Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Delightful tale on love...

When Surinder's (Shakrukh Khan) mentor dies of a heart attack, Surinder is forced to fulfill his mentor's dying wish: to marry his daughter. Surinder complies with his mentor's wishes however the marital bond between himself and Taani (Anushka Sharma) is merely for the sole purpose of allowing Taani a place to live and not one of love. As an introvert, Surinder finds it difficult to express his deep love but finds a solution when Taani joins a dancing competition: transforming himself into Raj, an extrovert and flamboyant man who catches the attention of Taani.

The story gets off to a slow start and steadily gains pace as the film progresses and this greatly mimics how Surinder's life changes from routine to excitement. At heart the film is a simple love story, echoing how Surinder fails to attract the attention of someone he loves and having to become someone he is not in order to do so. There is a nice, simple message to be learnt here and the love story is not entirely clich├ęd so the film does have a somewhat refreshing take on the ingrained romance tales of Bollywood. This does not however stop the many scenes where Surinder is battling with his love for Taani becoming a little repetitive by the film's end. With a little tighter editing on these parts the film would have also cut a little off its long run time but the film's length is a minor disturbance at best. The film is also fairly humourous, but not quite like Dostana's minute-by-minute comedy. As well the humour does not feel constructed but instead natural giving the context of some scenes a fairly real undertone.

There is a slight mishap on the subtitling for English viewers. There is the odd spelling mistake and there are a few moments where the subtitling makes some comments from a single character appear as if one character begins and another ends of the sentence, when it is evident that is not the case. Sadly the credit sequence lacks subtitles altogether and the credits are important in gaining an understanding into the aftermath of the ending with a monologue. While it can be accumulated as to what is being talked about, the monologue itself is fairly humourous and English viewers will e missing out.

Surprisingly the acting ensemble is stronger than expected with even the minor characters being more than adequate to the job. Of course Shahrukh Khan is as amazing as ever and anyone who thought he might be losing his shine will discover he is not. In the film Khan has to portray two different personalities for the same character as he attempts to live a double-life. His nuances in the shy and uncertain Surinder are heavily contrasted by his performance as the outgoing and hip Raj, and Khan does so with consistency. The biggest surprise is Anushka Sharma. Her debut performance is delightful, full of vigor and, most importantly, believable whether her character is full of joy or sadness. You would be hard pressed to say she was an amateur. In fact she embodies a top notch Bollywood actress with good acting coupled with a natural prowess for dancing. Sharma makes the music sequences she is in far more enjoyable to watch then they ought to be.

That said the music, and accompanying dances, is a slight disappointment. Neither category is bad by any means but they don't reach the optimal level of excitement to truly heighten the love story. But as said Sharma does appear in her element in these sequences and Khan's experience shows through so any sequence with these two dancing together is a worthwhile watch.

There are no sexual connotations, violence and very little use of language, making the film a true family treat.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is an amazing film which tells an equally amazing, albeit simple, story. With stellar acting, especially from newcomer Anushka Sharma who compliments Shahruhk Khan well, and good detail to creating a natural context, it becomes a pity that the film is let down by its musical sequences. They are not bad but not up to par with the rest of the film, and when coupled with other niggles the film is unable to be as moving as it potentially could. Still it's a worthwhile film and not one to be missed.


Screen date: 16 December 2008
Release date: 12 December 2008

Available on Channel24

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