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Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi - Movie Review

By Naresh K. D.
Fri, Dec 12, 2008 23:30 IST

Shahrukh Khan It is Shahrukh Khan who lights up your life with his superb performance even though Aditya Chopra makes a mess of the heart-winning love story with an overdose of weepy melodrama in the second half of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi .

Friends! The director who made arguably the best Bollywood love story of the 90s ( Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge ) returns a slightly evolved filmmaker with realistic sensibilities that reek of Shimit Amin's style in Chak De India , but not without the baggage of weepy sentimentality that has by now become synonymous with the Yashraj stamp. 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' is a love story you almost want to believe in. And you do believe it until the film runs past the half-way mark, when the director tries to repeatedly unleash one tear-jerking moment after another on the popcorn munching audiences, thus robbing the story of its credulity.

Much has changed since Aditya Chopra had his last outing in Mohabbatein eight years ago. Today's i-Pod generation doesn't have much appetite for the drama that once got the kerchiefs out. Now, it only gets the i-Pods out. Before the final fifteen minutes of the film, the love story nosedives into regression and you are told that lovers have begun to see 'Rab' (no less) in each other. Why Aditya? Is love any less if you don't? Can't one see the lover as who he or she is?




But many thanks to Shahrukh (with due apologies to the staunch SRK¬ bashers) for holding the film together without overacting his part. This is perhaps the best performance by the superstar yet.

Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh) returns to his town Amritsar with a reluctant bride Taani ( Anushka Sharma ). She was set to marry another man who died in an accident on the day of the wedding and a twist of events made her take saat phere with Surinder instead.

The two make an odd match. She is a good-looking Punjabi kudi with suppressed jubilance, and he - in his full sleeve shirts and loose pants over sports shoes - is as ordinary and clumsy as a man could be. Even though Surinder loves her, he doesn't express it to Taani, hoping that haule haule she would begin to love him. But that day doesn't come, and Surinder decides to transform himself into the kind of man his lonely wife would admire - a hip dude in narrow-fit jeans, studded boots and ragged tee-hee shirts.

In his new avatar as Raj, he becomes Taani's dance partner in a competition. And even as he makes her laugh and relive life, she doesn't realize that Raj is the same ordinary man she makes toasts for every morning. So the irony of this love story is that the more Taani is drawn towards Raj, the more Surinder loses her. And Surinder cannot be Raj forever.

To be fair to the director, he has penned a nice story with some fine dialogues and situations that keep a perpetual smile on your face. The meek and submissive protagonist (played brilliantly by SRK) may be the story's underdog, but your heart goes out for him. He is a man who amuses you with his ordinariness. And he evokes sympathy (not the pitiful kind) when you see him locked in a losing battle with his other fictitious half in winning over his wife's love.

If only Aditya Chopra had restrained himself and not stretched the drama to the point when it begins to weigh heavy.

SRK is the pivot on which the whole movie rests, and he rocks 'Rab' despite his facial lines that make him look a tad mature to romance a 20-something damsel. The body language, the mannerisms and the expressions he lends to his nerdy Surinder is the stuff you see from polished actors. Anushka has a few rough edges in her acting but considering it's her debut, she does pretty well. Vinay Pathak - the only third character in the story - plays Surinder's gaudily dressed buddy who runs a hair salon and advices him on how to be "macho". This is perhaps the first time Pathak has played such a flashy character and he does it extremely fine.

Despite its average music and post interval bumps, 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' is eminently entertaining. There's also a surprise medley of old Hindi film songs picturized on SRK and a bunch of beauties like Kajol , Bipasha Basu , Lara Dutta , Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee in glamourous cameos. The best part of the film is the finale of the dance competition and also the closing credits that send you home smiling ear-to-ear.

For a such touching moments as these in the film and for SRK's stellar performance, 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' is definitely worth a watch.

Ek Chance Maar Le.

Rating: ***



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