I had hopes from ‘Diwale’, essentially because I had enjoyed, for the most part, the previous Shah Rukh Khan-Rohit Shetty combine. ‘Chennai Express’ had a tweaked Rohit Shetty sensibility (we’ll take you to south India, and have characters yak away in Tamil minus translation, and if you don’t understand, too bad) and SRK’s ability to send himself up, and delivered some amount of fresh fun.
There’s nothing new in ‘Dilwale’, which steals moments not just from Rohit Shetty’s ‘Golmaal’ films, but also from Hollywood rom com ‘Love Actually’. Rohit Shetty is back in his favourite Goa, choosing to use sets which look like sets, done up in blindingly bright colours ( it’s almost as if the scenarist is scared to miss out a single hue in the palette). The film also takes a detour to Bulgaria (Why Bulgaria? Who cares?) for a most improbable back-story, involving the main lead pair, gangs, and guns and bullets, but gets back to its tiresome old haunts and habits soon enough. (Read Review of Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’)
This time around Shah Rukh shares space with Varun Dhawan who, in turn has a romantic track with Kriti Sanon, and a bumbling best friend track with Varun Sharma: SRK’s track with old flame Kajol, which is meant to be the film’s mainstay, keeps coming and going. And the other bit parts come and go, too, pretty much on a whim. It’s almost as if someone says, now let’s bung in a comic track, and out tumble Johnny Lever as a car thief, and Sanjay Misra as a pony-tailed receiver of stolen cars, and Boman Irani as a pink-jacketed mobster with a love of vintage cars. (Dilwale: Audience reacts to Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s film, watch video)
Yes, cars do play a big part here, as they do in most Shetty films. And yes, a couple blow up most satisfactorily. But ‘Dilwale’, on the whole, is a plotless drag : the slaphappy antics you see on screen are a random jumble of light, camera, action, done in the broadest sense. In this rigmarole, SRK is the only thing worth watching when he switches on the wattage ( Kajol can shine, too, when she chooses to), but his twin parts—a ‘car modifier’ named Raj, and a gangster called Kali (yes, that’s right), are both familiar and bland. When old hands SRK and Kajol look into each other’s eyes, they can still make you feel it, except it doesn’t happen enough. Not by a long shot.
Star Cast of Dilwale: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Varun Sharma, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever, Sanjay Misra, Kabir Bedi, Vinod Khanna, Mukesh Tiwari, Pankaj Tripathi
Director : Rohit Shetty
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