Finally! After working through 6 parts and almost two hours, we have reached the end of my extremely detailed and specific summary of Dilwale. If you haven’t seen it yet, there are twists through out, so just skipping to the end bit will not make any difference if you want to know what happened. You should probably go back and at least skim all the other parts. Or better yet, see the movie! It should be available in most places by now, and it really is fun to watch on the big screen! (part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here, part 4 here, part 5 here, and part 6 here)
So, I left off at “Janam Janam”. Kriti and Varun had learned that Shahrukh and Kajol had a thing years ago, and then a bad break-up, and have decided that they should try to fix them up again. To that end, Varun sabotaged Kajol’s car, so that Shahrukh could come along and fix it. He fixed it, in the rain, and fantasized a love song while he was doing it.
So, song over! Shahrukh knocks on Kajol’s car window and hands her back her car keys (why did he have them? Even I know you don’t need to have a car key with you while you are fixing an engine. This makes no sense!). She drives away without a word. It is very sad and frustrating.
Cut to, the garage! Again! They really got their money’s worth out of that set. Anyway, Varun, Sidhu, and one of the garage workers (I want to say “Tavde”?) are working on covering up Boman Irani’s car, putting gold wrapping paper on it? Is that really how you change the color of the finish of a car? More importantly, Varun is wearing an Italian Stallion t-shirt! This is the only time he wears a pop-culture t-shirt. Is it because they knew they would be releasing against Creed? Is it a nod to the idea that, as in Creed, Stallone is mentoring a new young star, in this Shahrukh is mentoring Varun, the wearer of the shirt? Or did someone in costume design just think it looked cool? But it’s the only pop culture shirt this character wears! It must mean something!
(I wasn’t able to find the exact one, but it looks kind of like this)
Anyway, right, plot! They are talking about how nothing they do seems to work to get SRKajol back together. Sidhu suggests buying them tickets to a dirty picture (which the subtitles primly identify as “an Indian C-grade picture”). This gets shouted down. While they are still working on it, they go to open the trunk of the car and find a brown leather satchel! At first they think it is Johnny Lever’s, but when they find out it isn’t his, they realize it most belong to drug kingpin Boman Irani! The cut the padlock off, in a cool shot that comes up from underneath a glass tabletop up around to the top of the bag, and find…Drugs! In big plastic bags! Once again, I would be so much better at running the Goa drug trade than these guys. Did they never consider opaque containers? But it does lead to a cool line (that the subtitles missed), while they try to decide what to do, Varun says “We can’t let these get out! Who knows, they could be someone’s first…..or someone’s last!”
So they decide to burn them. And again I wonder, exactly how flammable are drugs? So, they are on the street corner, merrily gathered around a drug bonfire, when who should pull up and ask for motor help, but Boman Irani himself! And then there is a scene that is supposed to be hi-larious where drunk Johnny Lever keeps almost telling Boman the truth and then being stopped at the last minute. I, personally, did not enjoy it. Finally, they fix the car and send it on its way. And we are done with the comedy portion for another fifteen minutes! Thank God! Although at least I can zip through the descriptions of them pretty fast, unlike the romantic bits where I want to parse every single glance.
Cut to, Shahrukh loitering by his car near the restaurant. Kajol is alone, closing down. It almost looks like he is going to go over and talk to her, instead of just gazing from afar, when suddenly Peter (what I choose to call the top Boman goon) shows up and confronts her! Remember way back when, Boman told him to check out her restaurant and see if they would sell his drugs? Well, now that is paying off! He has come to order her to sell drugs, by throwing a huge bag of drugs at her. Is this really how drug deals work? That just doesn’t seem possible! Aren’t there enough people who want to sell drugs that you don’t need to throw bags of them at unwilling potential dealers?
So, Kajol orders them off and it looks like they are about to hit her and she is about to hit back, when suddenly Shahrukh is there! He has pulled his scarf over his face so they can’t see it, but one of the backup goons (Micheal?) recognizes him as “Kaali!” But, how! In the initial fight, he had the top of his face in shadow under the hood. But this time, he has the bottom of his face covered. It makes no sense!!!! Unless they recognize him from his fabulous hair they may have seen the back of when he walked away. That is probably it. It’s all lush and full and sort of gently producted.
(kind of like this. So soft and pretty! At least hairwise, I really feel that SRK fans are obviously winning over Salman-Aamir people)
So, Shahrukh beats them all up while Kajol watches. Again, he follows a tight and unemotional taking out the garbage kind of fighting style. Fight over, he takes a moment, then braces himself, lowers his scarf, and looks at Kajol. Well, gazes. Kajol looks back at him, and we can see her conflict, she wants to forgive him and run into his arms, but she just can’t let herself. So instead, she looks away. He still watches, for just a moment, and then turns and leaves.
