After seeing Wanted, and not really being able to like the film because of its misogynistic content, I saw Dil Bole Hadippa. It was hard to say I liked Wanted and it is equally hard to say I disliked Hadippa. It tries to be sincere, but everyone associated with the film, except one, has no real clue on how a decent film should be made.
I can imagine how this one was planned. Let us have a “feminist” sort of film in which Rani plays a guy and shows us she can act. Sport? How about cricket? We need a hero and romance, so lets get Shahid. What will he do? He can coach the team. What match will this be? A village cricket match? No way, it has to be much bigger than that! How about a Peace Cup between India and Pakistan? We can reuse the Veer Zaara house, and for nostalgia sake we will call Rani Veera, and Veer in her male avatar. We can reuse dialogs and situations from our previous films and save money.
By now everyone knows the story, Veera is an ace batter, and desperate to play. But no women are allowed on the team. So she dons a track suit and puts on a beard and turban and turns into Veer. Shahid, an NRI, is coerced by his father to coach the team, and of course the coach falls for the “jhalli pulli” Veera, and relies on the ace batter Veer. There are lots of chiffon scarves, mustard fields, bhangra dancing, ghosts of films past, national rivalries, and above all, an in your face feminism that says if a woman is good enough she should be able to go toe to toe with the men in any pursuit. Apart from this intent, which is noble enough, there is not really much else of note in the film. Certainly no one paid attention to try and give the intent a decent backdrop.
The ONLY reason viewing this was worth any effort was Rani Mukherjee. She was very good as Veera and excellent as Veer. I have seldom seen such a radical change in body language associated with each gender played by any actor. Saira Banu in Victoria no 203 was certainly bettered here by Rani. To bad she did not have any support for her effort. Everyone else was a waste of celluloid, including the lackluster hero played by Shahid Kapoor. Maybe a more charismatic lead would have made the film interesting. The cricket match was tedious and predictable beyond belief. The songs were unremarkable, other than the insistent bhangra beats. The one scene that stood out was the interaction between Rani and Shahid on a truck as he comes to India and meets her for the first time. There was one other thing of note – in all the loud color and music there was one moment of serenity, near a river bank, with muddy browns and flowing water, a scene that made me thirst for more such moments. This movie will do nothing for Rani’s flagging career, despite the effort put in by her.