If I were Yash Raj Films, I would not be bragging about filming this in less than 50 days -- it clearly shows. Aditya Chopra and friends don't seem to have spent much time making it, and I don't intend to spend much time reviewing it. Should have avoided Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (hereby referred to as "Rab Ne") altogether after reading this review over at Bitten By Bollywood, which I can now say I agree with*.
Never mind the tagline -- there is an extraordinary love story in every ordinary jodi -- can be justifiably criticized for being abysmally out of place. (The film almost suggests that women in ordinary jodis are extraordinarily dumb, and men extraordinarily incompetent at flirting respectably. Oh wait, that second part might be true of 'ordinary' men :P)
The point is, it's really not the lack of sensibility in the film that bothers me as much. If I restricted myself to sensible cinema (the key theme is exclusivity), I would not consider myself a fan of Bollywood (heck, even Hollywood), and the vast, vast majority of Shah Rukh Khan films would be at the bottom of my viewing pile. If realism is absolutely required for a film to be good, someone please wake me up and tell me I'm Rip Van Winkle and have missed some major world event over the last couple of decades (like aliens in an Indiana Jones film invading our planet and toying with our faculties of thought and imagination, rendering us incapable of consuming commercial cinema)!
What is bothersome in Rab Ne is the packaging, which leaves a lot to be desired, even by the not so high expectations I have of Shah Rukh films.** Sets? Uncheck. Screenplay? Uncheck. Character development? Uncheck. Dialogue? Uncheck. Choreography? Uncheck. (This song, which made me somewhat look forward to the film, was decent, but only because of Kajol :P) Cinematography? Uncheck. Entertaining? Uncheck. Boring? CHECK. Would 'Rab' be proud of the lackadaisical effort? I think not!
On the positive side (tried to like it, really did), Anushka Sharma does quite well for what she has to work with. Shah Rukh is about okay, and I do appreciate his attempt at playing unique characters, albeit to a disappointingly ordinary and sloppy script that is not at all engaging beyond the first few minutes of its translation to the screen. Rab Ne has reportedly been very successful from a business standpoint, and might already be more successful financially than Swades (2004), which is why the intellectual argument noted above doing the rounds in some Shah Rukh fan circles seems rather amusing. =)
Have a great New Year's Eve, everyone!
* Going to see it was more of a good will gesture to friends and family who are fans of Shah Rukh, so I guess it served some intangible purpose to not wait for the DVD ;)
** In case you think I dislike Shah Rukh films, because my experience leads me to believe this is a very common misconception of fans of Ace Khan (and a sentiment I've very comfortably spent more than half my life around, LOL) -- many of whom would perhaps justifiably rather not mention both in the same sentence like I just did -- there's this post on Swades (2004) to refute that argument.