Dhawal Shah | December 21, 2015
Not having watched a Bollywood film in cinema since PK (fantastic acting by Aamir Khan, with social messaging in an entertaining package to boot), I didn’t resist much when asked to watch Dilwale. Especially when I found out that it was a reunion of my favourite on-screen Bollywood couple – Shahrukh Khan and Kajol. The title also played its part to perfection, enticing me with memories of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) – the movie that catapulted the two of them as the premier romantic movie couple in Bollywood.
I put aside my reservations about Rohit Shetty’s capability to produce a Bollywood romantic film. I mean, all he had to do here was follow a cookie cutter template alà DDLJ and this would be a home run – even he couldn’t screw it up right?
I assured myself further thinking he must have learned lessons from the crap he threw out with Chennai Express, his last movie collaboration with Shahrukh Khan (SRK). I’m still amazed it grossed over Rs100 crore and can only put it down to Shahrukh’s international popularity, Deepika’s beauty and Honey Singh’s lyrical talents. *One of those is a joke*
Unfortunately, Rohit Shetty has not learned. He managed to take the Bollywood couple chemistry that real life lovers still aspire towards and destroy it with his brand of direction in Dilwale. What is that brand you ask?
That cars will play a big role is evident within the first 10 minutes of the movie. From a garage with modified cars to a number of chase scenes with yes, cars flying, the movie at times felt like a modified cars commercial. They even threw in a Fast & Furious joke just in case you didn’t get how much Rohit loves cars.
Yep, any hope of the movie taking a turn *pun intended* for the better is crushed by a brand of comedy that makes you wince. Poor slapstick characters played by actors like Boman Irani and Johnny Lever, both of whom deserve better, help to further impress how bad this movie is.
The actual bad guys die in Dilwale timeline 15 years ago, and Boman Irani is a filler to keep a semblance to a storyline in the present. Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon have decent roles but the flow of the storyline gives them a feel of extras on a set.
The only saving grace is the chemistry between Kajol & Shahrukh Khan and the love songs. Kajol looks absolutely stunning in Dilwale and like fine wine – keeps getting better with age. SRK, on the other hand, is starting to look his age though his legions of female fans may disagree. *to which I say pictures, and his face-lift, don’t lie*
Regardless, the sparks are still evident whenever the two of them are on screen together and the ‘5-minute date’ they go on in Dilwale was one of the highlights of the film where their chemistry was dialed up. I imagine this to probably be the way future lovers will woo one another in this age of instant gratification.
The love songs that the two of them are in will likely be played aplenty around the world. Gerua saw the two of them in exotic locations with excellent cinematography although effects like birds and rainbows were unnecessary and made me suspect the entire song backdrop was green-screen.
The other song that I found really good in Dilwale was Janam Janam, and the way it was presented in the movie was fantastic, with a retro grayscale everywhere except on blue.
All in all, I wouldn’t recommend even an enemy to go watch Dilwale. However, considering that Kajol and SRK aren’t getting any younger, this may be one of the final few chances to see them sharing a romantic role as the leading actors and the romantic in me has this to say:
If you’re the nostalgic sort, you may want to cringe through the rest of Dilwale and wait for the bits the two are on-screen. My two-cents *$10.50 for a ticket actually* – DON’T BOTHER.
P.S. The title translates to ‘Dilwale’ Left Behind The Bride This Time so get your minds out of the gutter!
P.P.S. Came across this video parody of the song Gerua in Dilwale that’s pretty hilarious and spot-on. And it even got Shahrukh Khan’s endorsement:
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