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First things first :
1. I am not an SRK fan.
2. I will be defending the movie.
A Shahrukh Khan release is like Diwali, Id and Christmas put together for lovers of good cinema and intellectual audiences. It is a celebration of togetherness and oneness like never before. They scout for the best dictionaries out there in the market, put on their cap of bitterness and set out to write a review, in many cases not even bothering to watch it. After all, what more do you want, it is an SRK movie and a Yashraj release. (I haven’t seen so much of activity at Passion For Cinema since Anurag Kashyap decided to blog there one fine day)
My main point being we should be giving credit where it is due. Lovers of independent cinema go all out defending their kind of movies, but the moment you cannot see what is good, it is no longer cinema. It is ego, attitude and superiority thrown in.
Getting to the movie now.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is no masterpiece. But considering how many masterpieces we have had from the Hindi film industry if you still went in expecting one, I would rather judge you than the movie.
The movie is entertaining in the first 3/4ths. It does fall in pace towards the end but given the theme, somewhere we had to run into emotional scenes. But to say it is a bad movie is by no means right.
What works :
1. Shahrukh Khan’s Surinder Sahni : A heart-warming and honest attempt at playing a middle aged middle class man. If any other actor would have played it, we would all have gone gaga using a generous sprinkling of hard work, method acting and perfectionist. Either way, I don’t think Shahrukh gets up on a Saturday morning and reads what people think of his acting. He acted when he had to and still acts when he gets a role. The other times, he is just entertaining the audience. (P.S. : Contrary to what you might think, I still maintain the fact that I am not an SRK fan)
2. Vinay Pathak’s Ballu : This guy can do no wrong. Put him in any movie from RGV ki Aag to the original Sholay and he’ll come out trumps. His first scene is probably his best in the movie. The perfect foil to Surinder’s character and in many ways complementary.
3. Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte : A grudge I have against the makers when it comes to this song is that it deserved the climax or some equally important part. I was really disappointed when it came on even before the halfway mark. Visually, it is memorable; musically, it is nothing short of intelligent and the sets, costumes, music, dances they all just work. No one could have sung it better than Sonu Nigam and no one could even come close to Shiamak Davar’s choereography.
Apart from this, newcomer Anushka Sharma doesn’t give any cause to complain. That is an advantage.
What doesn’t work : The remaining songs, the last part of the movie which is slow, some script loopholes, some logical flaws here and there.
Now addressing some points people often used against the movie :
1. How could she not recognize him ? Isn’t that just creative liberty ? They could have roped in Kamal Haasan’s make-up man and narrated stories of how it took long hours to make Raj look different from Surinder, or just take the liberty and move ahead with the story. Either way, this should not be a cause for complain for both non-thinking as well as thinking audiences. I don’t know where the rest belong.
2. ‘Rab’ : Yes there are lot of references to Rab. In fact the portait of the Sikh Guru could as well have been credited in the titles. This could have surely been toned down, including Rab’s influence at the ending. She could have realised it on her own but considering how important Rab is to this movie, obviously he had to show his importance.
If you ask me, it is surely worth a watch once for Surinder Sahni, if not anything else.
And I never said it was perfect. I am just saying it is good.
Another gem of a movie ! I am pretty damn sure most of you wouldn’t have heard of a small movie named “Oh My God ! ” (note how cleverly I capitalized all words to avoid trouble) that just released in India. It stars Vinay Pathak (again !), Divya Dutta and Saurabh Shukla.
Please please watch this movie. It is thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking .. isn’t that why movies were supposed to be made ?
It is the story of a normal middle class person (Vinay Pathak), who has everything from a decent job to a good wife (Divya Dutta, who is just brilliant in this movie !). Save for one thing. He believes he can make it big one day and his whole life revolves around this fact.
He even gets what he wants one day (this is a very minor spoiler in the big scheme of things), but the movie really kicks off after that with some mind-blowing acting by Vinay Pathak. This guy seriously is the torchbearer of independent cinema !
If this movie doesn’t make you think of money, life and happiness, I am sure you missed something. And still, it is thoroughly entertaining and funny ! Again a first time director Sourabh Srivastava. But it is mostly Vinay Pathak who makes it a one-man-show.
So please please do not miss this movie while it is still playing.
P.S. : Anyone who sits around cribbing about the quality of Bollywood movies needs to see some recent releases :
Mumbai Meri Jaan.
Welcome to Sajjanpur.
Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.
And now the icing on the cake : Oh My God !
2008 will go down as the year when Bollywood finally started to be truly different.
The last few days were spent in some marathon movie-watching :
Tues : Deshdrohi (if you thought Andaz Apna Apna was funny .. you need to see this).
Wed : Slumdog Millionaire (Review here).
Thurs : Dasvidaniya (A must-watch if you like good cinema).
Fri : The Dark Knight (IMDB #4 of all time ? Really ?)
Fri : WALL.E (Same as above)
Fri : Dasvidaniya (Not a typo. Saw it again).
Fri : Kill Bill vol. 1. (QT is the master of style here. Substance not so much)
Fri : Kill Bill vol. 2. (QT is the master of substance here. Style not so much)
Sat : Yuvvraaj. (Remind me why I saw this ?)
Sat : Indiana Jones : Raiders of the Lost Ark.