Yaaaaay, it is finally here! Released late, which means only an hour before I woke up. I am sure Shahrukh was holding it as long as possible in order to make life easier for me.
As of this moment, there are no subtitles. But the usual practice is it comes out without subtitles, and they get added within a few hours. So all of my questions and guesses might be out of date by the time you are reading this. Forgive me!
So, what I’ve got (without a firm grasp of Hindi) is that Shahrukh is a cocky confident fast talking Little Person who lives in India. He finds a photo of Anushka and decides she is the woman he wants to marry. Learns she has cerebral palsy and it doesn’t stop him. She at first is surprised and a little amused by him but then is won over by his sincere wooing and romance.
And then Kat enters the picture. Gorgeous troubled movie star who (seemingly) picks up Shahrukh as an amusing experience. Shahrukh goes off with her, until she kicks him out. And then he decides he will go to the moon and bring back a piece to prove his love, while both women are crying in what look like wedding gowns.
So, two things that are unclear. What exactly is the process by which Shahrukh goes from working towards marriage with Anushka to sleeping with Kat?
And at the end of the film, which of the crying women is he going to try to win over?
Just from the amount of time each has in the trailer, I think we can assume Anushka is the end game. Kat looks likely to be more of an extended cameo, like Aish in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. And I would like to assume that Shahrukh ends up with Kat after he and Anushka have had a fight, or in some other way broken up and he is down and out.
But, it’s Aanand L Rai. Love him as a producer, hate him as a director. He really enjoys having flawed selfish nasty heroes, Manu who is willing to marry a woman who hates him and then falls in love again and breaks the heart of his new love plus gets back his wife without any effort. And Dhanush in Raanjhana? GAH! I don’t want that as a hero!
I don’t disapprove on principle, I think Rai is trying to break through the fantasy of the perfect hero and show us the reality. It would be nice if his heroines didn’t end up in love with them after all, but I can still grasp the idea of love twisting you and making you do terrible things. I just don’t enjoy watching those stories.
So my biggest fear is that this is the story of Shahrukh in love with Anushka, and then dumping her because he is tempted by the fantasy of Katrina, realizing his mistake and going back to Anushka and being forgiven. I can see a perfect logical story built out of that, the man with dwarfism who has fought against feelings of inferiority his whole life, who has blocked out his disappointment that the woman he loves has a less than perfect body, and then it all comes rushing out when he is offered the perfect woman, the one he never dared to dream of. And of course she will turn out to be less perfect than Anushka on the inside, and he will realize his mistake, and blah blah blah. But I will be sitting there with a nasty taste in my mouth because Anushka deserves better. Just like Kangana (both Kanganas) did and Sonam Kapoor.
But, again, I don’t know what they are saying!!!!!!! So maybe I am completely misinterpreting the whole thing.
Oh, and here’s what I like. Sheeba Chaddha as Shahrukh’s mother (?), that I am pumped for. Shahrukh doing his usual big romantic gestures, but in a Little Person’s body and for a woman in a wheelchair, that is interesting and I like it, because romance can come to anybody. The CGI, really not bad. I am sure if I went through frame by frame I could spot rough patches and so on, abut there was nothing that really leaped out and hit me in the face. Katrina, her performance (what we see of it) is wonderful! I think they may have perfectly cast her for this role. And the Anushka and Shahrukh chemistry is still there too.