It is a Sweet, Enjoyable Movie
By MovieTalkies, 13 December 2008
Aditya Chopra made his first movie, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in 1995, his second, Mohabbatein in 2000, and now, he finally comes up with his third directorial venture Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. His forte remains romance, just like his father Yash Chopra. His latest outing at the box office has all of the same elements and he uses his favorite actor Shah Rukh Khan, in the hope of unleashing the same fever that his earlier two films had done. But the times have changed. Somehow, in the last two weeks it seems as if people have aged nothing that Chopra or SRK could have forseen. Seen in the light of all that has happened in our environment, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, fails to rekindle the magic of love. It remains a nice, sweet film, with its moments, but cannot hope to aspire to greatness, something that one was expecting.
Even though SRK plays an older man married to a much younger woman, there is not much that has changed. He is given an alter ego called Raj, who, as if, by proxy, does everything that SRK does in a movie all those goofy expressions, the hamming, the tongue in cheek, over the top characterization. It still reeks of SRK as we want to know him in most of his screen avatars. Where the love angle is concerned, one feels, that the actual moment, when the realization of love hits the character of Taani, played by Anushka Sharma, just doesn't arise from the given context but seems forced artificially from outside. There are hardly any signs in the film itself of Taani ever feeling more than grateful to Surendra Sahni. The process when a gratitude change to love is hardly clear in the movie. That, one feels, fails to raise the level of the movie. What should have been the moment of the movie is squandered with Chopra resorting to divine interpretation.
Besides that one flaw, the film moves very smoothly and captures the small life and loves of Surendra Sahni very well. In fact, SRK really seems to get into the mood of things and makes the nondescript Surendra Sahani of Amritsar, a most loveable and endearing character. The story of this oddly matched couple caught in this loveless, boring marriage takes a turn for the unexpected when the wife, Taani, decides to enroll for dancing lessons from a bunch of teachers who have arrived straight from Mumbai. In the hope of getting an opportunity to see his wife happy and joyful, Surendra decides to change his attire off goes the boring hairstyle, the moustache, and the regular trousers and shirt. With the help of his childhood buddy, played by Vinay Pathak, the boring Sahni becomes the loud, swaggering Raj. His intention mainly was to watch his wife dance. But he is mistaken for one of the students and is forced to join the class.
To his delight, he finds himself paired off with none other Taani. Thereby begins his second life, where he begins to woo his wife, makes her laugh, dances with her, and eats paanipuri galore with her, all under the guise of Raj. The problem arises when Taani actually falls in love with Raj and agrees to run away with him. For Sahni, it is important that Taani loves him and not his alter ego Raj. He desists from telling her truth as he wants her to make her choice.
With a little bit of help from the Almighty, Taani realizes that she actually does love Surendra and decides against running away with Raj. Of course, Surendra and his wife go on to win the dancing competition and live happily ever after.
The film is dominated by SRK and he does not disappoint. He is quite loveable as the boring husband as well as the swaggering Raj. Vinay Pathak, as his friend, turns in another seamless performance. The scene when the two friends get drunk is quite well done. Both actors seem to share a good chemistry. Some of the other enduring moments in the film take place when Surendra takes his wife to the movies, as even the scene when she comes to his office to give him his lunch. All these scenes are very well done and full credit to the director and the actors for that.
There has been much speculation about new find Anushka Sharma. She is no beauty but has been presented very well in the movie. There is a certain girlish charm about her which goes very well with her character. Actually, she is perfectly suited to play the role of Taani, and turns in a very natural performance.
Being a Yash Raj banner film, the production values are excellent as always. The music is peppy and very catchy, specially the song 'Haule haule.' Even the other tracks in the film go well with situations in the movie. This feel good film from the house of the Chopras may just break their recent jinx at the box office. In totality, the film is enjoyable in most parts because of SRK. But it remains a small, sweet film, with no aspirations to greatness.