So, before moving on, going back to the beginning of the fight, it could be just a damsel in distress kind of thing, but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like, Kajol was probably perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and Shahrukh probably even knew that, but he is just physically incapable of not leaping in when his loved ones are threatened. He is, in fact, a Dilwale! But because he loves her so much, he is also afraid to try to talk to her, to explain after all this time. And he doesn’t want to spoil her vision of her father. Remember he is bending over backward to protect Varun from merely learning their father was a gangster, think how much harder it would be for him to have Kajol learn that her father was using her and caused his own death !
From her side, this also means that at the end of the fight, she isn’t feeling gratitude or relief at being rescued, because she didn’t really need him to rescue her. She is just recognizing, once again, that Shahrukh still loves her, will always love her, and that he is waiting for her whenever she is ready. And once again, she has to balance her own love for him against her judgement that he may use her love to hurt her again and, more importantly, hurt the ones she cares for. I’m kind of legitimately in sympathy with both of them at the moment! I mean, if I were Kajol’s friend that she was telling all of this to, I would say “boy, he sounds like bad news! Best to just forget him and move on!” And if I were Shahrukh’s friend, I would say “What good can come of talking about the past? Let her come to you!” So basically, I would give terrible advice and this movie would never be over if it were up to me.
Since the car thing didn’t work, the kids have a new plan! Varun and Shahrukh are walking towards that nice brick church again, Varun saying he comes here all the time, it is very important, after all, all they have in life is “Cars….and sanskar!” Just as they get close, Varun suddenly remembers something he has to run and get from the car. Meanwhile, Kajol and Kriti are also walking to that same church! What are the odds! Kajol, by the way, is wearing a super “I have breasts” kind of shirt. Grey knit, very thin, very wide v-neck in both front and back. Anyway, Kriti also forgot something and has to run and get it, and Kajol and Shahrukh come face to face! Shahrukh, by the way, is wearing a bright green shirt (unbuttoned to show his chest, of course) with a matching scarf. Oh, and sunglasses. Before he can say anything, or do anything beyond taking off the sunglasses to show his puppy dog eyes, Boman Irani comes up between them! Which explains why Kajol is also wearing super clunky high heels, since otherwise you couldn’t get her head and Boman’s head in the same frame (as this video points out, that’s not a problem with her and Shahrukh! In the scene with just them, walking and talking in Bulgaria, she is wearing flats. It’s only in scenes where she has to interact with other, less compact, men, that heels become a necessity).
Boman Irani greets them both, and then mentions to Meera (discounting the presence of Shahrukh, since he is so convinced that Shahrukh is a coward) that he was told by his men that “Kaali” showed up at her place. If she knows anything about Kaali, he will let her restaurant go free and promise never to bother her again. And then there is a great moment, where Kajol just flicks a glance at Shahrukh, and he looks back at her steadily, not putting any pressure on her to answer one way or the other. She takes another moment, and then says “no. I don’t know who he is” and turns and walks away. Shahrukh puts his sunglasses on, so Boman can’t see in his eyes the “hey! At least she doesn’t want me dead (any more)!” joy.
Perhaps because this conversation has him feeling his oats a little, he offers to Boman, “you know, I hope you never find Kali.” Boman almost looks angry for a minute, then Shahrukh continues, “because I don’t like violence, of course! And I hate to think what you would do to him!”
And now, we are back to comedy! Booo! Johnny Lever is admiring the job they have done on the car, in order to hide it from Boman Irani. I am not so impressed, basically they just turned it from a red and silver car to a black and gold car, but otherwise it looks exactly the same. Oh well, the people in the movie say it is nice, I guess I should try to believe them instead of my own eyes.
So, now that the car looks soooooooo good, they are ready to sell it! And Johnny Lever knows the perfect person! Oscar Bhai! Nooooooooo! I thought I was done with him forever! But no, here he is, buying the car and explaining that he will pay any price, because he wants to give it to his new brother-in-law! He hasn’t met him yet, but his sister has told him that he has a hotel and a business, all sorts of things! I think “wait, Christian Jenny was two-timing Sidhu?” But no! Cut to Sidhu happily explaining to the friend gang (including hot dimpled extra) that his girlfriend has arranged a meeting with her brother, their rishta fixed ho gaya!
He goes walking off to meet the brother, nicely framed in front of the neighborhood shrine with candles and all in front of it. He see’s Oscar Bhai and is all “what are you doing here?” Oscar Bhai responds he is here to meet his sister’s boyfriend! Sidhu says he is here to meet his girlfriend’s brother! And then Christian Jenny shows up, standing right in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary (she’s Christian, you know) and explains, he is him, and him is he! Shock! Horror! Upsetment! Oscar starts beating on Sidhu because he is a thief and he dared to romance his sister! Varun rushes up to stop him, and points out, Oscar is a receiver of stolen goods! They are perfect together! Why be angry! But then Varun looks over and says “Okay, don’t worry about Oscar, focus on your brother because here he comes now!” And there are the grown-ups, Shakti and Anwar and Shahrukh, coming along to see what all the fuss is about. Shakti immediately starts wailing on Sidhu, yelling at him, “Didn’t I feed you? Didn’t I take care of you? Didn’t I give you everything? What was the need to steal!?!?” Which is interesting! So the fault is not that he stole, but that he dishonored his brother by implying that his brother did not take proper care of him.
