Movie Review: Dilwale

December 18, 2015

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

The first hurdle in writing a review of Rohit Shetty’s “Dilwale” (The big-hearted) is – how do you describe it? It’s not entirely a comedy or romance. It is not a slick action thriller either. The director’s filmography is abundant with these hodge-podge stories that can easily be slotted as “Rohit Shetty” films.

“Diwale” opens in Goa, a typical Shetty film location. The houses are painted with lurid colours; the men wear equally garish clothes and like to zoom around in SUVs. The places they visit are spots we’ve already seen in his earlier films like “Golmaal” and “All the Best”.

It is no wonder that there is a worn-out feel to his latest film. Shetty’s big trump card is the Shah Rukh KhanKajol pair, who return to the screen together after “My Name is Khan” (2010). So, it’s not surprising that “Dilwale” pays tribute to the Karan Johar school of film-making, featuring flowing dupattas and rain-soaked dance sequences. But old habits die hard. Shetty’s trademark lame humour (dialogue by regulars Farhad-Sajid) and the familiar sight of cars being blown up are also an integral part of this story.

Khan plays Raj, a former crook who is now a garage mechanic. He tries to forget his past and focus on being a benevolent elder brother to Veer (Varun Dhawan). But when Veer falls for Ishita (Kriti Sanon), Raj discovers that she is the younger sister of the woman who once loved – and now hates – him.

Shetty assembles every single cliché on his set. As the film progresses you can almost visualize a checklist that he must have had in his hand – right from Sanjay Mishra and Johnny Lever spouting inane jokes (Mishra addresses his sister as “Bol meri lado (my dear), meri Rolex, Rado”) to the token villain (Boman Irani) who is simply part of the film to get beaten up in the climax.

There are some laughs to be had though, thanks to Mishra’s comic timing and some balm for the eyes in the form of Khan and Kajol. They are an older, airbrushed version of their earlier days, but just as engrossing to watch.

Dhawan and Sanon share an easy chemistry. Pritam’s soundtrack is hummable. The only purpose of “Dilwale” is to chant every known Bollywood mantra for a successful film and cash in on its celebrated lead actors. In that aim, the film is hugely successful.

(Editing by Ankush Arora; follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay, and Ankush @Ankush_patrakar. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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