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Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, one of the highest grossing movies of 2008, was certainly one of those “love it or hate it” films. For every review praising the film to the skies, there was another picking out all its flaws. It’s strange that this movie would cause such opposite reactions, since at first look, it seems to be just another simple love story from the Yash Raj stable. Since it is one of my favorite movies ever I thought I would write my reasons for why I love Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi!
I loved RNBDJ because it isn’t a celebrated love story with boy meeting girl, both falling in love, facing a few conflicts, and living happily ever after with a few songs in Switzerland thrown in. It’s the simple story of Suri and Taani, and how unforeseen circumstances throw them together. It’s how Suri looks at his bride with such love, infatuation, fascination. And how she can be his wife, but can’t love him. How tragedy in her life has basically forced her to marry someone she thinks she will never be able to love. It’s the story of three people, no more, no less. We aren’t subjected to extra, meaningless characters and storylines.
I was certainly hooked to the movie as soon as it started. The beautiful shots of Amritsar, the Golden Temple, the prayer heard in the background. I immediately took in the sights and sounds of the film, and was really anticipating what I was going to see next. How would it start? Do we see Shah Rukh first? And as which character? When will we see Anushka? We’re shown the train station, and see Surinder (SRK) step off the train. And then, surprisingly, we see Taani (Anushka) step off, in her bridal wear. This is a perfect start to the movie, as it already has you thinking. Why are they married? What’s happened?
Aditya Chopra puts Surinder Sahni front and center, and says here, this is your hero. And we fall in love with him. He may not be conventionally handsome, but that doesn’t make him any less of a man. He’s caring, loving, honest, and only wants the best for his wife. You feel for Suri in this movie even if you don’t want to. When Taani tells him that she will never be able to love him, he doesn’t get mad, he doesn’t tell her to leave. He tells her that he doesn’t even know what love is, so it’s ok. He loves her, but certainly doesn’t expect anything from her. We feel for him when he makes breakfast for Taani, but she doesn’t come. When he wants to leave a rose for her, but can’t. When he asks her to come see his friends, but then says it’s ok, she should rest. And we smile with him when Taani gives him his first tiffin.
I also love that Taani is not a typical BW heroine. She marries Suri for her father’s sake. This man that she has only met once, the man who her father always talked about. She feels it is the right thing to do. That’s why I buy it at the end that Taani sees Suri as her Rab. After all she went through, the one constant was Suri. He was always there. He took care of her. When she talks to Suri on the terrace, she’s not trying to hurt him. She’s just being honest. She’s not mad at him, she’s mad at God. But she doesn’t want him to keep his hopes up either, so she gives it to him straight. She’ll be his wife, and that’s about it.
Raj(also SRK) is another story. He’s rude, he’s a flirt, he’s loud, he’s pretty annoying. But Suri doesn’t know any better. He doesn’t know how he’s supposed to act, what’s cool and what’s not. It’s a big adjustment for him. He has to wear huge sunglasses and spike his hair, all for Taani. He realizes that he can get closer to Taani, and he becomes Raj night after night. He’ll do it happily. He gets to see the side of Taani that he fell in love with.
The thing most people have a problem with is why doesn’t Taani recognize her own husband in Raj? But I ask, why is it such a hard thing to believe? Taani never took a second look at Suri, she never cared to. She sat at the opposite end of the table from him when they ate, would be off to make dinner when he came home. And Suri being Raj would certainly be the last thing she would expect. Movies are all about suspension of disbelief, and it’s easy to do so in this film. Just letting it all happen makes the movie-watching experience even better. If Clark Kent can be Superman, no questions asked, why can’t Surinder Sahni be Raj?
I loved SRK in his role, he does an exceptional job as both characters. He makes Suri a lovable underdog, and also has moments of “Suri-ness” when he’s acting as Raj. SRK effortlessly combines the two personalities. I also loved Anushka, she made an impressive debut, you’d never be able to tell it was her first film. I’m certainly a fan of hers now. Also, Vinay Pathak made his presence felt as well, his on-screen chemistry with Shah Rukh was great, especially in the scene when they are singing together.
I also feel that the music works perfectly, it’s all used where it should be, and nothing is out of place. ‘Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte’ was a treat, ‘Haule Haule’ was spread out nicely, ‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta’ had a beautiful picturization, and ‘Dance Pe Chance’ was fun.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s a movie I can watch over and over again, and still find something new to think about. It’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but the pure simplicity of it makes it one of the best movies I have ever seen.