After much ballyhoo and brouhaha that would take pages of this blog to fill, I reached Sahar airport (Yes, I refuse to call it Chatrapati Shivaji, get over it). One night of tossing and turning and a morn beset by jet lag slowly morphed into my sister dragging me to the latest SRK movie, “Rab ne bana di jodi.” It came highly recommended by her friends, which should have been my first warning, which I did not heed. Nonetheless, I found myself in the movie hall, watching previews of a movie called New York, which seems to be akin to the oft-beaten drum of Muslims in post-9/11 USA. Forget that.
The movie opens promisingly enough, with SRK in his simplest clothes, wearing a fresh, un-starlike look that impressed me and convinced me that even Yash Raj films has come of age. A blushing bride, too pretty for him to have obtained her under circumstances other than the tragic death of her original ‘would-be’, and sure enough, that is what happened. Kudos to the banner for cutting to the chase initially, instead of vacillating on tears and trials.
Kudos to the peppy music, thumbs down to the intellectually numbing lyrics. Back to the story. Imagine a man who thinks that he is too uncool for his wife to be considered a suitable husband to her. Compound that with the fact that she is recovering from the loss of her real love and her father. Garnish it with her bold statement that she can never love her husband but would strangle her dreams to be an ideal wife. This is SRK’s position as he keeps sharing with his suggestively gay-seeming hairdresser friend (played to perfection by Vinay Pathak). SRK metamorphosizes to a cool (using the term loosely) chiseled version to capture the girl’s attention with innuendo and slapstick humor.
While he succeeds in interesting her enough to become her friend, he realizes that the more she falls for the new guy, the further she is getting from the boring original guy he is. This ego conflict is the only part of the movie worth intelligent analysis, and as usual, Aditya Chopra has left a lot to be desired in this department. He fails to capitalize on the fact that he has an actor with potential (see Swades) in SRK, and a wonderful angle to exploit.
Instead he sticks to the familiar pandering to the Indian culture where a woman is supposed to love her husband no matter what. He dresses it up in a deceptive tone of “Mujhe isme rab dikhta hai”, but be not fooled, it is the same Bhagwan ne hamein jodiyon mein banaya hai crap.
Many reviewers have written pages on the fact that the new girl can barely act but shows her body well. Don’t even bother with the fact that a woman cannot recognize her own husband when comes sans moustache and in tight t-shirts.
All in all, like a typical Yash Raj movie, this one is an insult to human intelligence, with glimpses of cuteness that are so few that they need to be filed under the topic of sheer chance. SRK does a decent job as the shy, unassuming, bumbling Suri-the power company worker, Vinay Pathak does a nice job, and newbie Anushka Sharma is strictly okay. Honestly, some movies need to come with a refund option, but then again, what can one do about the lost three hours that we can never get back?