wogma rating: Watch but no rush (?)
rab ne bana di jodi takes on the nitty-gritty of the romance in an arranged marriage. Enough reason for Aditya Chopra to bring in the mush and gush. Yet, "What a woman wants?" and "What her man is capable of giving" is explored with some insight. We are growing up, but only 'haule haule'Read more
The sun shines on the city's landmarks and makes them look even prettier. And you know you are in a YRF movie. Albeit this time, you see the ruggedness of the city too. You also are in awe of the restraint. 15-20 minutes and no mention of a foreign location. Another 5 minutes and the background music is still in the background. Wow! 10 more minutes and you might just want to pinch yourself because Shah Rukh Khan hasn't yet done that annoying thing with his eyebrow and lips. And...the spell breaks. Bring on the accordion, the loud chatter, the self-referencing, and all. We were missing you.
There are only
three two-and-a-half characters here, Surendra, his wife Tani and his friend Bobby. Yes, the back-story is barebones or even less. This leaves room for the crux of the relationship. "L-O-V-E". And here it thankfully goes a couple of layers deep. It takes you into the world of this twosome that got married without really knowing each other. What it takes for two decent human beings to make it work and stick it out. The sacrifices one makes in the form of changes to your persona that lead to claustrophobia. Just like it is frustratingly boring for an extrovert to convert into an introvert, it is not really acceptable for a shy person to have bubbly enthusiasm as a permanent feature.
These are all subtle issues that need delicate treatment. And here starts the real trouble. The timid Surendra, in his attempt to please Tani transforms into a bright gold and yellow creature, called - what else - Raj. Why? Can only the exact opposite personality can create impact and impress the Mrs? Isn't there anything in between? I'm not even interested in the missing 'how', the 'why' hasn't stopped bothering yet.
We have a star amongst us who needs to keep everyone pleased. In the name of versatility, his character HAS to make a diagonally opposite change. Actually, I had just begun to enjoy Shah Rukh's performance as the middle-class government servant, Surendra Sahni, with the minor twitches and eye movements when suddenly he transfigured into a badly-dressed Shah Rukh Khan - eyebrow curled, whispering romantic inanities, piling on an inconsistent accent and only waiting for someone to grant him the permission to start stutt-stutt-stuttering. Many thanks to whoever said NO!
The story is about Surendra and his wife. Why did we have Vinay Pathak playing Surendra's friend, the devil's advocate, the supposed "inner voice"? His character was especially redundant given that Surendra had an alter-ego of his own. There wasn't enough room for Vinay to maneuver around and yet he can make over-the-top acting look adorable.
Surendra's lady love, Tani, played by Anushka Sharma seems like she has the 'single-expression' training form the YRF's-Aishwarya-Rai school of non-acting. The other expressions are all taken care of by that drop of glycerin.
The role of women in movies like these is very cleverly written. She's the center of the plot because the protagonist, his alter-ego and his friend all care for her, adore her, love her. But, the lady's part is ever-so sketchily written. What do we know about her? Are we made a part of her confusion? Do we know why she makes one decision or the other? No! And thus I resign to how these roles are written to give us a feeling that it's all about the woman. And the climax too...well...let's just say the movie has a male-chauvinistic touch.
Also, our newly married couple lives in a socio-economic vacuum. They have no social pressures. In the heart of Amritsar, a married woman dances and prances about with a 'stranger'. Sure there are the token office mates, but here we see the one Panjabi family with only two members - the husband-ji and the wife-ji and the transformed husband-ji.
And yet, it is not the take a chill-pill and watch kind of movies. The few facets of a utopian arranged marriage that rab ne bana di jodi touches upon are intriguing. I wonder how much those who can't identify with such an arrangement will appreciate it, but that the makers bothered deserves extra credit. What hurts is that if they are smart enough to hit upon these particular nuances, how can they monkey around so much for the rest of the movie?
Songs: Anything about the music in the above review would be as out of place as the songs were in the movie. So, I'm attaching it here in the end like a song in the end credits. Songs have always been more about the lyrics for me. And I look forward to Jaideep Sahni's play with words. I call him the list-maker of the industry. His lyrics are usually in the form of lists. As boring as it sounds, they are usually interesting observations. The most ill-placed song "hum hai rahi pyar ke" had the most beautiful tweaking of phrases/songs/names of Hindi movies. It had delightful picturization and guest appearances too. It would have worked so much better as an award show performance. The rest was all ho-hum - lyrics, music, picturization, costumes, etc.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...Anushka Sharma makes for a very believable Punjabi kudi, and compliments are in order for sheer confidence, strong screen presence and a dazzling smile... full review
So-So, by Abhishek Mande, Buzz18 : ...the film could have been far, far shorter and simpler, but watch this solely for Shah Rukh Khan. If you aren't his fan already, chances are you'll become one.... full review
So-So, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...There's way too much dance, which is not a wise idea, given Yash Raj's sorry history of dance movies-both Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Aaja Nachle come to mind.... full review
So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi has a mixed quotient of fun, laughter and drama but the defective story, the pace and length of the movie could hinder its box-office prospects.... full review
So-So, by Neha Vishwanathan, Within / Without : ...the fundamental premise is so perplexing that you spend an inordinate amount of time wondering how even on a film set, such lapse of logic is possible.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mr. Inkenti, Mr. Inketis Weblog : ...SRK has done Yash Raj Films a big favor by doing this joker-of-a-film and it is only because of him that that you feel the film strives to be genuine and honest.... full review
Thumbs down, by Subrat, Passion for Cinema : ...We, at PFC, have been inundated with questions from readers who have been wanting to understand the various psycho-emotional subtexts in the film.... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Surendra Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan) is married to Tani (Anushka Sharma). But, Tani is not really in love with him. How do they live a happily 'married life' ever after?