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 Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...The film has lots of plot-holes, and requires you to wear your Bollywood-colored glasses, to overlook them.... full review
Thumbs up, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...The film tells how two different people find love in one another in spite of holding diversified choices.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rony D'Costa, BOXOFFICE INDIA : ...Some minutes into the film you know ‘what’ the end is but ‘how’ will it reach it’s end is what makes this film interesting.... full review
Thumbs up, by Phylis J Iqbal, desi hits : ...the strength of the characters and the light-hearted moments that make you laugh make this one to check out.... full review
Thumbs up, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Just like Aditya chooses a road-less-travelled for his comeback, Shah Rukh performs a role that must have required tremendous introspection.... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...newcomer Anushka Sharma walks off with an applause-worthy performance.... full review
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
Thumbs up, by Shilpa Raina, Now Running.com : ...A complete family package deal worth watching.... full review
Thumbs up, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...The story and the script are good and catch the viewer’s attention. Aditya Chopra has penned with brilliance... full review
Thumbs up, by Suparn Verma, Rediff : ...Technically, production designer Muneesh Sappel does a great job.... full review
Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, StarBoxOffice : ...Simple sets, simple script and a well defined role for all of his characters make Rab Ne bana Di Jodi a simple treat.... full review
So-So, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ... Aditya Chopra makes a mess of the heart-winning love story with an overdose of weepy melodrama in the second half of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi .... full review
So-So, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...`What keeps us watching, eventually, is the anticipation of the occasional moment of charm... full review
So-So, by roshni mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...Shah Rukh Khan proves once again that he is nothing less than a complete entertainer.... full review
So-So, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...If you were to get a rupee for every time the word 'Rab' was uttered in the film, you'd probably be richer by a few hundred rupees.... 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 deepa garimella, fullhyd.com : ...The pleasant-looking Anushka is pretty good as an actress, but too mild to be either Khan's or YRF's heroine.... full review
So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi directed by Aditya Chopra, is a film that hangs from a threadbare premise that is hard to swallow.... 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 Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ...Chopra’s directorial touch has the ability to emotionally bind you but the identity-change in the story is not cerebrally satisfying... full review
So-So, Indicine : ...The dialogues are great. Sets are adequate, simple and perfect for a movie like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.... full review
So-So, M TV : ...At about 2 hours and 40 minutes, Rab Ne is far too long for today's short film audience.... full review
So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...You feel entirely lost in this fantasy flick, because for most part, it’s built around something so intimate and real.... 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 Subhasish Chakraborty, Passion for Cinema : ...for the first time, Aditya Chopra’s stable tries to capture some realism... full review
So-So, by sampurn, real bollywoood : ...Shah Rukh Khan is simply superb as first the shy Suri and then the flamboyant, full of energy, Raj.... full review
So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Had the story chosen not to take the regressive and cliched path towards the end, the film would have been path-breaking.... full review
So-So, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ... Watch it, only for Surinder Sahni ji, a refreshing new take on the Bollywood hero.... 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
So-So, Zee News : ...The story line is good. But, the director has failed to communicate well with his audiences.... full review
Thumbs down, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...It is only the last 15 minutes that grab you and keep you to your seat. B... full review
Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...For the present-day generation, a story like RAB NE BANA DI JODI may come across as an original piece of work,... 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 Phoenixnu, Passion for Cinema : ...The way SRK switches from one character to other without making much of a difference is a failure on actor’s part.... 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
Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.
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?
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Good review meetu. You are perenially favorite among us as the place to go to before shelling out the exobitant rs. 150 a head movie ticket. You save us time money and a lot of frayed tempers.
The story sounds quite exciting and different. I think i'll go and check the movie out.
[...] Meetu,without giving the movie away [...]
Thanks Silvan. The applause sounded about the same :) I saw it in E-square a local multiplex in Pune.
Thanks for the trust, MovieBhakt.
:) Sudhir Nair. What do you mean by "i can’t fathom the bit about the heroine not knowing the difference between the two guys in her life"
Ruchi, at your service ma'am! :D Believe me, the pleasure is mine.
Movie Buff, the concept is interesting indeed - Love after marriage in an arranged marriage set-up. Do let us know what you think.
Thanks for putting your thoughts down here, Jay
Now, where did you get that from, Prabhash? I can't handle Shah Rukh doing those weird things in the name of acting.
Ashwini, I thought the story was a little different, in the sense that it explored the relationship in terms of love and romance after marriage.
prashant believe it or not, there are a few arranged-marriage couples I know who have had similar feelings about the spouse immediately after the wedding. Obviously, not to the extremes of one changing avatar and the other being a big enough fool to not recognize, but I'm talking about the awkwardness, the missing element of romance, etc.
I liked the movie. But i guess i'll give it a 3
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