OH MY GOD!!! If you are attracted to Shahrukh Khan, and if you have found him increasingly attractive as he ages, then this movie will KILL YOU. Like, kill you dead. I thought he was distracting in Dear Zindagi, but this is a whole other level. However, I should warn you, if you are not attracted to Shahrukh Khan, or find him less attractive as he ages, you will not enjoy this movie.
This is a really interesting movie. Remove the Shahrukh part of it, and it wouldn’t be. Not “Shahrukh incredibly hot”, although that is what gets your attention, but the performance. I kept picturing this role played by Abhay Deol or Shahid Kapoor, and it would work (especially with Shahid I think), but it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without the 25 years of Shahrukh romantic history onscreen adding weight to what he is doing.
I think I see what they were going for. This is kind of the culmination of the Imtiaz romances-that-aren’t-romances. Because the “romance” part is skipped entirely. Somehow they go straight from first meeting to a kind of unusual deep relationship with no stops along the way.
And it’s also sort of a film-that-isn’t-a-film. There is no real plot, no real dialogue, no real characters. It’s all internal. The changes happen inside of the characters.
The dialogue is the weakest part. At some points it feels like internal dialogue made verbal. “Now I feel this. Now I think this. This is the problem here”. But, being generous, maybe that is on purpose? This movie doesn’t want to mess around with all the fancy parts that other movies have, it wants to get right to the bone of the issue, to just say what it is thinking.
Most importantly, the actors really sell it. Shahrukh is, as I said, brilliant. But Anushka is too! I didn’t even realize how good she was until Evelyn Sharma showed up. Well, Evelyn Sharma and Rana Ranbir (I think? I didn’t recognize him and that’s who The Internet says it is). They are both okay actors, but they struggle with these lines, whereas Anushka and Shahrukh make them feel real.
And the centerpiece of the film is the “Radha” song. I liked the way it sounded and I liked the trailer, but seeing it in context, it is just brilliant. Explains the two characters, and then has them meet in the middle in the amazing moment when they finally sing in harmony.
The songs in general are real highlights. I saw somewhere a complaint that there are too many songs. But I didn’t feel that at all. With this very internal kind of story, the songs are vital to help us understand what is happening, because what is happening is all what they are feeling.
And they are real song! Individual songs with dance moves and planned videos and all of that! And SO MANY!!! There’s like 3 that never even got trailers! It feels like such a throwback to the “olden days” of the 50s-60s when there was a song every 15 minutes, and they were all good. If this is why Pritam knocked out Munna Michael in an afternoon, because he was working on this epic soundtrack, totally worth it!
So, if you are looking for a stripped down romance, in which Shahrukh is SO SEXY that it feels like porn, and a ton of songs with real song sequences, this is the movie for you.
If you are looking for a film with witty dialogue, an interesting plot, lots of fun characters, and just generally a “full” feeling, this is not it.