Rab ne Bana di Jodi
I laughed, I cried, I ate ham! Yes I ate Samosa Chaat too, but later - after the ham had been consumed. During the movie my kids dozed off and my husband embarrassed me by yawning too loud and too often. But then they dont love SRK for his hamminess like I do. I am an unabashed fan. I am as they say... lattoo for SRK in the movies.
Okay first things first... the movie was a homage to SRK. Funny, the actor in an homage to himself and every film he has ever acted in. Lucky Ducky! How many of us would get to do that!
Secondly... SRK celebrates the art of Hamming it up. He does... he almost makes overacting a joyous thing! And his likeability factor makes us rejoice in it with him. He is the Ham Laureate! The meek average man, the rowdy rather vulgar alterego, the lover, the friend every frame he is in, he played unashamedly to the peanut gallery. I do not know if he means to overact quite so much, but the fan in me would like to think he did his entire part with tongue firmly in cheek. I really want to believe that he was laughing at himself as much as I wanted to while his chin quivered and his lips pursed up and his rheumy eyes filled with just enough tears to become lakes of pathos without spilling over untidily onto his cheeks.
For a man of his age (he is my contemporary so I should not snigger too loud) SRK's bod is impressive and he flaunts it well. Alas he didnt take off his shirt for me. Perhaps in his next movie. After OSO I was left panting for more. But oh my.... does he need a facelift or something... badly! He is looking haggard and my heart breaks to even say that.
Everything else about the movie is just filler. Literally. The story, the lead actress, the sets, the script, the supporting cast, the music and yeah even the myriad shameless endorsements. It is all really quite forgettable.
Having made the statement that the story is just filler, I will not bother to give you more than the outline. The script follows a linear, completely improbable story. Something along the lines of... Average man marries Average girl, but they are not "doing" each other yet for all kinds of stupid reasons. Average girl falls for vulgar showman type man who is really Average man in disguise. Average man happens to be a peculiar and rather unlikeable (to me) mixture of emotional masochist and chauvanist who enjoys playing emotional passive/aggressive games. They dance together and talk a lot about Rab. Then Average Man and Average Girl finally get together in the end and finally and hopefully start "doing" each other in the epilogue. Dammit... if they had got thier minds around to do the sex thing in the first few frames of the movie, perhaps Aditya Chopra would not have a movie to make.
The lead actress who has an unmemorable part is perfectly cast. Her looks are average, the acting skills are average and everything about her is unthreateningly average. Her dancing skills are average to boot. Her mannerisms and deportment are perfectly in sync with who she is supposed to portray. She could be any one of the gori, chitti, punjabi, very average girls I knew in Sadi Dilli. The clothes fit, the punjabi size nose fits. Her very ordinarniness is what makes her perfect for the part. A stunning or distinctive looking actress would have been terribly miscast in this story. In her very averageness she did well enough in the movie so I cannot fault her for anything. She really did not detract from anything. On a cynical note I will add that unless Anushka finds what more she has to offer ... looks, talent, powerful godfather, fewer clothes or noteriety she will find the going very hard in Bollywood. I do not think middling parts for average girls are at a premium in Bollywood.
Vinay Pathak provided able support. A talented actor and consistantly willing to let go of his ego and self, he provided polish in his loosely written part. He skipped between comic relief, pathos and detemination seamlessly. I wish his part had been more tautly written and he had better lines to say.
The camerawork was precise and good. The colors of the sets were beautifully photographed and in that the movie was a visual treat.
The movie could have been edited down by atleast an hour or so. Just cutting back on the trillion close up shots of a pursed lipped, quivery chinned SRK would have cut the movie down to about half its length.
Amritsar as location was interesting, as it has not been cinematically explored in Hindi Cinema too often. In that it seemed fresh. The Golden Temple looked lovely. The Amritsar streets could have been a dozen places in North India. Did the story actually need to be located there? Probably not, except Aditya Chopra probably already had the title picked out. The word "Rab" is very, very Punjabi and since that word is used about a million times in justifying the non-story of the movie, a Punjab town it had to be.
Being that the story and script were so lame, the music and choreography could have been the reason d'etre for this movie. Unfortunately both were dissapointing. I cannot think of a single song or peice of background score that stuck in my mind. The Item song was badly done and a complete waste of resources. What a waste of 3 popular actresses who could have added magic. And I said 3 not 4 since I did not intend to use the words Lara Datta and Magic in the same sentence. Whatever was Aditya thinking... he the maker of the perfectly scored and choreographed movie DDLJ! He crashed and burned in this department.
So did I enjoy it and was it paisa vasool?
Being that I paid matinee half price and my son got in for free (yes I have connections... hehehehe) and the Samosa Chaat was not bad and it was all about SRK and SRK and more SRK...
Yes I had a good enough time.
Next time, SRK take your shirt off. I will not be satisfied with less than that!