It is a Rs 22 crore movie. Expectations were high for other reasons. One, it was Aditya Chopra’s comeback after eight years of Mohabattein and thirteen years of Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejayenge . Well, that does not come as a surprise. After giving a hit like (DDLJ), one is virtually competing against oneself! Not sure if there is a follow up formula to the ‘love’ formula.
Two, it is a Shahrukh Khan movie. He did have sole responsibility in holding the storyline. In fact it is two Sharukh Khan movies in ONE.
Set in Amritsar around the Golden Temple, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, touches everything that is normal, everything that is way of life in ordinary people’s lives, nothing that you do not know or have not seen in your everyday lives. In fact at times it feels that it has been shot close to home.
The movie starts off on a very old and beaten road- groom does not show up, father finds the first possible match for his daughter from the crowd assembled for the ‘other’ wedding. There starts the one sided love affair, the life of a mismatched couple Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) and Taani (Anushka Sharma).
Surinder Sahni (Suri) works for ‘Power Of Punjab- Lighting your life JI’ and treads monotonously from one day to the next as someone who is content with what he has, has accepted life the way it is. Perhaps he cannot fathom or does not aspire (not sure) that life can be better or different. Well that is life of majority of population in India where life lives them rather than they living their lives.
Tanni’s fun loving and free spirited being, on the other hand, feels caged. She has accepted the life the way it has been presented to her but has not come to terms with it yet. She finds a distraction- a dance competition. Seeing 20 year old Anushka dance reminds you of the elegance and comfort that Madhuri Dixit portrayed for many years on the silver screen. Suri pays for dance competition classes and figures out that he will never be able to win Tanni’s heart unless and until he takes help of ‘superhero’ Raj. Raj who not only expresses his love clearly (by misusing his access and friends at Punjab Power or rather the electricity board) but also is good at riding a motorbike, dancing, singing – attributes that not necessarily earn you a living but certainly can earn you company of good looking women! Now this is where the second movie (within the first) starts. Is Raj someone who Suri aspires to be? No Tanni does not recongnise Suri in disguise of Raj. Logic?
The story line is self referential in many ways which somehow has become Yash Raj Films signature. In every new Yash Raj Banner movie, all the old characters (all the Rajs’) come back and it all seems as one big family where they join in as close knit family. In fact the most entertaining song of the film is when Shahrukh Khan plays Raj Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, etc with heroines of Raj from previous movies under the banner- Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, and Pretty Zinta. It is one big happy family after all.
Story has also weaved humor and sarcasm in many a scenes by depicting how many a times Bollywood cinema is incongruent with real world. There is this hilarious take on Hrithik Roshan’s advertisement where he swings his girl and beats up a gang using her as a weapon!
Is this Shahrukh Khan’s best? Certainly not. Is it better than DDLJ or Mohabbatein? Certainly not. Entertaining? Sure.
Bollywood movies these days seem to be stuck between two eras – the old, simple and real love era, or the futuristic hypothetically dreamy era. Om Shanti Om is one such example. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a good follow up. Producers and directors these days seem to be attempting to prepare a ‘smoothy’ between the two eras. Clearly that reflects the generation demarcation of our society. The only problem with these smoothies is that while being enthralling, at times logic does not prevail.
Go watch Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Ji. Wait till the end. You will like the closing credits- ‘honeymoon in Japan postcards.’
Released all over India and most countries today (December 12). House full in all theaters in California! In fact they are holding onto release of Ghajini so as not distract the audience with two mega starters.