Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Dilwale

Thank God For Rain

1 Super Star and 1/2 Chota star and 1/2 Gagswala star

Mini Review: 

The only star in this movie is Shah Rukh Khan. Him in a beard and a white shirt and blue jeans. And to add to the awesomeness, rain. He wins every wet shirt contest there is. He is just magical. That too without Kajol and everyone else in the film.

Main Review:

They said: It's a Rohit Shetty movie, what did you expect?
Me: Better gags.

I loved all the silly jokes and gags in Golmaal (and its sequels)... Puppy bhai Johnny lever, Dagga bhai Sanjay Mishra, and Teja the Snake tattoo man Vrajesh Hirjee to the awesome Vastav Sanjay Dutt throwback Vasooli bhai are the funniest baddies. The filmy gags with Mithun Chakraborty and Ratna Pathak, the politically incorrect blind-people gags with Paresh Rawal and Sushmita Mukherjee were simply amazing. I don't mind watching these movies on telly again.

Although the usual suspects appear again, they're not funny any more. And when they get beaten up, you want to add one more slap from your side...

Dilwale claims to bring back the magic of DDLJ and ends up looking like a cross between Josh and 'Hum Mafia thay, aur tumne mujhe Ramlaal bana diya!'

The gags are getting Sanjay Mishra to say silly rhyming lines with brand names added in just because. They're so terrible you cringe into your overpriced coffee: 'Something something Kya hai Bey, aaja khaa le McDonalds aur Subway' 

The humor improves to 'let's throw popcorn at the screen' level after the intermission. I did laugh loudly at Oscar - Sanjay Mishra's name in the movie - is made into a gag because it's an award...

I laughed when ex-Vasooli bhai offers different things to a sulky Kajol who is waiting for Shah Rukh to open the door. Also laughed loudly when he's called Poor Man's Jackie Shroff.

I also choked at the TV inspired gag that could have been funnier but then it sort of fizzles out when you realise that a picture of Sanjeev Kumar as Thakur in Sholay does not inspire anyone to say, 'Ramlal'... 

But laughing four times in a span of 2 hours and 38 minutes is not enough to warrant a whole star. 

That brings us to Varun Dhawan. His super comic timing was evident in Main Tera Hero and also in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. But here, he has terrific screen presence but the gags are very lame. 'Ishu (his girl Ishita) ke saath issue' is a joke that is repeated so often you want to say, 'Yaar kuch naya batao!' He should be given half a star just for the awful bright clothes he is made to wear.

Speaking of clothes, why is Shah Rukh wearing anything else than white shirts and blue jeans? His younger self (the story spans 15 years) looks a tad weird with so much hair and a face so super-scrubbed, it has to be cgi. When the bearded Shah Rukh shows up on screen there is a collective sigh that you automatically hear is the assurance of a hit movie. But no, his magic works best only when it rains and his white shirt... ahem... 

But that does not save the story: Bulgaria mein do Indian dons settle ho gaye hain (there are only Indians everywhere and no cops!), and the rival gangs ke kids fall in love. Both gangs kill each other and the remnants come to... Goa of the vomited colours! No prizes there. Of course there is a car chop shop, and everyone is trying to do the decent thing, despite the sudden fits of violence among everyone (loved, loved, loved the benign, sweet, dimpled Shah Rukh transforming into a angry don!)... 

Of course you want to see chemistry between Shah Rukh and Kajol, but it's like the Philips ad... the magic is gone. Kajol looks visibly uncomfortable in the role and it feels like she is merely going through the motions (so much so that she even gets off a cab without a bag... how did she pay for the cab? never mind. Rohit Shetty movie need not have logic). The only time you think they're awesome is when they repeat the most famous line from DDLJ... the last line of the movie. You come back home and watch the original again to wipe out memories of the loud, crass car-wreck of a movie.

But watching Shah Rukh in a white shirt and blue jeans, under a rain cloud is something else altogether. Paisa Vasool!


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