And then it leads to a big speech that I am not so into. Sidhu starts by bursting out “Girls! It was girls that drove me to this!” He goes on to explain, that it was different in their day, you could just walk in a park, have street food, cuddle behind a rock (Shakti looks a little pleased and a little modest at this, Shahrukh looks shocked like he had no idea such kind of things went on!) And then Sidhu goes on to say that girls today are different, you have to buy movie tickets at the multiplex, and snacks, and drinks, and then expensive coffee, and gifts for anniversaries, and prepaid cell phones, and it’s killing him! This got a big laugh at every show I was in. And I guess it is an interesting statement on the changing Indian economy, where know there are so many more consumer goods available, and the practices of consumption has changed. But I just don’t find making fun of women for wanting to be treated well funny!
The upshot is, Shahrukh steps forward to comfort Sidhu, saying “he had no idea what they go through these days! It’s hard, yaar!” And, okay, now I get what they were talking about in the trailer launch event when Shahrukh was saying how things are different for boys these days. It’s like what I said in my post on Alaipayuthey vs. Saathiya, in the Hindi industry, everything is so publicized and so well known, that even the comments stars make the promotional events can add layers to the plot of a film.
Anyway, in the status of the head of their unofficial family, Shahrukh smooths things over with Oscar Bhai as well, pointing out that Sidhu and Varun will inherit all the businesses in the courtyard, including the garage and the hotel, so it really is a good match, and why not let the children be happy? Oscar agrees, so long as it is a church wedding (they’re Christian, you know).
Cut to, Varun calling Kriti to give her the good news. He is laying (lying?) on top of a car hood again, and he looks goooooood. It’s kind of a dancers pose, which makes sense since he is such a good dancer. Leg perfectly bent to create harmony with the leg lying (laying?) straight on the hood, bent elbow echoing the bent leg, arm at a diagonal towards the camera, creating a counterpoint to the straight leg. It’s a nice shot, is what I am saying. But we only get a moment to enjoy it, before cutting to Kriti, chatting away in her house. Kajol walks in and sees her. They are not harmonious sisters in this scene, as Kajol is wearing a tunic like blue shirt, while Kriti is in white. Also, Kajol has her hair up and back, reminding us that she is an older, mature woman, not the true contemporary of young and loose-haired Kriti.
(kind of like this, but better and with a shirt. I know, those two things seem contradictory, but trust me)
Anyway, Kajol procedes to lay on the guilt with a spoon. She asks Kriti to stop communicating with Varun in any way, to cut off all contact with that family. Kriti asks why, to which Kajol says “Have I ever asked you why? Have I not given you everything you have asked for without ever questioning? Have I not allowed you to build your own life and make your own decisions without asking why? Have I not earned the right to ask you to do this one thing for me without asking why?” I mean, it’s pretty inarguable when you put it like that. Kriti doesn’t bother to argue, simply says she agrees, but she will never want to form a relationship with anyone else, if she can’t have Varun.
Now, here is the thing I was talking about earlier when I compared this movie to K3G. In K3G, the romantic relationship and responsibility was privileged over the sibling relationship, and even over the parental. Yes, eventually, Shahrukh came back home. But before that, he chose to run off and build a life with Kajol, abandoning both his parents and his younger brother. Even awful Kareena, happily chooses to collude with the cute boy she has a crush on, rather than remain loyal to her sister and brother-in-law.
On the other hand, in this movie, we had both Kajol and Shahrukh choose to build a life with, and around, their sibling when their romantic relationship had failed. More importantly, back when Kajol and Shahrukh were in love, remember how Kajol declared that her father loved her more than he hated Shahrukh? And how that was totally wrong? Because parents are The Worst (at least, that is the lesson I got)? Now, Kriti merely has to say that she does not want to marry anyone if she can’t marry Varun, and look kind of sad sitting on a window seat for about thirty seconds, and Kajol gives in.
We see her calling Varun to come to the house, but alone. He arrives, thrilled! He and Kriti half hold hands, sitting at a table with Kajol on the opposite end from Varun. They are outside of the house, either to symbolize that he has not yet fully become a part of their family, or because it was easier to film outside. Kajol explains that she will give permission for the marriage. Kriti and Varun both look thrilled! But, she has one condition. Varun says “Yes! I mean, say it, for forms sake, but the answer is yes!” Again, he really nails the line reading here, making it interesting and memorable, even if it is just a simple phrase.
