Friday, January 9, 2009

THE DAMSEL LEAVES YOU IN DISTRESS...


THE DAMSEL LEAVES YOU IN DISTRESS…


FILM: RAB NE BANA DI JODI (2008)

DIRECTED BY: ADITYA CHOPRA

STARRING: SHAHRUKH KHAN, ANUSHKA SHARMA, VINAY PATHAK

RATING: ---SMILES---


I never said I’d stop reviewing films: I actually intended it to be more of an “I am stopping till the next best time…” Guess that came a little too soon, or too late, depending upon how people had been in my absence (Though my audience can hardly make a household!). Leaning away from that point of view, I prefer to enter a new one this time, for this new flick, and that would be what I’d like to call my “I’m not going to criticise another movie, I’d rather ignore it” point of view. So here goes this review…


Firstly I’d like to remove certain aspects of the film that have gone as far as becoming inevitable when intended for Indian audiences. And that includes:


SONGS: Incredibly mediocre. Even SRK’s last movie had a couple of noteworthy numbers but this time it’s not even an old-wine-in-new-bottle line up of tracks. The songs were better off fast-forwarded.


VINAY PATHAK: He doesn’t come up much, and fails to do anything but annoy save for one key sequence similar to that in movies where the One man – Two guises concept was employed: Like in Golmaal, or its tamil version “Thillu Mullu” and even there it’s actually the badshaah who touches your funny vein. Not the fatso who’s simultaneously making waves with a parallel venture named “Dasavidanya”


CLICHES: Added for comical touch, the typical goofy guys of any government office involving the protagonist, a fare that’s never been dropped from the Hindi circuit. So I would also like to siphon off Surinder’s co-workers, from Rab ne Bana di Jodi…


So now, what have we got? The motion picture. The plot involving Surinder (aka) Surri, Tania (aka) Taani and Surri’s alter-ego of a person in Raj. The stage is an actual stage: A dance competition named ‘Dancing Jodi’ involving pairs could not even have met each other before, and who are matched in a totally random way. But before all that, Taani is forced to marry Surri in a yet again cliché involving a dad in his deathbed and now they need to live their lives: together…


Surri realizes he’s fallen in love with the dame as soon as he spotted her (Well, who wouldn’t! I mean she’s not a thirty-something claiming to be young, but a true-blue girl hardly out of her teens!!!) But the vice-versa seems to be close to being impossible. “I need some time to change: To adapt myself to this new life” says she for which Surri says to himself, “But it is the old Taani that I love…” He wants the frivolous girl back in his wife, and he realizes she, (like a haul of Indian girls) like trivial movies with hunky heroes and unreal action sequences, not to mention song and dance.


He and his consultant (Vinay Pathak) decide that the new dance contest named “Dancing Jodi” is the ideal place for Surri to showcase the other side of him, or to instigate the dude in him. So shaving his moustache, ruffling his hair up a bit, and sporting trendy wear (with a frequent pulling down of his jeans at the back expressing how much of a discomfort the trousers are!) Surri luckily gets paired with Taani herself, but he hesitates to look into her eyes (Lest she finds out) and hence introduces himself as Raj with a quote involving a string of movies as a refrain, instead of saying a plain goodbye. Then begins the love triangle involving just two people…


It’s all about love and its ‘pains’, this movie: Surri’s paradoxical and fickle mind quite explicitly portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan, who proves he could be subtle too, in addition to the showman he is. Trying to make the two characters sound as different as possible, from voice modulations to ways of addressing the leading lady (Taani-ji and Taani-partner by Surri and Raj respectively) SRK cannot be termed to be a total hit, but his performance surely is beyond being passable. Anushka Sharma doesn’t seem to be aware in any way that it is her debut venture and that too one opposite the biggest star in the industry. That she out-beats his performance is beyond denial, but that could be because she was the only down-to-earth (perhaps even a little more down) character in a film involving caricatures. Teary-eyed most of the time, her expressiveness manages to leave you stunned in a few spots. “I disliked you so much, but still you loved me?!” is not an out-of-the-world quote in any way, but the broken voice in which she says it stirs, if not prickly…


A beautiful aspect of this movie that could go un-noticed is the minimal use of background music, as most of the sequences are in total silence, except for the dialogue. Why so experimental a director did not discount with the soundtrack should be a worthy question to ask: Perhaps Aditya Chopra should try answering it himself. The movie never touches upon the melodrama surrounding the conflict of emotions: It sticks to realism and practicality instead, something that is similar to the character of Marudhu in S.P.Jhananathan’s Eiyarkai. Surri wants to be Taani’s hero: In a way that he thinks she admires, as a dancer. But he doesn’t know where he ought to reveal to her that Raj is Surinder in reality. The drag in time makes the inevitable happen: Taani falls in love with Raj, and that should not happen because she doesn’t know her husband and Raj are the same person, which means that she’s prepared to stage a betrayal than live a life with him. Though he’s determined to put an end to it, as Surri himself, wrestling at a trade-fair, (cliché again) it eventually is Taani’s simple decision that saves her relationship, not to mention a reward in form of the finale. She chooses Surri because she saw “God in him” just like Raj claims he saw God in her. Her chastity certainly cannot go unrewarded, can it? After all she is a next-gen girl who picks the road-contemporarily-not-taken: Of loyalty!!!


‘Rab ne Bana di Jodi” isn’t fabulous: just something subtle, served with slight eccentricities. That doesn’t prevent us from enjoying this “heavenly couple” does it?


P.S. I know Anushka can’t be reading this, but I would be asking her all the same to tread the path that she’s placed her foot firm upon, and not become the mundane glam-doll actresses are nowadays…

2 comments:

Meenakshi Janga said...

I dont mean to be uncomplimentary here but I personally think the muvi wsnt evn wrth half d attention it got. Remaking the husband, teachng him to perform a few jigs to impress the girl and a whole lotta cheesy dialogues thrown in! U call that "slight eccentricity"?!!??? I'd call the muvi a big blunder :)

Karthik - A David Lynch in the making... said...

I loved the movie. Call me idiotic :P