a two-week total of ₹210 million (US$3.3 million), the film was declared a hit. During its third week, Jab We Met managed to add another ₹20 million (US$310,000) to its collections but suffered a setback due to the arrival of Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya, which resulted in the number of shows for the film being reduced. Due to popular demand and the poor performance of the latter, the following week saw an increase in the number of prints for the film across the country, and resulted in a 50% increase of the film's collections. Completing fifty successful days at the box office on 14 December 2007, the film received a hit status by BoxOffice India and continued running successfully in cinemas with greater number of shows than the much later-released, Om Shanti Om.
As of February 2008, Jab We Met has made a net business of over ₹300 million (US$4.7 million), and has emerged as one of the biggest hits of the year. On 30 January 2008, it was announced that to celebrate the success of its 100 days run at the box office, PVR Cinemas in Delhi would have a special screening of the film on Valentine's Day.
Meanwhile, Jab We Met also opened well overseas especially in the U.K., where it was released a day before its worldwide release of 26 October. Debuting at number 10 in the U.K., the film grossed £11,488 on its previews night and £144,525 on its opening weekend, collecting a total of £156,013 from 31 screens. The film continued to do strong business and garnered excellent collections during its second week, making a two-week total of £325,996. Over the next five weeks, Jab We Met collected a total of £43,529 from 54 screens and made a grand total of £424,681.
Upon release, the film opened to positive reviews. Critics praised the film for its simplicity, its romance, saying that it was "one of the finest romantic films to come out of Bollywood in 2007". The film's direction and performances were particularly appreciated. Taran Adarsh from indiaFM gave the film a 3.5 out of 5 rating saying it is "as refreshing as an ice-cold watermelon juice in scorching heat." Subhash K. Jha wrote, "...Jab We Met is the kind of cinematic experience that is hard to come by in this day and age of smoky cynicism and borrowed rage." Rajeev Masand from CNN-IBN, who gave the film 3 stars out of 5, described it as "a film bursting with the kind of lovely little moments that'll bring a smile to your face. Khaled Mohamed, of the Hindustan Times, gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying the film, "is quite a delight, particularly for the chirpy-chirpy-cheep-cheep girl and the retentive, moan-groan boy. Directed with a flair for garnishing even the most abject of circumstances with humour and irony, here’s a feel-cool movie. Wonderful.
Most critics agreed that the main highlight of the film was the leading pair and Shahid and Kareena's chemistry. Rajeev Masand further explained, "The real magic of this film lies in the performances of its two main leads who seize your attention from the moment they first appear on screen." Taran Adarsh commented, "Shahid delivers his career-best performance in Jab We Met... Kareena is in top form as well. Jab We Met is a turning point in her career [personally as well as professionally]. Fantabulous -- that's the right word to describe her work this time. The confidence with which she handles the contrasting characterization speaks volumes. This film should do for her what Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) did for Kajol." Subhash K. Jha approved the chemistry as well, "...there are sparks...and the ones between Kareena and Shahid are so unselfconsciously genuine that you end up looking at the characters rather than the two actors going through a series of brilliantly conceived and energized incidents..." The Times of India gave the film 4 out of 5 stars concluding, "The film belongs to Shahid and Kareena who pitch in memorable performances and lend a whole new meaning to the boy-meets-girl story." Joginder Tuteja from indiaglitz.com gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, described it as "Shahid-Kareena's DDLJ", and concluded that "...it would be a pain if any of the two actors do not get awarded and rewarded for their performances..."
Reviews towards the director, Imtiaz Ali, were favourable as well. Indiatimes wrote, "After his much appreciated Socha Na Tha (2004), Imtiaz goes bigger and better and the result is nothing but flying colours".
Jab We Met remains one of the most popular romantic films in Bollywood. The film helped bring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor's acting careers to a whole new level. The couple was named onto Bollywood Hungama's list of the top 10 best romantic couples of the decade. Yahoo! Movies India listed the film as one of the Bollywood's top 10 most romantic movies. The film's plot inspired the television show Love U Zindagi.
Kareena Kapoor, who had before enjoyed only some success in her films, had catapulted herself to becoming one of Bollywood's superstars. Her character, Geet Dhillon, has become one of the most popular and recognizable heroines in Bollywood. She later went on to say about her role, "To play a character like 'Geet' doesn't happen all the time; it just happens. When you begin working on a film, you of course know about the story and your character. However, no one knows how audiences would eventually react to it. 'Geet' did strike a chord with the audiences and became a household name." Kareena Kapoor, for her performance, was ranked number 66 in Filmfare magazine's 80 Iconic Bollywood Performances list. According to Hindi Film News, she was number 5 in the critic's top ten and number 4 in the popular top ten for the finest performance by a Bollywood actress for the decade. She was also named by Rediff as one of Bollywood's most beloved characters.
On 7 December 2007, the film was officially released on DVD in the U.S., U.K., UAE and other international markets. A single disc collector's item in an enclosed box, the DVD contained English, Portuguese, Arabic & Spanish subtitles.
In India, Jab We Met's DVD was released on 29 January in a single as well as an exclusive twin DVD pack with a price of under Rs. 50. While the film's duration is 138 minutes, the additional DVD in a twin pack also has 20 minutes of special features of the film's making.
The score was composed and produced by Sanjoy Chowdhury.
The film featured songs composed by Pritam Chakraborty with lyrics by Irshad Kamil, the film's soundtrack was released on 21 September 2007 by lead actress, Kareena Kapoor on the musical show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007. Joginder Tuteja from IndiaFM gave the music 3.5 out of 5 stars saying, "In 2007, Pritam may have been come up with good music in number of films [...] But if there is one album that impresses most after Life in a... Metro and turns out to be most satisfying experience, it is Jab We Met. The album is a perfect example of how to get a quality soundtrack which mixes songs for different segments of audience." Movietalkies.com rated the album 4 out of 5 stars, describing the album as "certainly one of the better albums that have come out this year ... Pritam has shown a depth and width of imagination in the manner in which he has used so many different genres and mixed them together to create a fascinating journey of music."
The film's soundtrack debuted at number 8 and later jumped up to number 5 during its second week. Over the next several weeks, the album steadily began climbing up the music charts and saw the album sales increase after the film's release. During the week of 19 November the album replaced the soundtrack of Om Shanti Om and moved up to number 1 but fell back to number 2 the following week. Despite competition from the release of newer soundtracks, the album stayed at the top for over nine weeks. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 19,00,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack album was the year's second highest-selling.
Jab We Met's soundtrack was featured on Rediff's and IndiaFM's year-end list of 2007's Top 10 Music Albums.
Below is a complete list showing the awards and nominations Jab We Met received: