One year after the first promo of Rab ne Bana Di Jodi was released, and on Shah Rukh Khan’s birthday, I have the good fortune to present an exclusive piece written by a fellow blogger and friend, VirtuallyReel! Enjoy!
“Creating the polar opposites in Suri and Raj”
We all are aware of how Yash Raj, and for that matter Karan Johar and many other filmmakers, approach their romantic stories in films. They have a set pattern, in which the first half goes about introducing characters that joke around to successfully generate a light atmosphere. The second half, on the other hand, gets serious where we mostly see that the lead actors have fallen in love with each other and they try to resolve matters like family problems, a love triangle, a villainous rival and other such things, so that they can live happily ever after. And this is where most of the films lose their charm. Tarun Mansukhani’s Dharma produced Dostana is one such example.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, however, unlike these usual romantic films, starts on a very serious note. We don’t see split screen and freeze frames and slow motion or any song introducing the two main characters in the film. What we see to our surprise is Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma as a newly married couple, get off a train and go to their home. Both seem not very excited with their marriage. In the back story quickly narrated by our leading actor, we are introduced to the names of the actors Surinder Sahni (Suri) and Taaniji (Anushka Sharma), and told their marriage was a matter of coincidence that was planned by Rab (God). That clearly indicates that coincidences are bound to happen in the film as God is writing the love story of these two people. So with this different start, the film already looked extraordinary to me.
Though Suri loves Taaniji, Taaniji still hasn’t accepted Suri as her husband and therefore to win the love of Taaniji, Suri goes through a makeover and circumstances force him to give birth to a new identity ‘Raj’ who is the dance partner of Taaniji and Suri as Raj tries to make Taaniji enjoy her life and give her all the love he can.
Many people have problem with the fact that in the film this Raj is a very jungli kind of character and didn’t suit the story at all. But I don’t think that was a problem at all. Because Suri saw Taaniji enjoy seeing those kinds of jungli characters in movies. So the entire point of Raj was to make Taaniji enjoy her life. And hence Suri modeled himself to look like those filmy characters and Bobby. He used filmy dialogs too.
But Suri, while making that character to entertain Taaniji, never knew he was creating the villain or a love triangle in the film, very much like other romantic films. But with Raj we have entered that territory, haven’t we? After all Raj is a filmy character introduced into the ordinary life of Suri and Taaniji.
Thus we follow a story, which is guided by Suri himself, but Taaniji soon becomes entangled in it. On one side she finds Raj, who is very charming and loves her so much, and on other side she is bound by that marriage. Things doesn’t simplify as Suri himself complicates it by playing a game to know whether Taaniji loves Raj or Suri. Taaniji, on the other hand starts enjoying herself with Raj, who does everything to cheer her up.
The film had fairly long takes which also is unlike many Bollywood films. The long takes allowed the movie to move softly and sweetly. HAULE HAULE. It isn’t a very commercial film which is loaded with editing effects and all. It isn’t a film with overloaded characters. There are only three of them so it needed a slow progress. And Aditya Chopra deserves applause for handling it so well. The presence of Shah Rukh Khan and the character Raj makes people think that the film had over the top characters. But the film demanded that character of Raj. Also watch the movement of camera in this film. The camera moves most of the time in the film, rather than being a still. Maybe Aditya Chopra did it to show the movement of ideology of the characters in the film.
One of the remarkable things which I noticed in the film is the transformation of Suri to Raj. How did Suri actually feel and act like Raj? I think it was because of the colored goggles he put on, he saw the world differently and entered an imagined film with the glasses on. These following images trace the Suri to Raj transition in the film. See the change of expressions on his face with and without goggles.
So Suri created an imaginary, filmy kind of world for himself with those shades and hence was acted so differently and over the top.
In the scene where Taaniji gives Suri a glass of Haldi milk, he tries to behave like Raj, but can’t. Watch the scene to understand it better.
However, there are two scenes in the movie where Suri did behave like Raj even without goggles on. But there were many more which show this transformation of expression of Suri to Raj just by putting on goggles. So, I think it was done very much knowingly by Aditya Chopra.
