Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Varun Sharma, Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Boman Irani, Johnny lever, Sanjay Mishra, Mukesh Tewari, Pankaj Tripathi
Director: Rohit Shetty
Rating: 1 star
I had no idea about how to begin this review till a scene in the film where Veer (Varun Dhawan) says to the girl he loves, Ishita (Kriti Sanon), "Christmas ke din sach bolna chahiye." We are still a week from Christmas, but what the hell! Let’s go with sach and let me just say it very loudly. WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE!!? What is this film, really? Why was it made? But another sach before that. I’d have demanded my money after suffering this dreary rubbish, but, thankfully, I did not pay for my ticket. Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment did.
In fact, they telephoned earlier in the week to ask if I’d like to fly down to Mumbai for a day Thursday to watch the film with SRK sir and other members of the cast and crew. And said they’d also put me up in a hotel for the night. I declined and they booked a seat for me, at the cinema next to my house. But I wondered. Wow!! How bad is this film that they’d rather spend so much money on obliging film critics from Delhi rather than risk a press show in Delhi? Now I know. It’s really, really bad. Like, painfully bad. Have you seen Hum? Amitabh Bachchan’s 1991 film where Danny Den-zongpa played Bakhtawar? Watch that if you haven’t seen it. It has Govinda, cute and funny, and one of AB’s best songs and entry scenes. Dilwale is derived from Hum somehow. Sort of.
There is Raj (Shah Rukh Khan), the quiet elder brother to Veer who runs an automobile remodelling garage in his house in Goa. He’s supposed to be benign and good but comes across as slightly slow and stupid. The Goa they live in is some sort of la la land that’s a result of Rohit Shetty’s infantile conjuring. It’s like a happy hospital home for the burly but deranged. Cars of strange shapes and expressions, sofas that look like car seats and many more items for imbeciles. Soon enough there’s talk of cars and susu and girls.
Veer is also slow, but he is quick to fall for Ishita who needs urgent lift. There are more scenes with more cars, because there are best friends who are also car thieves and a man who buys and th-en sells these stolen parts. That is Oscar (Sanjay Mishra) who speaks in rhyme of this sort: "Ye le nacheez, Pamper Huggeezz". "Kya kismat hai teri, like Nokia and Black-Berry".
But the thing to note is that in Goa the bad and again slightly stupid goons of one very strange don, King (Boman Irani), go about openly thrusting large packets of drugs powdered variety and capsules in see through plastic packets. It’s all done freely, loudly, over the counter. "Uncle Joe, drugs becho." "No, no. It’s going to barbad karo the youth." I’ve seen more forceful pestering from aunties at the doorstep who have sold me many packets of ST and washing powder. This leads to a fight which then requi-res the real Raj to be summoned. The real Raj is actually Kali. Raj grabs a hoodie and his two flunkeys Shakti (Mukesh Tewari) and Anwar (Pankaj Tripathi) and for a few seconds grabs this stupid movie by the collar and says, "Abe, tu janta nahin main kaun hoon?" What he actually says is, "Kehna Kali aaya tha." If you haven’t seen Hum, it’s most likely that you haven’t seen one of Gulzar’s earlier films, Mere Apne, where this Shatrughan Sinha dialogue is taken from. "Kehna Chenu aaya tha." That film took Chenu seriously. This film couldn’t care less.
Almost immediately Rohit Shetty resumes his standard stupidity, which is built around some pitiable comic routines, baboonery and cars. The jokes are of such third rate quality that they made me worry about the collective mental health of the cast and crew. We are dragged away from this nonsense by a flashback to 15 years ago in Bulgaria where two big rival Indian gangs were operating rather freely one headed by Malik (Kabir Bedi) and the other by Bakshi (Vinod Khanna). In the midst of all this gang fighting and car chasing and shooting, Raj met Meera (Kajol) and conducted a quickie courtship that lead to more bullets being fired and a sad end. This romance, between 40-year-old trying to giggle and blush like 18 years old and failing disastrously, was totally fake and faltu. Even the twist is so sad and cliched and, in any case, because of who is involved, we know exactly what’s going to happen. Towards the end it seemed like Rohit Shetty took on Sajid Khan as his assistant director. There is just convolution and asinine behaviour that Mr Khan finds funny.
Yaar, tell me, how much will we have to pay for loving one film, and one on-screen couple? I mean, how much will that one film be milked? Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was a lovely film. But apart from that one film, I’ve not cared for this SRK-Kajol pair. They were a one-film couple. Not some janam-janam ka pyaar. This Dilwale, built on the goodwill generated by that film and its lead pair, sits in so much fakery and doesn’t really have a story to go. It just twists and winds its way from one cliche to another, cracking jokes that are pitiable. The funniest and the most entertaining bits in the film are courtesy Mani (Johnny Lever) and Oscar. Imagine. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol look pasty and seem like best buddies rather than lovers. And something seems to have happened to Varun Dhawan. throughout the film he talks like he’s just woken up from a coma and words come slow and not steady. SRK has some seeti maaro one liners, but really it’s not a film he should have been in. It’s just the most uncouth film Rohit Shetty has ever made. And that’s saying a lot.
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