Just when the entire film fraternity and the media had written off Yash Raj Films, once again the King of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, comes to their rescue. DEVANSH PATEL brings you an exclusive review of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and says why the combination of SRK and YRF is a match made in heaven
IFAIL to understand why critics go to the cinema halls, stand in long queues for 20 minutes to buy their favourite combo meals but can't stand a two-hour-45-minute film which is much more delicious than their junk food.
Please don't take my comment personally but it's the truth. We all know that Aditya Chopra is making a comeback after eight long years and you can't expect him to be the same.
So what does he do? Well, he makes a light entertainer which makes you laugh, sob a little and again puts a smile back on your face by the time you leave the cinema.
Yes, the film is long but it doesn't drag and make you yawn. SRK is welcomed with open arms in a different get up, new comer Anushka Sharma is the best find of 2008 so far and apna Vinay Pathak as usual is versatile. So how did I come up with the above conclusions? This is how:
Cut to Amritsar. With a yellow suitcase, wearing a checkered shirt with grey trousers, in walks speccy Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) with his beautiful wife Tanni (Anushka Sharma) in a red chudidar kurta.
The film opens with the couple not talking to each other due to the unforeseen circumstances which got them married. Surinder and Tanni live under the same roof but seems miles apart. Surinder works in Punjab Power but is powerless when it comes to making his married life bliss. Surinder's good friend Bobby (Vinay Pathak), who owns a hair salon, comes knocking on his door in anger because Surinder did not tell him how and why he got married.
But after listening to Sahni's side of the story he gets emotional. Then again comes knocking on the door self-invited guests and colleagues of Surinder from Punjab Power for free chicken and whiskey.
And then the first of many beautiful scenes in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi arrives after the guests leave - the confrontation scene between husband and wife where Tanni very bravely tells Surinder that she won't be able to love him but promises to be a good wife.
Our common man has no option but to leave everything to Rab (God) to change his married life for good. Trying to get the smile back on her face, Tanni enrols herself in Amritsar's one and only dance contest, entitled 'Dancing Jodi competition'.
Then a transformation of character takes place. Surinder, desperate to find love from his wife, goes to Bobby's salon for a makeover - asking Bobby change to his dull appearance to impress his gloomy wife, which becomes his only mantra in life, and to become a hip and happening dance partner for Tanni.
In the meantime, the makeover gets completed. Surinder turns into Raj, 'naam toh suna hi hoga?' He becomes Tanni's dancing jodi and both bring back some love and laughter into one another's lives.
Aware of the fact that Tanni doesn't recognise him, Raj aka Surinder tries to keep her happy but for how long is the question.
The fun-filled ordinary first half gives way to the emotional and extraordinary second half and the movie climbs higher and higher.
Films are a work of fiction and make believe. So if a Krissh jumps across sky scrapers, no reviewer will question: "This is stupid, how can a human fly?"
But when Rab Ne releases, even more astonishing comments start coming in, such as: "How is it possible for Tanni not to recognise her husband even after the makeover. I'm sure she can recognise his voice."
Fiction...make believe....rings a bell? Open your eyes!
You will walk out of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi not talking about its blown-out budget or its lengthy running time, but of its enormous emotive power, as big as the banner Yash Raj Films. You may think of it at first as a good old disaster movie (many critics thought the same way) but there is no terrorist threatening with bombs, nor a natural disaster to wreak havoc.
The baddie here is our own arrogance, shortsightedness and frailty. Aditya Chopra has written a warm and turbulent romance that is flung on to the dance floor, into the salon, and back again.
The film is dramatically well balanced so that our anticipations are held in check with surprises and an engaging story, while Adi fastidiously builds up the background.
This is how the film delivers its punch; we don't just see the setting and the people, we can feel the environment, we can feel how each person would feel, we can feel the whole damn drama and the poetic, lyrical love story.
This is emotive cinema, a film that carries you (unless you are a die hard cynic with a heart that's switched off) and involves you.
So if DDLJ created history and Mohabbatein broke box office records, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi will do what both these films could not do - it will reinforce the notion that an exemplary marriage of superb writing and masterful cinematic artistry is more than a real possibility in today's Bollywood.
Performances are unbelievable. SRK and Anushka Sharma are terrific, though Anushka shines, giving a haunting, eloquent performance as a young woman who fights free of the shackles of class to a more unconstrained relationship with the free-spirited Raj.
Shahrukh has this bouncing back ability. Everytime the critics try to write him down, this King writes his own destiny which changes the way people think about him. He is a joker in a pack of cards, more powerful than the ace.
Look out, too, for the spiky Vinay Pathak who is in his element.
Salim Sulaiman's music is pleasing to the ears, especially the background score which cuts your heart and pierces right through, aided by some sharp cinematography by Ravi K Chandran, taut editing and some good special effects (especially the one where SRK shows Anushka the I Love You lighting).
In times when our India is grieving, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi brings resilience back to the film halls.
So tuck your shirt, wear your spectacles and if needed, spike your hair in your nearby salon and go to the nearest cinema to catch this light romantic entertainer with your favourite jodi.
Yash Raj Films is back from the brink!