Film Review: Dulha Mil Gaya

Directed by: Mudassar Aziz

Starring: Sushmita Sen, Fardeen Khan, introducing Ishita Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan (sp. appearance)

Right, so having warmed up my reviewing muscles with Pyaar Impossible, it was onto Dulha Mil Gaya which has been in the news for ages but was finally getting a release. With the title track getting some good airplay and SRK plastered all over the promos, it seemed a good proposition at the box office. However, as viewers of the film will have realised, SRK is only in a guest appearance in the film and this has upset many die-hard fans. Nevertheless, it has also led to an interesting proposition at the box office – we have two films released on the same day that are heroine centric and rely on Priyanka and Sushmita respectively to sustain the films after the dust of the opening weekend has settled.  It did help enormously that I am a fan of these two very talented actressess and quite frankly, if they are getting more screen time, in my book, that is no bad thing.

DMG is set in Trinidad and revolves around two friends Shimmer (Sen) a diva supermodel and Donsai (Fardeen) a spoilt playboy. When Donsai is told he must marry the girl his father has chosen in order to inherit his father’s wealth, he heads to Punjab to marry Samarpreet (Sharma) a happy go lucky girl. Whilst Samarpreet is excited about the marriage, Donsai is only going through the process to acquire his father’s wealth. After a quick court marriage, Donsai leaves India and leaves Samarpreet waiting. After a few months of no contact, Samarpreet goes to Trindad and learns the truth. An accident leads her to bump into Shimmer who decides to help her – but in the process brings out Shimmer’s own relationship demons with her boyfriend PNG (Shah Rukh)…

DMG is in parts a very good film. The story does take some time to get going but once it does, the film gets quite interesting and fun to watch. I especially liked the whole Pygmalion storyline where Shimmer transforms Samarpreet from a plain jane into a glamazon. The film is also quite funny and though most of the ensemble scenes fail to realise their premise, the sequences that do amuse are genuinely funny.  However, the film does lose some of its steam in the second half and could easily lose a song and some scenes from all over the film  to make for a more firm narrative. I also thought the characterisation let the film down as Samarpreet’s character is the only one we really find we care about – though we enjoy Shimmer and PRG because of Sushmita’s and Shah Rukh’s performances, when their storyline is resolved, it is not as satisfying as the conclusion of the Donsai-Samarpreet track. Also, I felt Fardeen’s character was quite sketchy and as a result, the viewer would be forgiven for wondering why Samarpreet makes the choice she does.

The styling in the film veers dangerously between dated and cool. Sushmita looks stunning in Roberto Cavalli and Vikram Phandis does a great job of styling her in the film. Even in the rather early Noughties style  corset/lengha she wears in the Karva Chauth song, Sushmita rocks it. I wasn’t too keen on the metallic embelem T’s teamed with skinnies and I did have to restrain myself from heckling when Sush wears the Ed Hardy Jeans with the white top but to her credit, she makes it look rather wearable. In contrast, Ishita Sharma looks very cute in the Punjabi embroided suits with Patiala salwars and grandma cardigans and I really liked the evening dresses she wore in her glamazon avatar. As for the guys, Fardeen wears some horrendous kurtas but when dressed in Western clothing, shows some good style, with a black waistcoat teamed with a white shirt and some Diesel jeans working well for him. Thanks to continuity errors, we see SRK’s My Name Is Khan haircut which looks quite cool and whilst SRK looks good in suits, I felt he truly rocked the sherwani he wears for the qawaali song.

Moving onto performances,  Ishita Sharma gives a very good account of herself in her debut film. As she has the author backed role, it seems to give her the confidence to portray Samarpreet’s vulnerability and later her resolve to make Donsai learn his lesson more believable. It will be interesting to see how she fares in her next role as she demonstrates a good deal of versatility in this role. Fardeen is average in his role, partially restricted by the script and characterisation but also, in the first half, he seems disinterested and it is only as the film progresses that FK hits some of the right notes. But he is good when teamed with Sushmita and the two have a good chemistry that translates well on screen. Shah Rukh gives a very ordinary performance and one cannot really blame him – he has little scope to perform and little to do. To his credit, he does give the film a much needed boost and clearly enjoys himself in the songs. He also works well with Sushmita and their Main Hoon Na chemistry is still yet to be fully explored. Finally, I felt Sushmita was very good in her role, with good comic timing but also performing equally well in the emotional scenes too. It does fall on Sushmita to carry the film and she manages to do this with confidence and charm. As a fan, I felt the film let Sush down rather than the other way round – the conviction and energy she gives to the role is not always rewarded and one really does hope a role is written for her that showcases her talent and gives hera chance to exercise that potential.

I really felt DMG felt like a film that aspired to be a Yashraj or Dharma Productions film but lacked the finishing touches that those production companies give their films. It is a shame that DMG doesn’t try to forge its own identity as this had the potential to be a very good film. I would personally would liked to have seen the film be more character driven rather than plot based as I think that would have given it a USP that it was looking for. To be honest, I can only really recommend this film to Sushmita fans who will love seeing their fave actress in a full length role – otherwise, this really is one to catch on DVD or even on TV. A shame as this could have started the year off with a bang…

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