Kajol says, “after marriage, you will live here, in our house”. Varun looks shocked, because this is a shocking thing to say! A son-in-law living in the brides’ household? It brings shame on both their families. But then, she makes the truly shocking request, “You will leave your brother and never speak to him again.” Varun immediately stands up crying out “No!” Kriti grabs his hand and looks at him, begging. He explains, “I love you, but my brother is my father, my mother, my friend, my everything! A brother is above all else!” He drags his hand out of hers while she cries, and slowly forces himself to walk away. Kajol stands, still in that blue shirt, and says “You would give up everything for him? You know, he is not even your blood brother!” Varun hesitates a second as this news sinks in, then continues his walk.
(notice, her hair is still up! This is Kajol, head of the household, not Kajol, emotional and in love)
So, Kajol did not come off that great in this scene! The first time through, I thought, “well, that was horrible! Who would separate brothers! Not to mention, breaking the news of an adoption! Which is always wrong, and no doubt also means breaking a confidence from Shahrukh from 15 years ago!”
But the second time through, I noticed a few things. First, as I mentioned above when describing the fight, as Kajol sees it, she cannot risk having more of her loved ones damaged by Shahrukh. She is trying to protect her sister as best she knows how. If Kriti can never be happy without Varun, then she will get her Varun. But she will still protect her from the poison that Shahrukh can do. It’s actually a huge concession, a bigger one than her own father was willing to make. She realizes that Shahrukh was a product of his violent lifestyle and his father’s feud. She trusts her sister’s judgement that Varun, raised more gently, is a safe and sound choice. But only if he is willing to leave his brother. So the first bit, asking him to abandon Shahrukh, that isn’t viciousness or pettiness, it is simply an effort to make the best of a bad situation.
The second, her outburst and breaking of family secrets, that is a little harder to forgive. But remember when Kriti leaped in to protest way back in the beginning because the drug dealers were trying to force drugs on the cafe owner? And remember Kajol’s own sudden decision to shoot Shahrukh? And beating of Johnny Lever? This is a family that leaps without looking when upset. Especially upset at an injustice. And from Kajol’s perspective, this is an injustice. Not against herself, but against Kriti.
If you look, Shetty and Kajol worked together to do something really clever in this scene. While Varun is refusing and Kriti is begging, the camera keeps quickly cutting to Kajol’s face, showing her studying Kriti the entire time, and registering the devastation this decision is causing for her. From the perspective of Kriti’s big sister, Varun has heartlessly destroyed her life. He makes her fall in love with him, and then refuses the only conditions under which he can safely marry her, leaving her in misery for the rest of her life. So, with this in mind, is it any wonder that Kajol bursts out with the most hurtful thing she can think of, the worst way she could possibly strike back at the people who have hurt her? She doesn’t want to hurt him physically, not beat him or shoot him, but break his heart, as he has broken the heart of her sister.
So, Varun walks home, looking very very upset. He arrives to see Shahrukh waiting for him, standing near the door with a table of food. He greets him with “How long you’ve been! Come, let’s have dinner now.” And then he sexily eats a radish. The implication, of course, is that Shahrukh the big brother is incapable of eating until he has safely seen his little brother have food. Aw!
Varun still looks upset, Shahrukh notices, and asks what is wrong. Varun asks, “Have you ever lied to me?” Shahrukh casually says, “No, of course not.” Which, whaaa-aaat? Shahrukh, I love you, but you lie about everything! Of course, Varun immediately asks about the lie that matters most (not the whole Bulgarian crime lord thing), “Is it true that you are not to me a blood brother?” Shahrukh sinks into a chair, shot to the heart (metaphorically this time), and takes a moment before responding; “Yes it is true. I am much more than that. I love you more than a blood brother every could.” Varun is standing behind him, leaning against a pillar, half facing away. He says, “Kriti’s sister asked me today if I would leave you so I could marry her.” Shahrukh braces himself, and asks, “And what did you say?” Varun bursts out, “I said No, of course!” Shahrukh laughs with relief and stands, leaning against the pillar opposite him. Shahrukh laughs, and then asks, a little insecurely, “Did you really say no, straight out?” Varun says back “Of course I did! There are loads of girls in the world, but I only have one brother!” And they both push off their pillars and pull together for a tight embrace. After a slightly long manly hugging (you know, they aren’t blood relatives, so it wouldn’t really be incest…), they pull apart and start walking back to dinner again. Varun continues, “next time, I will make sure they don’t have a big sister!” and Shahrukh jokes back, “well, you make sure of that! After all, I may have romanced the sister of every pretty girl!” And then they both laugh, because obviously can only love Kajol or no one, in every life and every existance.
Cut to, Kajol leaving the perpetually under construction restaurant site, in another long blue shirt, but with her hair down and wild, curlier than in any other scene in the whole film. Longer too. Possibly a wig? Anyway, it goes well with the ensuing wildly emotional scene, so I don’t mind.
