Dilwale Review: A Romantic 'Car'avan
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Saturday 19 December 2015
Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan
If you hear the story, you’ll laugh. Or cry, as I did alternately. Occasionally, when the lead pair is onscreen, you smile as well!
Welcome to the world where good-hearted gangsters talk about smuggling gold like in the ‘80s. Where cartoonish villains deal in, gasp, drugs; and bully restaurant owners to stock their stuff! Where Johnny Lever stutters in with a few funny ones. And where the natural conclusion to a boy meeting a girl is instant love; and the next natural conclusion is instant marriage. Also, where ‘coincidence’ is the singular tool that takes the story forward. In fact, it is the story’s backbone.
This is one of those films where the central draw is the lead pair. In short, the hollowness of the film is to be compensated by the sheer prowess of the stars, and the film piggy-banks on them.
So, we meet out enigmatic lead pair— Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol— who have both evolved into such incredibly fine artists since their first pairing in DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge).
Particularly Kajol, whose blazing eyes speak so evocatively, who performs so effortlessly, and looks astonishingly good! Shah Rukh Khan is all heart in the movie and does his best filling life into a nondescript and predictable character. Shah Rukh and Kajol’s chemistry now has a mature, realistic air that makes you want to take their romance seriously.
Their characters, Raj and Meera, fall in love but misunderstandings tear them apart. The two are estranged and it only takes a merry coincidence for them to meet again. On the other side is the young, silly romance between Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon’s characters, which is annoyingly run-of-the-mill. Both these characters are one-dimensional and their romance serves to lighten things up, pull in a few songs, and serve as catalysts for the main pair.
The humour alternates between seriously lame attempts and hitting jackpot. There is a whole bizarre conversation on urinating. There’s another weak attempt at a joke where shifting TV channels lead a conversation. But then there are also funny bits, like Lever’s drunken stupor. Some of the lines that use movie names (A man whose car has been stolen remarks, ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’) are also hilarious.
The film is as much about the romance between our lead pairs, as it is about deep, abiding love for cars. Director Rohit Shetty shows us beautiful vintage cars that trudge along in the quaint lanes of Goa, and you can almost hear him sob when he does his trademark car explosions. Also, Raj’s character is a car designer, and has a swanky car studio where even the sofas have wheels under them.
The filmmaker has never been a fan of subtlety and so the dialogue is obvious and background score remains relentless. He retains collaboration with cinematographer Dudley, who gives us some lovely snatches of Bulgaria and Goa.
Rohit Shetty has made far more entertaining films in the past. But they did not have Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. This pair is something special. Watch the film for them!
Rating: 3 stars
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