This is halfway through my summary, which means it should be halfway through the movie, but I’m not sure if I lined up right or not. Oh well.
I left off at the weird birthday party for Shilpa’s friend, where they are dancing to some song that I have never heard before, but was apparently huge in India in 1994? And also, remixed a few years ago so I found this video on the internet?
Dancey-dancey, and Charlie Chaplin! Yes, there is an extra who is dressed like a skinny Charlie Chaplin. And he is humorously assuming that Shilpa is flirting with him! But actually, she is flirting with shy glasses-wearing SRK! Who is standing outside the window making faces at her and pretend dancing, but refusing to come in and beckoning her to come out instead. It’s cute!
Not so cute: Shilpa’s dress. It’s almost cute, it’s got a white bodice and big poofy yellow sleeves, which is all good. And then it’s got a layer of white in the skirt followed by a layer of yellow followed by a layer of white followed by a layer of yellow followed by….okay, maybe there aren’t quite that many layers, but it feels like it. Maybe it if was just one big white skirt it would work? Or one big yellow?
Also not working is her friends dress, which is some sort of shapeless black thing and hideous hair. Well, the hair is on top of her head, but it feels like part of the dress, because it is also a shapeless black thing. But the friends brain is at least working, because she is the only one at the party who notices SRK being all cute ‘n stuff in the window, and she sort of smiles indulgently and waves Shilpa off to go hang out with her cute wittle boyfriend.
Now, I didn’t make a note of this conversation, and I don’t remember it in detail, and I refuse to let that dress score my eyeballs again so I’m not double checking! But they are cute together, and I think Shilpa wants him to elope with her because she knows her father will never agree. And Shahrukh is still all “it’s too soon! it’s too soon! Give me time to win over your family’s approval!”
And Johnny Lever!!! He is serving tea to the guy from the phone in his first scene, who is meeting with Kajol and her Dad to talk about getting Shilpa married to his son (Boy, that was a lot of pronouns!). Johnny Lever does something funny that I refuse to describe, and in the middle of the engagement convo, Shilpa shows up. Guy with son does not say “oh my god, I would never bring a daughter-in-law into our family who would wear a dress like that!” Instead, he is charmed. Maybe he has a thing for layers?
Shilpa is upset! Apparently, she had no idea this engagement was in the offing. This family just doesn’t communicate! It’s almost as bad as the families in Bajirao.
Shilpa rushes off to call Shahrukh, who is talking to her in a phone booth somewhere. It is a kind of bland all wood background, which is good, because it serves to highlight his neat little acting turn here. Shilpa pushes for an elopement again, he refuses, she says that it’s no or never because her father is about to get her engaged. And he takes a moment and sort of straightens up and takes a breath, and he stops leaning against the phone stand and instead straightens and faces the camera head on. And his face goes from shy innocent boy to Man Making a Difficult Choice. And he says okay. It kind of reminds me of the scene where Shahid is getting dressed for his wedding in Kaminey. Interesting, since Shahid tended to do a sort of Shahrukh imitation in his earlier movies, but it was more of a silly romantic imitation, not his “real acting” stuff. And then later Shahid matured into where early Shahrukh was, where as Shahrukh went the other way and got broader and lazier as he aged.
(Kind of like this face, but a little more resolved)
Right, so, Shahrukh has made a momentous decision and he reveals it to Shilpa in yet another park meeting. He wants them to be together forever. So does she. He wants them to never be separated. So does she. He wants them to kill themselves. Whoa, whaaaa-aaaaaaat? This is a terrible terrible boyfriend! Like the definition of passive aggressive controlling! I love you too much to tell anyone we are dating! I love you too much to marry you right now! I love you so much that we should both die! Other Shahrukh is also an awful boyfriend, but he is just aggressive-aggressive, what with the trying to steal a kiss and viciously beating up attackers and being super-uper devastatingly confident at the first meeting. I think I actually prefer aggressive-aggressive. Less mind games.
So, they sit down to write their matching suicide notes under the same tree where they met in that first song. It would be romantic, if it wasn’t terrible. They read off their matching notes, alternating lines. And both sign. And then Shahrukh takes her note and says it was all a test! And now they can get married! Because she proved she really loved him by offering to kill herself! Shilpa is thrilled! I would deck him and then make him eat the note and then hit him again. And then break up with him.
But Shilpa goes another way, and then there’s a love song. Once again, we are in the Bombay public gardens, but at night this time. This is a classic Switzerland fantasy song situation, and I love it that we aren’t in Switzerland, but just hanging out around the corner instead! And it is filmed really prettily too, with minimal lighting, in these big glass green houses and pavilions.
And then they are at the marriage bureau, which is closed. For lunch. No worries, they can kill time hanging out on the roof and being all romantic again. Shahrukh walks her over to look at the view. They look out at a remarkably real looking Bombay. I mean, obviously it’s real, but I am so used to the glitzy steel and glass Bombay, that just seeing a concrete and dust and random people walking around in badly fitting clothes feels super real. The look down together, and then Shilpa says she has something for him. “that thing that a husband gives a wife.” At which point, the friend I was watching this with said “she has a d—- in her purse?” Which I wasn’t going to say, but it’s sure what I was thinking!
But no! It’s a super tacky mangalsutra! Big honking locket on it, clunky gold beads, almost no black, it really looks a lot more like the cheesy locket I got for my 8th birthday than a mangalsutra. Perhaps a subtle indication of her lack of maturity? Anyway, Shahrukh seems touched by the gesture. He takes it, and his face kind of breaks for a moment, like he’s just feeling over-whelmed by her love. And then he picks her up and puts her on the edge of the roof, so she is sitting above him. He kneels before her, and picks up her feet, and starts talking. About how sweet she is, and innocent, and precious. And how amazing it is that she trusts him enough to take this leap, to take these little feet in his hands, and let him take her into a new life. She looks down at him all glowing with love and faith in her eyes and HE FLIPS HER FEET UP AND FLINGS HER BACK OVER THE EDGE OF THE ROOF TO TUMBLE DOWN, FLOOR BY FLOOR, FINALLY LANDING AND CRASHING THROUGH THE GLASS AWNING ONTO THE ROOF OF A CAR!!!!! and Shahrukh quietly and quickly turns and walks through the door down to the staircase and away from the roof.
Seconds later, Kajol!!! Wait, this is a big coincidence. Although Karan (dopey crushing on her friend from college who is a cop) is also there, hanging by the body, so maybe he called her? But this is pre-cell phones, how would he have reached her? In the olden days, were people really that good about always knowing how to reach each other? Either way, she’s there, seeing her sister’s mashed up body. It’s actually really well done. A car comes screeching up, and Kajol comes running out, sees the body, screams and starts fighting to get to it, then sort of hunches herself over, like she doesn’t have the strength to stand up straight any more. And Shahrukh manages to catch up with her (he was driving the car but had to run around it to reach her) and sort of catches her and grabs her. They do a good job of full body acting, both of them, unembarressed to be playing out a total emotional collapse. It kind of reminded me of how they both got fully into that angry confrontation scene in Dilwale.
(See? That is full-body angry!)
So, that was sad! And weird! Is killer Shahrukh at all related to Kajol’s Shahrukh? Is the timing even possible, since he pulled up with her so quickly after the body was found (would we say “found”? Or “landed”? “created”? anyway, soon after!). Is it possible that we will have a good Shahrukh/bad Shahrukh confrontation? That would be super cool!
And I will leave you with that mystery, and get back with the next bit (which will not solve it) tomorrow. Or maybe later today. I’m not sure yet. This whole film is very stressful to re-watch in my head.