Suddenly, Shahrukh appears and grabs her, dragging her towards a stone ruin on the beach. He’s got his crazy SRK eyes going, and his super strong and determined walk. She protests, but he keeps hold of her and yanks her around to face him, then backs her up against a stone pillar and grabs her by the throat, saying “What did you do? What were you doing, trying to take my brother from me?” But it’s Kajol, so she doesn’t even pause or act scared of crazy eyes SRK who is about to strangler her, and gives as good as she got, shoving off the pillar with her hair flying around her, “Did that hurt? Did the thought of losing your brother, even a little, make you feel bad? Then imagine how I felt when you took my father from me!” Now Shahrukh gets really mad, and grabs her by the neck, bending her over backward and staring into her eyes (hey! It’s the RK films logo! But without the violin), saying “Look at my eyes! Look at them! Am I lying to you? I did not kill your father! Your father betrayed me! I did not kill him! Do you believe me? Do you?” He lets her go and grabs a gun (from where? Was he carrying it this whole time and we never noticed?) and hands it to her. Once it is in her hand, he grabs it up and places it directly on his chest, saying “Do it! If you don’t believe me, do it again, this time from so close it will be sure to kill me!” Which is very dramatic, but I am still not clear on why it didn’t kill him last time. I mean, she was awful close then too. Anyway, Kajol can’t do it, and let’s her hand fall. Shahrukh turns and walks away, along the beach, and “Daayre” starts.
(picture this, but with SRKajol instead of Raj-Nargis)
Before moving on to the song, let’s take a moment and go back to that scene. Now, as I see it, this is a conversation that needed to happen years and years ago, but they were both incapable of having it! Kajol was too afraid of being hurt again to let him get close. And Shahrukh was too afraid of hurting her, even accidentally, to force his way in. But now they are both fighting not for themselves, but for their siblings, and that love triumphs over their romantic hesitations. Kajol’s attack of his relationship with his brother leads him to finally confront her about their past and force the truth on her. As soon as he breaks through her boundaries, Kajol is able to burst out with her own truth, the pain he caused her through the death of her father, and how she struggles with her feelings for him because of it. They are both super messed up people, is what I am saying!
Now, normally, I would stop here and finish tomorrow. But I promised to finish by the new year! Or at least, by New Year’s Day. And that this would be the last post. So I am going to plow on until the end. Which isn’t that far, really.
So, song ends, everyone is sad and questioning their decisions. Kajol stands on the terrace of her house and greets Top Goon! From back in Bulgaria. Without the sling he had last time we saw him, but with little gray bits at his temple to show time passing. He says immediately, with no preamble (he is also eager to finish this recap), “Yes, your father betrayed you and set up the other family.” She asks, “why didn’t you tell me this before?” And, yes! Why didn’t he!!! His only response is, “I love you like a sister, and I couldn’t bear to see your father fall in your eyes.” But I guess after 15 years, he just doesn’t care any more?
Anyway, cut to doorbell, door opens, it’s Kajol and Kriti! On the front steps of Varun an Shahrukh’s house! Kajol has great hair, and an odd dress. It’s a beautiful cut, silk, with a button front and a full skirt. But the print is very strange, a sort of green-blue thing with pink highlights. Kriti is wearing something I don’t remember. Shahrukh and Varun are also. Kajol asks if it would be possible for them to come in. Shahrukh is still gobsmacked, so Varun leaps forward, saying “of course, of course, come in, come in.” As soon as they are inside, Kajol says that she has decided to agree to the relationship. Shahrukh looks happy, but uncertain. Varun just looks happy. He bursts out “I will get married! I will not die a virgin! I will have a honeymoon!” Kriti gestures for him to smile a little less. He agrees, and also notices that Kajol and Shahrukh are carefully not facing each other. He offers that he and Kriti will gather some food, and meanwhile, Shahrukh can show Kajol “the garage, the house, the sofa (wink wink)”. Oh, by the way, I think this is the first time we are seeing the living room set, and they have a huge garlanded picture of dead Sex Cult on the wall. Not as big as the picture of Amitabh and Jaya in their living room from K3G, but pretty big. Also, notice that was a picture of Amitabh AND Jaya. And yet, no photos of Varun’s mother here. I understand not talking about her or anything, but not even a picture? Come on, set design people!
(Here is the dress.)
So, Varun and Kriti leave, and Kajol and Shahrukh are alone. They are both cutely a little formal. Shahrukh offers to show her the garage. He starts, a little nervously, saying “yes, this is all ours, we do mostly car modifications, frame, fiber, the works.” She softly adds “you did always like cars.” They have a moment of silently acknowledging the elephant in the room, that she knew him a whole other lifetime ago, and yet maybe they haven’t changed that much. Then he points out Shakti and Anwar, who are standing watching them, and tells her that now they run a cafe. She offers “still multi-talented, I guess”, which was a joke from their 5 minute date, when he explained that the same man was serving as a waiter, an ice cream man, and a violin player, as well as his back-up gundas in daily life, because they were “multi-talented”. Again there is a moment where you can see the weight of the past pass between them. Then, Shahrukh glances over and sees the Top Goon from her side standing there. They wave at each other. He glances at Kajol questioningly, and she clarifies, yes, he told her the truth, she knows all now.
