Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Dil Bole Hadippa: Clichéd, average fare
When director Anurag Singh set out to make “Dil Bole Hadippa”, he must have stumbled upon a book called ‘The Big Punjabi Book of Bollywood Clichés’ and decided to put in each one in this film.
As if that wasn’t enough, he has taken elements from every successful Yash Raj film and added that to the film. So you have glimpses of “DDLJ”, “Chak De India”, “Bunty Aur Babli”, “Veer Zaara” and “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”.
If that doesn’t sound like hotchpotch, there are ample doses of speeches on women’s rights, India-Pakistan friendship and even the token secular touch. Not an encouraging sign at all.
“Dil Bole Hadippa” stars Rani Mukherjee as Veera Kaur, a feisty Punjabi girl who has a passion for cricket. Her dream is to be part of a local team that plays an annual match with a Pakistani team for the Aman Cup, a tournament started by two friends — one Indian, the other Pakistani.
Unfortunately, the Indian Tigers never win against the Pakistani Champs, causing its Indian owner (Anupam Kher, hamming away to glory) much grief.
In desperation, he asks his cricketer son Rohan (Shahid Kapoor) to come back from London to help salvage the team. Veera decides to try out for the team but is shooed away at the gate by a watchman who says cricket is not for girls.
Desperate for a chance, she comes back as Veer Pratap Singh, complete with turban and moustache. While she tries to impress Rohan with her batting on the field, she bats her eyelashes at him off it and a romance blooms.
“Dil Bole Hadippa” is meant to be a sports film but it tries to pack in so many things it ends up being nothing. The main culprit is the extremely shoddy script and it appears as if all the lead actors had resigned themselves to the fact.
As a result, the performances are at best average. Rani Mukherjee, looking svelte, tries hard but is unable to muster up enthusiasm. Shahid Kapur also does adequately but doesn’t seem convinced about his character.
I cannot think of any part of this film that rises above the average. Go for it if you don’t have anything better to do this weekend.