Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Farida Jalal and Rani Mukerji (special appearance)
This Diwali, whilst Golmaal Returns and Fashion were the pick of the offerings at the box office, a quiet lament was made in many a Bollywood fan’s heart as they thought about someone whose films have become an integral part of the Bollywood Diwali line up – Shah Rukh Khan. Whether it was Veer Zaara in 2004, Don in 2006 or last year’s Om Shanti Om, SRK has been conspicuous by his absence from the silver screen this Diwali, . Yes, he was in Bhootnath earlier in the year and some were lucky enough to see him in concert, but truth be told, the year doesn’t feel right till we’ve seen SRK on the big screen.
Love him or hate him, you can’t ignore him and coming up to the end of 2008, SRK will be everywhere as his latest venture with Yashraj films releases. As always, this film comes armed with a multitude of discussion topics – this is SRK’s only release this year, the film sees him teaming up with Aditya Chopra for the third time (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein being the previous films), there is a new heroine in the film, Rani Mukerji has a guest appearance as does Kajol (supposedly), Yashraj are banking on this film after Roadside Romeo didn’t do as well as expected, the music promo was released on Shah Rukh’s birthday and what the hell is SRK wearing in the promos?!
The first look at the film shows the song Haule Haule, where we see SRK’s character going through a normal day consisting of a bath, making breakfast and going out for the day, before bursting into song in a very realistic looking alleyway (though far too clean – must be a set!) with a shot of the new heroine Anushka Sharma executing a mandatory Yashraj heroine hair swish/head turn ( we give her an 8 out of 10 for this one – Kajol’s hair flick in the trailer for Chand Sifarish in Fanaa is still the one to beat). As SRK executes the choreography with relaxed co ordination, the sequence wraps up with SRK and Anushka together, before ending on a long shot of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
“There is an extraordinary story in every ordinary jodi” the trailer tells us and we wouldn’t expect anything less from the folks at Yashraj. RNBDJ sees an ordinary man Surinder Sahni (SRK) who works for Punjab Power meet Tanni (Anushka Sharma), a bright fun loving girl who is the total opposite to the simpleton Surinder. Of course things never run smoothly when two opposites meet and the film promises to make us laugh and cry and see extraordinary love in ordinary circumstances. Hmmm.
All eyes will be on Aditya Chopra who has steered Yashraj into the powerful production house it is today and whether he can create the magic with SRK that was evident in DDLJ but not in Mohabbatein. It will also be interesting to see which SRK we get with this film – SRK the entertainer or SRK the actor. To his credit, SRK is versatile enough to be both, but since we have seen less of the latter, it would be nice if RNBDJ gives him the platform for his abilities.
As for Anushka Sharma, she will either be someone who receives the dream debut with Yashraj/SRK, or join the ranks of the Mohabbatein girls who got a strong launch pad but failed to become actresses of any sort (perhaps with the exception of Shamita Shetty who was good in Bewafaa and had success in Zeher too). Interestingly, in the commentary of deleted scenes on the extras on the collector’s edition of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Aditya Chopra says how he wrote DDLJ with the intention of launching a new girl in the role of Simran but later decided against it. Looks like RNBDJ will give Adi a chance to launch a solo heroine. Adi will also be directing Rani Mukerji in her special appearance (often a topic of gossip in the tabloids) so it will be interesting to see if Anushka can claim her share of the all too crowded spotlight.
Yashraj haven’t had a great 2008 – Tashan did not gel well with the audiences, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic was a decent product but also didn’t achieve its potential, Bahcna Ae Haseeno managed to buck the trend but Roadside Romeo was rejected by audiences (though I predict it will do better on the DVD and home entertainment sector) so in one way there is a lot riding on RNBDJ in ending the year on a positive note for Yashraj and in another sense, with Adi’s return to the helm, wiping the slate clean and taking Yashraj in a new direction.
RNBDJ also faces the challenge of being pitted against Aamir Khan’s Ghajini, which releases two weeks after and has generated massive amounts of curiosity (if curiosity was electricity, Ghajini has generated enough to power all of India!) and with people eager to encourage Khan vs Khan battles (I blame lazy tabloid types who have a box full of headlines and puns that they want to use and will keep stoking the fire till more same surname but unrelated actors hit the silver screen) expect RNBDJ to be adored and panned in equal measure.
So even if we didn’t have SRK for Diwali, at least we get him for Christmas!