December 13, 2008

Dream Merchant

I am unabashedly a member of the Amir Khan Camp. I always thought Shahrukh was the hero, Amir was the actor. Even though I loved DTPH, DDLJ and every single one of his blockbusters, my loyalties lay with Amir. It was a matter of proving my snobbishness. Amir was the Thinker’s actor for me. Of course, post his ‘Love Love Love’ days. Kal Ho Na Ho changed a lot of my perceptions about Shahrukh. I always loved his movies though. But I thought with his age, he was becoming preachy. Remember Main Hoon Na? The third time onwards I was watching the movie for Sush and not SRK.

SRK is King Khan. He does not need my stamp of approval but something changed in him in the last couple of years. I think the turning point was KANK. After that horrible movie, maybe SRK realized he needed to explore newer territories. And one after the other, the surprises came. Not many people can pull off a Chak De and OSO simultaneously and make me consider changing camps.

It’s not that I do not respect Amir anymore. But then given the mass Govinda loving guy that I am who sometimes goes back into his shell to watch my Bergman and Ray, I need a SRK who can traverse both territories with perfect ease.

Anyway, now about Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. First day Third Show :) It’s much better than reading reviews and going with a warped mindset. Of course I will not tell you the story since there is no story. Taani is forced to marry Surinder Sahni and they both know she will never be in love with him. But he falls in love with his wife, for the first time in his life and invents Raj, all that he aspires to be.

If it was not for King Khan, it would have been one of the most boring movies ever. But somehow this movie is the redemption for Aditya Chopra and SRK. They finally made a movie making the hero out of the man who has filled up the stalls every day for their movies for the last 20 odd years. The Indian common man, going on trains everyday to office now has a hero he can identify with. It’s no longer about he NRI mansions and dream sequences in Switzerland. It’s about his dreams. It’s about his dreams of a foreign honeymoon. It’s about finding love in the day to day life. Maybe how he achieves his dream is still unreal but not SRK.

SRK pulls off his dual role with ease and showcases the strange workings of the human psyche where man and his alter ego are constantly at war till a co-existence comes to settle down between them. Sometimes for the one he loves, a man decides to give up his ego and be one with his alter ego. Before I keep on gushing about SRK, I should also say that Vinay Pathak is the new Middle Class Rahul Bose of Indian Cinema. He is our next door Dubeyji. He is us and he is getting better at becoming us.

The choices that Taani (newcomer Anouska Sharma) faces might seem harsh on her. One should not be put in front of such choices. As Vinay Pathak says, at the end of the day we are all human. But in putting these choices in front of her, SRK makes Surinder Sahni all the more believable.

The movie will not be a reviewer’s favourite but somehow I know a lot of Indians will identify with the movie. You will feel like crying during the movie seeing what SRK goes through but then you’ll love every time Raj comes out of the closet. This movie is a rebirth of SRK. He goes back to the days when he did Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman and was the one we grew up with. Oh, by the way, do not miss the ending credits.

A pop quiz for you – Where does this line occur? “All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I know I should have been more specific.


Rahul said...

Oh really? I'm gonna go watch it then :)

Sweta Nandagiri said...

Cant belive you were in the camp of Aamir Khan!! Whatever makes people think Aamir Khan a better or a so called thinking actor never seemed clear to me. Have been reading the reviews of Rab Ne.. and watching a couple of King Khan's interviews as well and wats really endearing about him is the fact that he has absolutely no qualms in the work that he does, whether or not it falls under the so called thought provoking or realistic category of cinema. And btw, being in someone's camp and not spelling their name right is not very loyal.

Sandeep said...

Banj...the only reasons why 'camps' exist are - counter threat, prove-a-point mentality,fans. Aamir - in his media conducts and choice of films has always appeared to be someone who still wants to prove. My fav camp - would be of 'the Hitman' in Chandni Chowk to China. Am yet to discover an ounce of prove-a-point in him.

Addy said...

A real YashRaj movie? I *have* to watch this one.

Anand Kashyap said...

Brilliant quote at the end of the post!

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Rahul - definitely

@ NKS - Aamir was doing Lagaan when King Khan was doing KJo movies :)

@ Sandeep - Arre no. He said in his latest quote, "I proved you don't have to be a Khan..." He's also human :)

@ Addy - Go watch

@ Anand - Not mine unfortunately :(

Sweta Nandagiri said...

Banjo, thats hardly a comparison! SRK was doing Swades when Mr Perfectionist was doing Mangal Pandey.

CJ said...

enjoyed the movie n u're right - only SRK coulda pulled this off!

Anonymous said...

What is the answer to the pop quiz? I am loathe to Google it, since the answer is sooo on the tip of my tongue...

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Vivek - You couldn't google it. :) I don't know who said it. But it was on SRK's desk at his Punjab POwer office. :)