Kamis, 07 Maret 2013

Movie review: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Movie review: Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Love is a yellow tiffin stuffed with 'garma garam khana', balanced between the knees of that scooter rider going down a small-town road, on his way to his public sector office, and fellows called Sharma ji, Varma ji, and Sahni ji.
Or that's what Aditya Chopra would have us believe. His new film has Shah Rukh Khan playing Surinder Sahni, a small cog in a big 'sarkaari' wheel, living an ordinary 9 to 5 existence. He has a best friend who revels in the name of Bobby aka Balwinder (Vinay). And he's just acquired a new wife, Taani (Anushka), who's mourning the untimely exit of an old love.
Tiny three-membered cast, instead of the standard full-scale Yashraj 'baraat'. Middle-class homes and offices, instead of ornate palaces and Swiss chalets.
A hero who wears a thick moustache, black-framed spectacles, and pants which don't fit. And a simple, unmade-up heroine, dressed, for the most part, in 'salwaar kameez' and 'phulkari dupattas'. No, gulp, pastel chiffons. Could this really be Yashraj turning over a welcome new leaf ? Uh huh : the outlines of the characters are new, but the brush-strokes that fill in the whole, aren't. In its telling, the few fresh touches in 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' are overpowered by those that are all too familiar.
It opens with one of the oldest tricks in the book – dying dad asking hero to wed heroine. You're still getting over that when the film whisks you off to Amritsar, where Surinder and Taani's love story is destined to unfold. It begins well—they sleep sweetly in separate rooms, and swap such winsome exchanges as her saying 'aap lucky ho ji, ki aap ko kabhi pyaar nahin hua', with him replying, a tad poetically, 'isse zyada pyar ki na toh mujhe aadat hai na zaroorat'
Whenever SRK plays an average joe, he scores. Surinder Sahni is all set to be one of his most loved parts—his Punjabi 'leheja' and his quiet bashfulnesss is pitch-perfect. But superstars can't be made to appear ill-dressed wimps who don't know how to keep their women in the kitchen, when, of course, they are not being meek and pliant in the bedroom.
SRK's double role arrives in the guise of Raj, and this version is very up to the Amritsar minute—skintight tee, ripped jeans, spiked hair. And there you have it, another creaky nostrum—dull office-going Surinder, or boisterous, brash Raj, what's a Taani to do?
Anushka makes a confident debut, but there's only so much they can do to keep us engaged for a long 2 hours 40 minutes. The rest of it is same old.
Yashraj set the gold standard for youthful romance back in 1995: 'DDLJ' retrieved the kind of lover that Hindi movies had lost to lust and violence. What we get in 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' (I doubt if it will ever be shortened to 'RNBDJ'), like in their inflated movies of the past couple of years, is a flurry of the ideas that have worked in the past. 'Aap toh Dhoom 3 ho, ji', says Raj, applauding Taani's motorbike-riding skills.
And you cannot get more self-referential than having your hero say 'yeh dilwala apni dulhaniya le hi jayega': that's seriously scraping the barrel.
'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' has some sparkling moments, featuring Surinderji Sahni. The rest is done that, seen this. Are there any new ideas left in the Yashraj chest? Now is the time to delve deep.

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