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Review: Dil Bole Hadippa

movie-reviews Updated: Sep 19, 2009 13:27 IST
Mayank Shekhar
Mayank Shekhar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Dil Bole Hadippa
Cast:
Rani Mukerji, Shahid Kapur
Direction: Anurag Singh
Rating: *

The husband is an average, boring Joe committed to a day-job and simple needs. His wife is but full of life. <b2>

Their marriage is an outcome of circumstances. The husband wants to win her over. He develops an alter-ego who’d dance and make merry with her. It’s the same man, minus a moustache.

She can never tell it’s her husband from home, playing the outdoor fool in the evenings. That was Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

Never mind childish concerns of mistaken identity. For the life of me, what I couldn’t tell was: If the husband packs in a six-pack under those white, checked shirts anyway; he can also be entertainingly charming; why wouldn’t he just reveal that to his wife, woo her, and move on; why the daily, silly games?

But then, Rab Ne… did a bingo at the BO. Concepts are secondary. You don’t argue with commercial success. With such over-confidence at your disposal, you can look down at your audience, and pelt anything. The same producers, Yashraj, I am not surprised, have made this instead.

The girl’s 5’ 2’’: the same, she says, as Sachin (Tendulkar).

Her voice is similar, though far too girly for anyone’s good. Her body-type is incredibly frail.

She can knock any ball off for a six. She becomes part of a cricket team, and no one can tell, ‘It’s a girl!’ Was this an under-15 squad, I’d understand.

This is an obscure bunch of macho men from Amritsar who do annual play-offs with men from Lahore every mid-August. The owners of the teams are former lads (“Lale di jaans”) from either side of the border. Indians have lost this all-important match for a decade.

The owner’s son (Shahid Kapur) comes into this predictable, linear plot as coach and captain to rescue. He falls in love with the girl (Rani Mukerji). He can still have her. There is no conflict.

Completely without context, the filmmakers slip in for us spiels after spiels on Indo-Pak bonhomie, idea of ‘Indianness’ over ‘western culture’, rhetoric on women’s empowerment, cricket’s frenzy, and a dumpling on small town aspirations. You sit and wonder.

As an idea, this remains still a full-on film festival designed around the female lead.

She is decent. She usually is. But, what is this film?