I used to think the scene where Taaniji sees Rab in Suri is actually a flaw in the film as just a second before Suri was standing near Taaniji and a second later he was coming towards Taani from some distance. But on watching the film the 13th time, I realized that Taaniji is actually imagining Suri coming but doesn’t happen in reality, just like Suri imagined Taaniji when he sees Rab in Taaniji just after the intermission point. It can be noticed as Taaniji is standing just near the water, so Suri obviously can’t come from the front.
Colors too hold a important significance in the film. Suri being the simple guy always wears white shirts in the film as white defines simplicity. Raj on the other hand being a colorful character wears all possible colors available. Sadly if this was a David Lynch film, this would have been the first thing people would have looked into, but because Aditya Chopra has made it, no one cared for such subtle great things in the film.
Taaniji’s favorite color is yellow as we see her wearing yellow in the scene where she was supposed to be married but Rab had some other plans for her. She wore yellow when she went to the first dance class. She had a yellow suitcase. The bedcover she puts on Suri’s bed is yellow. So all this concludes her favorite color being yellow. And Suri as he loves Taaniji, realizes it and hence we see him buying a yellow colored car for Taaniji which again was his way of showing how much he loved Taaniji. Though Raj mentions his favorite color is yellow in one of the scenes after seeing Tanni wear yellow, Aditya Chopra never says it directly in the film on what’s the significance of yellow in the film.
In the Haule Haule song, we actually see the blend of white and yellow showing the colors of Suri and Taaniji. Very well done again by Aditya Chopra.
Aditya Chopra surely is much more than a commercial director. His films are much more than that. Only thing, we, the audience, need to look more deeply into his work.
The dialogs in the film are superbly written. Lines like “Bas aaj jo aapne mere doston ke samne meri izzat rakh li, mere liye toh wahi pyaar hai. Isse zyada pyaar ki toh nai hi mujhe adaat hai, na hi zaroorat.” are so Gulzar-ish and brillaint. While some are very very powerful, lines like “Mai acchi wife ban kar dikhaungi.” gives me an impression that the dialogs were written by two different persons. While one is so mature, the other looks very childish. Or even this was done knowingly done by Aditya Chopra to say that Suri is a mature person while Taanijiji still has childishness in her.
The music was very good in my opinion. I loved Haule Haule, Tujhme Rab Dikhta Hai (both versions) and Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte. They are all catchy numbers.
“Haule Haule” is actually very much relevant in film and beautiful in itself. Suri is trying to convince himself in the song “Haule Haule” that Taaniji will fall in love with him slowly slowly, he just needs to keep patience. Not all songs are pointless in films. The camerawork during the song is outstanding. Long shots with lots of movement actually give an impression it will take time for Suri to make Taaniji love him and he needs to be patient. Very well done. Suri tries every possible thing to make Taaniji feel comfortable in life. He takes her to movies. He buys a car because Taaniji feels a bit awkward traveling on a scooter.
“Tujhme Rab Dikhta Hai” by Shreya Ghoshal is a very short song i.e. hardly 90 seconds, but conveys the message so well. And it is the most beautiful song I have heard in a while.
“Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte” slightly misplaced in the film, is a brilliant mix of songs and dialogs from the yesteryears of Bollywood. The song references Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. Sonu Nigam sung it brilliantly and yet again proved his versatility.
The performance of Shah Rukh Khan was superb as a common man in Surinder Sahni and he did well enough to showcase the junglee, irritating and yet lovable Raj. Very few actors can give life to a statue the way he does in the finest scene in the movie where Raj talks to Suri just before the intermission. Quite easily the best scene of the film. I really felt for Suri when he said “Kahin Suri yehi na kehta reh jaaye – Hum hai rahi pyaar ke, Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte”.
Vinay Pathak too did his role quite magnificently. Anushka Sharma though new to films, never looked like one. In fact in one of the scenes she gave a Kajol like performance. The scene I am referring to is the trial room where Raj and Taaniji converse with each other.
I watched the film 13 times to come to such conclusions, I wrote in this article. And I wouldn’t mind watching it another 13 times if I keep finding something new in it and the film keeps entertaining me. However it isn’t a perfect film but still it’s a very smartly made sweet and cute love story. Aditya Chopra surely belongs to one of the better directors of Bollywood. But had he given a bit more effort in making this film, it would been a classic for me.
This isn’t a REVIEW of the film but it asks you people to RE-VIEW the film. I hope you understand me. 🙂