Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi: Duality in every aspect.

Many a times in life people want a second chance to create a first impression. To re enact situations, be a third person and like a self puppeteer, translate what is in your head to more appropriate action and dialogue.

Especially in situations when you are intensely attracted to the opposite sex, it is sometimes difficult to be natural when you are yourself, and easier to be what you would like to be, if you are aloof from the moment.

This was my constant thought while viewing Rab Ne Bana De Jodi. While some might find it difficult to digest SRK’s complete character switches, others will relate to the confidence that arises from anonymity.

If you just manage to wipe the sugar coating and filmy gloss, the script sounds twisted. Writing a review is more like doing psychoanalysis of this film. Like the time when a drunken SRK talks to the mannequin, reminded me of a T-Shirt quote, ‘If a person with multiple personality disorder threatens suicide, is that a hostage situation?

Through ‘Tanni’ (Anushka Sharma), Aditya Chopra mirrors the common longing of human beings to have a third witness to their innermost thoughts and through Suri/Raj (SRK) an even more complex mirroring of the desire to be able to catch the unguarded moments of someone else’s life.

Remember an oft spoken childhood phrase? “You go ask her and come back and tell me!” Rab Ne Bana de Jodi is like that. A spy game, where bollywood being bollywood, husband and wife are able to merge their dual lives and live happily ever after.

Also the film seems to have been made by two directors, keeping with the sense of duality throughout. One who kept the worn out Yash Raj banner flapping by throwing in typical long drawn out emotional speeches, with misty eyes and quavering voices and another who put in some lovely comic situations.

Part of the film is full of detestable clichés: The heroic bike scene, the fantasy of the city lights spelling out ‘I Love You’, the ridiculous Sumo wrestler scene and the Karan Johar-esque, grandeur of the sets, not to mention the predictable story that makes you cringe as you watch the film.

Yet there are many quaint bits that will stick in your mind. Like the pen drive around SRK’s neck attached to the laptop, like him fumbling with the Pepsi straw in the first scene, like him placing the rose at the breakfast table and shoving it back again into the vase, and many more that I have now forgotten. Of course the credit goes to SRK, for enacting even the most clichéd comic parts in such a fresh manner. The whole ‘Macho’ theory especially, had me in splits.

It reminded me of the time when we had just entered Junior College. Being the first to turn 16 and get a legal license (!) in the group, I was amongst the few arriving to college on a bike, necessitating everyone to take pillion riders on group outings. The raucous caused by the boys refusing to sit behind a girl and me firmly staying put on the front seat just to defy that reasoning delayed more than a few outings. Of course looking back now, a little less feminism and a lot more delicate behavior would have probably resulted in an earlier sex life, but then that’s what modern day education does to you. Let’s ideals cloud opportunities!

To get back to the film, 30 minutes shorter and it would have been a much better viewing experience. I enjoyed the kitsch of colours and language. Anushka Sharma as you will read everywhere has given a lovely debut, I am looking forward to her next film, so many newcomers turn out to be one time wonders. Vinay Pathak was a little underused, but will now be a staunch contender for all supporting roles I suspect. SRK is typical for most of the film, but the capsules of endearing performances peppered throughout are definitely worth a watch.

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