There are two views this movie can be reviewed – one as a Shah Rukh Khan fan and one as a Yash Chopra fan. Ofcourse there are other views like Shah Rukh Khan hate fan – but for now we will leave that aside.I for one,went to watch this movie from a Yash Copra fan standpoint.
So lets go through the Yash Chopra movie check list –
- Love – Yes
- Emotion – Yes
- Drama- Yes
- Comedy – hmm not much in this case.
- Sweet nothing moments — Yes
- Inconsequential Dance sequence — Yes
- Uber Rich people -Yes
- Switzerland – No
- Punjab- Yes
- Great Songs – No
So as you can see from the above,if you are a YC fan then you might end up liking the movie.There are more Yeses than the No’s. Needless to say please keep logic,rationale and common sense aside for a bit and just indulge in love.This movie has to be watched with a bit of patience, tolerance and you will see its not that bad afterall.
The Plot – well I guess there was one main plot and multiple sub plots. The main plot was that of the protagonist leading a dangerous life of a bomb diffusion expert , la Hurt Locker style, which is believable.He choses this role because of a quirk his lady love has – ok let me rephrase, superstition or belief his love has which proves Newtons law of every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So if you get something then you have to give something away.Talk about cosmic balance!
But still plausible since we do come across such characters in real life who base their entire existence on some childhood belief whether or not logic supported that thought.So that sums up Katrina‘s first half performance and in some sense the trigger point of the story.Because of this cause ,there had to be an effect and SRK goes off to India from London to join the Indian army at roughly age
44 oops I mean 24. How that happens SRK alone knows.Woes.The lean mean Fauji look goes well with SRK.But the best part was he had less dialogues, so less hamming.He tried to deliver an understated intense performance.And I must admit he did succeed to a large extent.Somehow I felt that look would have gone down well with someone like Arjun Rampal…but who cares.
The other end of the stick or cosmic balance brings us face to face with Akira Rai a.k.aAnushka mini shorts Sharma.Cameron Diaz in the bikini shot in Charlie’s Angels ,like flat washboard abs , broad smile and not much else to write home about.Her character had shades of Sridevi in Lamhe ( younger one) so one expected an Anupam Kher like cameo from someone,but that was not to be.Three army jawans were the only characters who held the comedy banner flying through the movie.Imagine them protecting our borders from beautiful Pakistani women or hot Chinese babes!
SRK has a roomie from Lahore in Pakistan.A common occurrence in England and in the US where Indians and Pakistanis live together happily ever after and share a laugh about the politics and a tear about the past.So YC did his bit for Aman Ki Asha.The character actor did a good job in the limited scope he had in front of the screen giant SRK.Anupam Kher had a blink and you’ll miss kind of a role.Yet his character’s impact on the storyline was huge, because the heroine Katrina decides the fate of this movie,her love,his annoyance,Anushka’s bewilderment based on protecting her fathers sentiments.Which also had a mix of its own love triangle where his wife Neetu Singh elopes when she finds love with Rishi Kapoor after about 14 years of marriage,since she leaves daughter Katrina when she was 12 yrs old.Gold!
So to sum up first half for you : some songs,some comedy,lot of chance encounters and a lot of romance and about 15 odd kisses for Katrina two or three of them were on her lips.So the average Lech yelped with joy.Somewhere in some interview I can hear miss hot Kat saying well the “script demanded it” and we are “professionals and doing a job” kind of one liner retort to journos asking how could you do that question. Well no ones complaining really. In fact the script demanded they had hot intense love making sequence but alas that never happened.Saddened!
Special mention for Vaibhavi Merchant who is choreographer in chief.She does an amazing job with Katrina in a typical UK underground steet music scene. The dance sequence was uber cool with SRK barely managing to put up with hot Kat.Thought this was inspired by some of those hollywood dance movies.But fulll credit to the way miss hot Kat pulled it off.Some of the fellow front benchers were seen shouting “paisa wasool” ( ROI ).remember Karisma’s dance yoga in Dil toh Pagal hai or Sridevis dance scene in Lamhe? So this carries on the YC tradition.
The second half has more drama, some unbelievable military clearances,right up to 350 meters of a potential detonation zone,Discovery Channel Nat geo moments and eco tourism thrown in big measure.Oh and not to forget a lot of coincidence and destiny scenes.There were a lot of faux pas moments (a.k.a kelo moments) where in one sequence miss hot pants Anushka says to her nemesis miss hot Kat that “please dont stop yourself from having sex because of me” and hot Kat replies, well dont flatter yourself babe- its not you – its me who doesnt want it. (Well that was the gist and not the literal dialogue) Likewise there were at least a couple more -aha-ha moments through the movie.Groovy!
Reminding me of erstwhile Manmohan Desai flicks where one photo would crash on to the hero’s head and he loses it and then sometime later a temple bell or a gong would bring it all back.Khatak!.Well our hero SRK does a modernised version of that.Picture this : a terror alert in a London metro, police cordon off the area security is super tight,a bomb disposal squad, inspect a potentially explosive situation, but forget to move or shove out SRK from the scene.Somehow he manages to not only get his memory back in time to diffuse the bomb but also remembers the entire sequencing of deconstructing a circuit.Talk about flash memory.Karigari!
So our hero snaps out of retrograde amnesia just in time.Now we have a golmaal situation.The heroines dont know that he s back, so they keep playing the role.Goal! But mercifully someone sees sense in the anomaly and quickly moves the narrative forward.After some who-can-act-better sequences between miss hot Kat and and miss hot pants and some twists,evenly fought subtle battle, miss hot pants backs off with a Cheshire cat grin.We re supposed to feel hurt.We dont.
In the climax,predictable,we have a super security clearance, this time for sedate miss hot Kat, to be in a classified millitary area that too in a dangerous bomb explosion zone,now in a Mohabbatein clad white salwar kamiz.Love triumphs after 107 diffused bombs.Aplomb!
So my analysis of the movie is simple : just go there and enjoy the anomalies and follies and dont try to slice and dice it so much,because if you do,then you will find a lot of gaping script holes.But if you overlook that, then you will see some sweet moments,some good photography,one good song,a better actor SRK (after Swadesh)a slightly plump Katrina and a fun chutzpah filled Anushka.But mostly you will remember this movie because Yash Chopra made it,the eternal lover he was and the nostalgia associated with him. Magical movies like Trishul,Deewar,Chandni,Lamhe really underscore his class.So please go watch this movie no matter what and if nothing else but a sense of gratitude for the man who gave us such joy over so many years. I stood up and clapped at the end of the credit sequence.
I am going to go with two ratings one for the YC fan and SRK fan combined, and one for the reality check fan who viewed the movie comparing it some hollywood love stories and some great Indian cinema love stories over the years. The YC fan club guy would rate this at 4 on 5 and the reality check ,down to earth,call spade a spade kind of a guy – 2 on 5.So you know where you fit in while you watch this movie.