Expectations were definitely running high. After all Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is Shah Rukh Khan’s maiden blockbuster this year (Bhootnaath was all about Amitabh Bachchan); Aditya Chopra making his comeback into the direction world; and the introduction of the very young Anushka Sharma. As soon as the promo’s hit the television screens, fans of king Khan screamed in delight and marked the date to see SRK in his new avatar, moustache et al. So, the day finally came and hoards of fans locally and abroad flocked to the nearest Desi cinema to watch their favorite Khan doing what he does best. So did SRK, buddy Aditya Chopra and wannabe heroine Anushka Sharma manage to live up to the hype that was created? Read on to find out our verdict.
This simple story is about a simple man Surinder Suri (Shah Rukh Khan) who lives a simple life and works for a simple Punjab Power company. Too much simplicity for you? The entrance of Taani (Anushka Sharma) marks the end of this simplicity and adds spice to his one mundane life. These two opposites come together out of sheer unfortunate events and enter into wedded bliss (?) Not really. While he loves her for her vivacious and fun-loving nature, she is bored by her new husband. Suri realizes that he may actually lose his wife and decides to change his ways by entering into a dance competition as Taani’s partner. He awakes as the boring husband and before the moon shines, his alter-ego kicks in to become Raj –you wouldn’t have expected any other name for his “twin.” The ending, of course a happy one but it does have a few hatke twists and turns before the climax kicks in.
Audiences always have sky high expectations of the Yash Raj camp and when it comes to Aditya Chopra, they expect a Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge every time. In all honesty, RNBDJ should not be compared to any of Aditya Chopra’s previous ventures simply because DDLJ is a cult romantic film which was fresh and unique in another time. This time, A.C. has taken a totally different angle on the love story which is also innovative however, evidence of prior Yash Raj films do show through the cracks. Chopra Jr. must be given a grade “A” for effort. He has tried a unique filmi formula which is new to his home camp and should provide some inspiration to other directors in the production house. The stars are not dressed in any fancy designer clothing nor is it filmed in any foreign location. Everything is Indian which works for the movie and allows the audiences to connect with the movie.
Modern audiences, however, cannot be taken for granted on any level. They question the logic behind every nonsensical event in any movie. With regards to RNBDJ, a few questions do crop up. For starters, how does Taani not realize that Raj is her husband? While he does eventually rid himself of the moustache, his appearance is very similar to Suri. Additionally, what is the actual point of the story? Is it that you should change to such an extent to please your spouse? Another drawback is the length of the film. Running nearly three hours, the movie could easily use a few chops which would ideally help the screenplay too.
The movie is not boring by any means. In typical Yash Raj style, the flick has some great sequences between the couple. Watching Anushka teaching Raj to dance provides some great comical scenes too. Additionally, some of the more emotional scenes make you sit up and watch especially when you watch the character of Suri switch between his daytime and night time jobs.
The movie of course belongs to Shah Rukh Khan. He proves once again that he is nothing less than a complete entertainer. Watching him as an honest man who falls in love with a girl who is out of his league adds a sense of novelty to the normally larger than life SRK. You can’t help but sigh for Suri and then cheer for Raj. It is definitely a hard task to play two characters simultaneously, make them individual and yet lovable. Only a seasoned actor like King Khan could take on such a challenge.
Newcomer Anushka Sharma shows great promise. Her dancing is impressive, but there is definite room for improvement. In some scenes her lack of experience is evident and her expressions are blank. Vinay Pathak is his usual amazing self, as is Dara Singh who has a small but significant part.
The music is a slight disappointment with ‘Haule Haule’ and ‘Dance Pe Chance’ being the only two that shine simply because of its unique choreography. The cinematography deserves a mention for making Amritsar look even more beautiful than Switzerland. Cinematographer Ravi K Chandran has showed Punjab at its finest, making it become an integral part of the film.
The verdict: The movie is entertaining but does not, unfortunately live up to the Yash Raj reputation. While it is definitely many notches above the recent debacles coming out of the production house, it cannot be compared to some of the great hits that they have jutted out in the past. All in all, a good one time watch at the cinema.