Bollywood Film Review: Dilwale

By Hiten J Trivedi

A heart-less ‘car’nival!

 Star cast (or rather Car cast): Cars, cars, cars, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever, Vinod Khanna and Kabir Bedi.

 Director: Rohit Shetty

 Rating: **

 This film ideally had everything working in its favour – one of the super hit, charming and the most adored on-screen pairs of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol coming back together after a gap of almost five years, Kajol working with her hubby’s best friend and most favourite director Rohit Shetty for the first time and of course, SRK and Rohit collaborating again after a blockbuster Chennai Express. Needless to say, elephantine expectations were riding on it and Dilwale, being one of the biggest releases this year, is expected to do magical business at the box office.

Dilwale-Stills-01How many crores does it rake in is something for us to wait and watch but as far as living up to the audiences’ expectations is concerned, the film fails miserably to do so. And that is as shocking as disappointing and disheartening it is. All the above mentioned factors were expected to be the film’s assets and make it a blockbuster, but sadly, all those factors and more only prove to be the film’s liabilities.

 Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) lives in Goa (God knows when will Rohit Shetty be able to look beyond Goa. Enough of Goa, Rohit. Please!) with his younger brother Veer and owns a garage where they modify old cars into swanky ones. But Raj has a black and bitter past of being an underworld don, a mafia named Kali (why Rohit why? Couldn’t you think of a better name than Kali for SRK?), something his younger brother is completely unaware of. However, Veer is not his real brother. Yeah, half brother and all that jazz! But Raj loves him more than his real brother and veer loves him back too, so much so that he doesn’t mind leaving his ladylove for the love of his brother. Too much of bromance eh!

 The film travels 15 years back to Bulgaria to show Raj’s obvious past as a gangster, his love saga, his conflicts and the betrayals he faced from his ladylove Meera (Kajol). As luck or rather bad luck would have it, Raj and Meera’s father end up killing each other but Meera’s mind has been poisoned that Raj was responsible for her father’s killing. An unfortunate separation follows. But as destiny might have it, time brings them together after 15 years in Goa. Meanwhile, Raj’s brother Veer has fallen in love with Ishita (Kriti Sanon) who happens to be Meera’s younger sister.

 Thanks to their bitter past, both Raj and Meera refuse to accept, acknowledge and validate their siblings’ love affair, but are helpless enough to not reveal the real reason for doing so. However, after Meera is enlightened with the 15-year-old truth that Raj didn’t kill her father, but the two oldies shot each other, she regrets having done what she did back then and obviously, their love blossoms again. We know ki bade bade desho mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain…. But when bade bade directors and actors come together to make such a disappointing film, then it’s definitely not a chhoti baat, especially if you have paid Rs 300 for an early morning 8:30 am show!

 varun-dhawan-fun-mode-sets-dilwale-bulgariaThe film looks, I repeat, looks colourful and vibrant, thanks to some gorgeous locations of Bulgaria and of course Goa. But we strongly recommend Rohit to please try and make a film outside Goa once. Coming back to where we were, the film instantly reminds you of Amitabh Bachchan-Rajinikanth-Govinda starrer, Hum. The only difference being that Big B had two half brothers in Hum whereas SRK has one in Dilwale. It will also, at a few occasions, remind you of Karan Johar’s Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. But all said and done, Rohit Shetty’s attempt to merge these two remarkable films (unintentionally though, or may be intentionally) and make Dilwale falls flat on its face.

 Shah Rukh is good and as always, succeeds in making you glued to the screen with his charm and charisma; however, we have seen way better performances from this brilliant actor in the past. Kajol somehow looks out of place in this film. Sadly, their chemistry too doesn’t work for the film and doesn’t look as charismatic and ravishing as it has been in their earlier films. Varun Dhawan is over enthusiastic to the point that he is annoying and irritating throughout the film. Kriti has done a good job.

 Dilwale-Song-Gerua-Song-Stills-003We know Rohit loves to repeat and work with his favourite actors, film after film, but it’s extremely sad and disheartening to see some brilliant actors like Johnny Lever, Boman Irani and Sanjay Mishra being completely wasted. And talking about Vinod Khanna and Kabir Bedi,well let’s not even get there! The dialogues are forgettable and unimpressive, the humour is dull and the jokes are so lame that they would not even bring a smile on your face, let alone make you laugh. To think of it that Dilwale is directed by somebody like Rohit who has given us laugh riots in the past is shocking to say the least!

 Music is good and the songs are well choreographed. Rang de tu mohe Gerua, which is shot at breathtaking locations, looks spectacular on the big screen. I know when it comes to SRK, his fans wouldn’t care less about the quality of the content and irrespective of how good or bad the film is, they’re going to watch this one. But the ones who are going to spend their hard-earned money expecting another Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge, you will be in for a rude shock is all I have to say.

 But I must admit one thing; during the promotions of the film, the PRs and the marketing team had designed the promotions for ‘selected media’. Maybe they knew that the film will be watched only by ‘selected audience’. Smart promotional strategy on their part! People associated with this film are real Dilwale because they will take away all the brickbats and criticism and instead let their rival film Bajirao Mastani shine the brightest and walk away with maximum acclaim, accolades and adulation!



2 replies »

  1. Wonder why the film reviewer is cribbing about the Rs.300 buck ticket of the 8.30 am FDFS? Looks He was not amongst the Selected Media to get Complimentary Ticket along with the free combo thats why the early morning sulk…Surely the Office shall Compensate the TA/DA for the Dilwale trip?
    Surely the FDFS crowd consists of Diehard fans for whom money is Haath ki Maile and a new release is ample reason to celebrate irrespective of how good or bad a film maybe for themIit is good enough..So no matter how many stars You give It or what You review It will always be a no win situation…If You pan it You are on the pay roll of the Opposition and if You give 4-5 stars then You a Paid reviewer who sells stars and reviews.
    All said and done Surely You did not walk into Dilwale expecting it to be DDLJ?!!


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