The walk together to the garage set, and Kajol says something about how he hasn’t changed. He points out that he has a little beard now (yes! and it looks great! According to this poll). She offers that she has maybe put on a little weight. Yes, he agrees, maybe a little. She immediately gives him a look and he starts back-tracking “no weight at all! you look wonderful! exactly the same!” Kajol offers that, after all, it has been 15 years. Shahrukh turns dead serious, looks her in the eye, and says the line from the trailer “15 years, 4 months, 10 days.” She looks back at him, miserable, and bursts out “I’m sorry! I’m so so sorry!” He responds immediately, “No no! It doesn’t matter, we are here now.” And then they look at each other. And look at each other. And lean together. And their faces are close. And their lips are close. And after 21 years, it feels like we might, finally, get that SRKajol kiss we have all been waiting for, after all he kissed Katrina, and maybe Ajay has softened with age and won’t mind that his wife is kissing someone else in front of the whole world and….Oscar Bhai! Why?!?!?
(we have been waiting for this kiss for 20 years!)
He pops up and interrupts their moment. Although he does help their relationship move forward a little by pressing the issue a little, asking if Kajol is perhaps Shahrukh’s wife, and if not, girlfriend? Or maybe will be in future? Can he call her Bhabhi? Anyway, he is there for help arranging Christian Jenny’s wedding. He and Shahrukh walk away from Kajol, and at the last minute, he looks back, just like he did when they first met, when he was running to jump back in the car, but couldn’t quite tear himself away from her. It is the sweetest little hoping but not asking look, and it is my computer wallpaper right now, and the heading image for this post.
Cut to, Church! Again! That same nice looking brick church thing! The wedding party is walking out, bride and groom flanked by Varun and Kriti, with Shahrukh and Kajol next to them. SRKajol share a look as they walk out. And then, reception! Shahrukh and Kajol are standing on the side, next to each other, but somehow their bodies are oriented to each other, even without facing. It’s like, you know Twilight? (okay, whatever, I know they are terribly written books, but they are so fun to read!). In one of the sequels, maybe New Moon, bella and Edward go to visit her mother, and her mother says something about how she is worried about how in love they clearly are, because Bella is always oriented to him. If he shifts in his chair, she shifts. If he stands, she stands. Anyway, that’s what this feels like. Not that they are touching or looking at each other, but that they are perfectly balanced together, and when one shifts, the other shifts.
Just as Shahrukh starts to turn his head, maybe to ask her to dance, Varun pops up and invites her instead, although he first asks Shahrukh for permission, which is a nice touch, acknowledging the SRKajol relationship without acknowledging it. As Shahrukh watches Varun and Kajol spin off, Kriti pops up and offers him her hand. He takes it and starts to dance with her, WITHOUT asking for Varun’s permission! So disrespectful!
Anyway, dance-y dance-y, Kriti starts to mention to Shahrukh, “You know, I was asking, and it turns out, we can rent this church for our wedding! And, if we had two weddings instead of one, it would be the same price!” Cut to Varun, clearly having just said the same thing to Kajol, and continuing “The priest also would be the same! Everything, same to same.” Kriti continues to Shahrukh “catering, decorator, all two for one!” Shahrukh smiles at her a little, with a sweet “what a nice young woman I am dancing with” kind of smile, and says “Do I look like a miser to you?” (actually, he says kanjoos, which is one of those words like ‘parampara’ that is so fun to say, I suspect they just throw it into scripts to give the actors a treat). Kriti smiles back, and says “No, but you must have some excuse to move forward, mustn’t you?” And, spin! Varun and Kriti have gotten them back to back, and now they neatly spin out and leave Kajol and Shahrukh to dance together.
They come together perfectly, and it’s magic, all over again. At first, they just stand there, holding each other, and lean in, breathing of each other. Then, Shahrukh pulls back, just a fraction, looks over at the married couple, and says “they look happy.” Kajol agrees, yes, they do. Shahrukh continues, “and soon, they will be married”, looking over at Kriti and Varun. Kajol agrees, yes, that will happen. Shahrukh continues, “And Kriti will come to our house, and you will miss her, yes?” Kajol says yes, she will miss her (beginning to get a bit of the skeptical eyebrows here, like she wants to know where he is going with this). Shahrukh offers, “you could come see her! Every day, if you like. And, stay for dinner! I can cook now, you know. And, I will pick you up. And drop you off. So, chauffeur, chef, escort [with a little smile here], what do you say?” Kajol smiles back, but makes a show of wrinkling her brow (well, trying to. I think Kajol may have had botox), “That sounds nice. But every day? Back and forth and back and forth? Don’t you have a better idea?” Shahrukh smiles his “I’ve got her now!” smile, and leans gently forward, and I think “kiss! kiss! kiss!”, but then he pulls back a little and to the side, and whispers in her ear instead. Oh, that’s why her hair is like that in this scene! Finally it makes sense! She has it all loose and full and curly, and sort of bunched on one side of her head. So now we have a nice shot where Shahrukh has ear-access, but her hair can still be big and down.
