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Some love stories never end. It takes a big heart to forgive.

MOVIE: Dilwale 

CAST: Kajol, Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan & Kriti Sanon in the lead roles.

Directed by: Rohit Shetty 

Produced by: Gauri Khan

Release Date: 18th December 2015.

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Remember when Jaya Bachchan was quoted as referring to Shah Rukh Khan production, Happy New Year, as "nonsensical" ? Well, she might have earned the wrath of SRK fans and some non-fans, but, if she were to say that now for Diwale, not only would she have perfectly described the movie in one word, but doubt if even the die-hard SRK fans would raise their voice in objection.

So what's wrong with the movie?

#1. Lets begin with Rohit Shetty. Rohit Shetty, the man who is known to bring Bollywood masala at its best with movies like Golmaal (2006), Golmaal Returns (2008), Golmaal 3 (2010), Bol Bachchan (2012), Singham (2011), Sigham Returns (2014) with Ajay Devgan, has clearly lost touch with himself. When he did Chennai Express (2013) with Shah Rukh Khan, you could see it was Rohit Shetty meets Shah Rukh Khan production. In Dilwale, my biggest grimace with the movie is that you don't see Rohit Shetty anywhere in the movie, it just doesn't seem like a Rohit Shetty directed/ produced movie. In a recent interview, Mr. Shetty confessed to feeling scared to venture away from the time-tested masala that he produces, but in this he fails himself. The movie is an all out Shah Rukh production (even if you would even call it that), there is no sign of Shetty in it.

#2. SRK has pleased his fans in many successful and supremely entertaining movies in the past where he himself plays a slightly older lead along with young stars, like- Aditya Chopra directed Mohabbatein produced by Yash Raj in 2000 when was he was 35 and Farah Khan directed Main Hoon Na in 2004 produced by his own Red Chillies Entertainment when he was 39. In comparison, Dilwale, truly pales. Shah Rukh Khan is an astute businessman, the movie doesn't befit his intellect.

#3.And why does this pale? It's the plot, or lack thereof. The movie has no substance whats-so-ever which is grossly highlighted by it's competitor Bajirao Mastani that released on the same day. All that aside, surely SRK didn't base the entire marketing strategy on his reunion with Kajol? Romantic though that on-screen reunion was, the plot didn't do justice to the famous pairing. For one thing, the flashback of Shah Rukh and Kajol was too long. When you have the good sense of casting a romantic pair of the 90s now, a 50-year hero with a 41-year equally talented heroine, you don't want to show 99% of the romantic scenes in flashback as if they are still in their 20s. You want to keep the story around the characters as they are now. There is nothing wrong with flashbacks, but those should be kept extremely relevant. While Shah Rukh's makeup in his 15 years younger avatar was excellent, Kajol's wasn't convincing enough. Even if that fact is ignored, the long '15 years back' took away from the movie.

#4.Moving on to the sets and locations- even though the movie presents ultra glamorous sets and beautiful by-lanes of Bulgaria, there appears to be something artificial about the sets, and some video filter on the locations' shots that made it look very postcard like.

WHAT'S GOOD? In Dilwale, all is not bad, however.

#1. Cast 

  • Big marks to Shah Rukh for casting Kajol and proving to the Indian audience that our around-50 heros don't have to be paired with 20-something-skinny heroines, that matured men look manly with matured women. And equal credit to Kajol for proving him right. She's a natural in every role, at any age! Their chemistry looks good, you feel the romance, the love. The pair look as good as they did in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995, the movie on which the reunion was based on with the hope that it would evoke nostalgia among the fans. And it most certainly did, at least the first week when it pulled crowd in large numbers.
  • Shah Rukh Khan looks truly dashing and debonair without once removing his shirt (you can't really count the nipple revealing soaking wet shirt). Facial hair suited him well and his uniquely styled solid-color shirts looked suave and obviously hinted at the underlying toned torso. He carried the older-brother image to perfection and again, looked dashing doing it.
  • Varun Dhawan started off bad, giving the impression that he accepted the role in his eagerness to star with Shah Rukh (as my friend put it), but he soon allowed his natural talent to take over, shining through as the movie progressed.
  • Kriti Sanon and Varun Sharma look good and do good. Varun Sharma especially deserves a mention for an excellent portrayal of "today's boyfriend".

#2. Songs

l of "today's Songs are good, especially "Gerua" that is practically a sequel to "Suraj Hua Maddham". Watch the two songs and enjoy the SRK-Kajol chemistry- now and then, 20 years back.

NOW ...

2015- "Gerua" ...

From Dilwale

(All credits for video- Sony Music India

THEN ... 20 YEAR BACK ...

1995- "Suraj Hua Maddham" 

From Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gum 

 ( All credits for video-SonyMusicIndiaVEVO)


Watch it ONLY if you're a die- hard Shah Rukh Khan fan. Otherwise, the movie really just deserves a at-home viewing experience, that too only ONLY because the "king khan" looks really good and because the movie celebrates his on-screen pairing with Kajol. Okay, you do get your occasional laughs too, but the movie is truly bad. I myself watched it after two weeks of it release because I didn't want to contribute to its two-week collections, not because I am anti-SRK (I'm not. In fact, I am an almost-fan :)), not even because I am all for Bajirao Mastani (which I am!), but because I strongly feel people of Rohit Shetty and Shah Rukh Khan caliber have got to do better than this! They have got to give us better reason to shell out money in expensive theaters than "ah, here comes this leading pair again!" Nothing I saw in the trailer made me want to rush to the theater to watch the movie- not even to write the review.

By Sonal Kulshrestha

(Sonal is a computer programmer by profession and a writer by passion. She is an avid movie goer. She lives in Texas, USA) 


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