So, he whispers, she smiles, he says “can we meet tomorrow for five minutes?” She really smiles then, and spins out of his arms, like she is overcome with happiness. She looks back, and confirms, holding up her hand and wiggling her fingers, “just five minutes?” He nods and holds up his hand also, and smiles. And it is all wonderful and happy making and good and magic and NOOO! Comic scene! Why, Shetty, why? Why can’t you just let us enjoy our nice things?
So, Boman and his gang pull up outside the church. Why? Were they invited? Or is this just random? Anyway, they see the modified car and, even with the new paint job and the just married decorations on it, Boman is still able to recognize it! See! That’s what I said! It’s just a different color, that is not enough!
So, Boman is very angry, especially when they open the trunk, and the bag o’ drugs is missing. He demands of his “Peter”, “who’s car is this? Who is here, claiming this is his car?” Peter takes a second, looks around, and then says “You? You just said, this is your car?” I laugh, because okay, that’s pretty good. Boman is not amused, and orders his henchmen to go inside to the party and bring out whoever it is who drove this car.
Cut to Oscar Bhai inside, celebrating. One more Oscar Bhai scene! We are almost done! So, he is carried out and confronted with Boman, who threatens him with a dog metaphor that I, and the subtitle person, don’t quite understand. But Oscar Bhai does, and says, “Hey! That’s from Karan-Arjun!” Karan-Arjun! SRKajol reference! Okay, so, Baazigar (the name Kaali), My Name is Khan (the way he says a couple lines during their date), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (close up on their hand clasping before they dance on same date), Karan Arjun (just now), all we’re missing are K3G and DDLJ!
Boman, sick of threatening, just slaps him really hard, apparently so hard that his head gets stuck facing to the left. Which I don’t think is really a thing that can happen. Anyway, Oscar gives in, and says that he got the car from Johnny Lever.
Back to the reception, this time goons carry out Johnny. Again, he is put in front of Boman, and gets another dog threat. This one I got, but in translation the cool alliteration is lost, “when the dog is about to die, the young pup next door eyes his youthful widow.” Johnny Lever, hearing it in Hindi, is able to appreciate the alliteration and gives Boman a “wow, wow!” And then he gets slapped so he is facing the other way. Bit of a humorous by play between him and Oscar Bhai over only being able to see half the world because of how they are turned. And then Johnny breaks the news to Boman that Varun found his drugs, and Boman himself warmed his hands over the fire they made while they burned! Boman demands, “Bring me Varun!”
We don’t get to see him being carried out, I guess because it would make him look weak, and he is one of the heroes. But we do see him brought up before Boman with goons on each side. He looks at perma-slapped Oscar and Johnny and asks, “What’s happening?” Boman starts to threaten him, then realizes he’s run out of dog-themed threats! Okay, that’s kind of funny. He asks his henchman for suggestions, and Peter offers, “I have one, but with a cat.” This is rejected. He moves forward, threatless, to ask Varun if he burned his drugs. Varun says, yes he did! Boman is very angry about this. At Varun, not himself. I think he should be angry with himself, who leaves a bag of drugs in the unlocked trunk of their easily stolen car?
So, Boman and associated gundas start beating him up. Varun fights back, but is quickly overcome. Kajol comes rushing out (not sure why, maybe she heard something? Maybe she was standing outside the church dreaming of Shahrukh. Whatever, she’s there) and grabs him as he falls. She looks at Varun’s beaten face, and then at Boman and his goons, then turns her head with a steely look in her eyes and calls out “Kaaa-aaaaaliiii!”
And I forgive the comic interruption of their romantic scene, and maybe all of the comic bits before that set this up, because her call here feels like the true resolution of their love story. That she will confidently call on him for assistance, acknowledge his dark past through the name she calls, at the same time understanding his present as she is calling on him to defend his beloved brother, his first priority for the past 15 years since they parted. Most of all, that her first reaction when danger threatens is no longer to rush in herself, but to call on the man who wants most in the world to be able to serve her.
So, low angle shot, Shahrukh turning a corner in his all black tux. He is moving fast, and he has his game face on. The bow tie gets yanked off first, then the jacket is flung aside. Top few buttons were already undone (you can see the shirt gaping a little under the bow tie before he takes it off), so by the time he gets to the first gunda, he is in black dress pants and a tight fitted black dress shirt unbuttoned down the neck. Basically, his “Chammak Challo” outfit, but with a black shirt instead of white and the bow tie completely gone instead of just undone. He looks gooooooood.
And then he beats everyone up. First, just the goons who Boman sends towards him. He finally reaches Varun, reassures himself that he has not taken any serious injuries (probably just needs to take “proper rest” again), and then they slowly stand, Shahrukh in the middle, Varun on one side and Kajol on the other. It is a very Lakshman-Ram-Sita kind of pose. Maybe there’s the K3G reference? Anyway, it’s cool, and it definitely feels like now Shahrukh is at his strongest, ready to fight on, with those he loves best at his side (poor Kriti, no one loves her).
After a pause for us to admire this tableau, Shahrukh goes on the attack again. He heads straight for Boman, bends him back over the hood of his car (which means the height difference isn’t as obvious), and proceeds to give him a lot of quick, vicious punches. While Shahrukh is whaling away on him, the rest of the wedding party comes running up. Finally, Shahrukh lets him go, to slide down the side of the car, and turns to see all his friends and neighbors staring at him in horror. Remember, his public persona through out the film has been the loving, forgiving, gentle minded big brother to all. Of course, there is one person he cares about more than any other. Shahrukh only has eyes for Varun. Who looks stunned, having just seen his brother go really really dark. Shahrukh walks over to him, face working as he tries to figure out what he can possibly say. Eyes locked on Varun, he does not realize that Boman is slowly rising behind him. And neither does anyone else? I guess the emotional tension between the brothers has caught all their attention. Kajol doesn’t care about that though, and does notice Boman, especially when he pulls out a gun and aims it at Shahrukh’s back. Slow-mo, she reaches out and shoves him aside, TAKING THE BULLET RIGHT TO HER CHEST!!!!!!!!! Shahrukh cries out and catches her as she falls. The rest of the crowd stares in horror for a moment, then rushes forward as one man (with Varun in the lead), to attack Boman.
Now, I said the last bit was a nice resolution to their love story, with Kajol calling for Kaali, but this bit is even better. Or rather, it shows their way forward now that their love story is complete. Kajol has taken a bullet for him, thereby clearing the slate for trying to kill him earlier. But more importantly, their friends and neighbors, especially Varun, have seen what Shahrukh can become, and they have still taken him, and his loved one, to their hearts, instinctively rushing forward to defend them both.
Anyway, you were worried about Kajol, right? No need! The next cut shows her in a hospital bed, all better! My goodness the doctors in Goa are good! She is wearing, rather than just a white hospital gown, a white sort of peasant blouse thing, loose, but with a little bit of embroidery showing above the blankets at her neck. Shahrukh is wearing another one of his nice white button shirts with the top six buttons undone and hovering protectively at the head of the bed. Varun and Kriti are on the other side, happily smiling at the two of them. Varun tells Kajol “we understand it all now, and we forgive you! You were right, and Bhai was wrong!” Kajol looks a little thrown, so Kriti continues “yes, to make money, he turned into Kaali and became a criminal! And to protect me from his influence in my youth, you gave him up and went away. But that doesn’t matter any more.” And then the two young people kind of smile at each other and leave the room so SRKajol can be alone together.
At first, they just smile at each other, and Shahrukh leans in and kisses her forehead, and she closes her eyes in joy. And then he pulls back and she asks him, “why did you tell them that story? It isn’t what happened.” And he says, yes, he knows, but what good will it do for them to know the truth? After all (drumroll please), IN SUCH A LARGE WORLD, SUCH SMALL THINGS HAPPEN!!!!!!!! And the crowd goes wild! Thank goodness it was subtitled, because the first time I saw it, you couldn’t hear anything over the applause once the first syllable was out. They must have known that would happen, because SRKajol put their foreheads together and chuckle for a second, which feels very real, like the both of them actually can’t believe that he is saying it again after 20 years, but also gives the crowd time to settle before the final word, “Senorita”.
(it was just like this, but with SRKajol instead of Obama)
And, blank screen! The end!
Oop, wait, screen comes alive again, final end credits song! It’s not as good as “The Lungi Dance” (No Yo Yo, No good), but it is pretty fun. “Tukur Tukur”, for which we have all seen the video. If you look at the lyrics closely, it is actually kind of a fourth wall breaking song, along the lines of Farah’s end credits thing. They are acknowledging that this was a silly, fun, movie, and they hope you liked it.
And I hope you liked my summary! Especially this last, extremely long, bit. I was up until 3am last night trying to finish, and I finally had to give up and sleep for a bit before I could come back and end it. But still, a nice way to start the New Year! May your 2016 be filled with much Shahrukh!
Also, now that I am done, I need a new project. Feel free to say in the comments what movie you want me to do next, I am open to anything!