This is not an insult to all the many many Hindi film comedy classics that are not on this list! It is just an acknowledgement that humor is a really hard thing to translate, there’s social humor and language humor and all kinds of things that just don’t cross over. But, in my experience, these films for whatever reason do translate well.
I was just re-reading my SPOILERS review for Raabta and I realized I missed a big point, so I am going back to add a footnote. When Jim Sardh walks home with Kriti and it starts to rain, they start to sing a song to each other. And it was such an interesting choice, I just have to talk about it.
So, I am of course obsessed with Dilwale. The image above was my computer wallpaper for months, until I finally replaced it with this:
Anyway, after months of anticipation, we finally have 3 and a half trailers! And I have many, many thoughts.
First, this one, the full length trailer:
So, along with this trailer release, there were a bunch of tidbits from interviews, and the one I grabbed onto the most was a hint that it might possibly be a plot similar to Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (full movie available on indiancine.ma).
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (If It Goes, Call It a Car!), if you haven’t seen it, is a total delight! Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, and Anoop Kumar, brothers in real life, play brothers onscreen. And Madhubala plays a sexy funny happy rich girl. Bonus: it also makes you feel better about Madhubala’s real life romantic tragedies, her failed love affair and broken heart with Dilip Kumar, and then rebound marriage with Kishore. With Dilip, onscreen, she is always “oh, poor me, my tragic love that can never be!” With Kishore, she is all “this is great! I am sexy and confident and flirty!” And if that is the effect the two men had on her in real life as well, then I am glad she went with the drama-less but fun and funny choice!
Anyway, the 3 brother characters own a garage, the two younger brothers fall for Madhubala and her best friend, but their big brother hates women and romance and doesn’t want them to get married. So they investigate and find out that years earlier, big brother’s heart was broken, which is when he turned anti-romance. So they track down the woman who broke his heart, it was all a misunderstanding, she still loves him too, and it ends with happiness all round for all 3 couples. And also, there is some plot about crooks after Madhubala’s inheritance or something, but it’s not important.
So, Dilwale, based on the first trailer and the Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi comments, is possibly taking the brothers-running-a-garage, older-brother-against-romance-because-of-past-romance, and younger-brother-tracks-down-lost-love plots and running with them. I am pumped! Young-hair Shahrukh falls in love with Kajol and is also some kind of action hero! She betrays him in some way, and then years later hot-bearded-Shahrukh meets her again! A romance track in two time periods! Plus, he is a bossy and protective older brother, which is just super sexy! And Varun is there too, being nice and funny. It’s all good!
Then, trailer 2, which I have to admit, was a HUGE disappointment to me:
It just, somehow, doesn’t feel like they are connecting, or something? The director, I think, said in an interview that it is all meant to be a metaphor for how the characters are separated from each other, and I am sure that is all very nice, but I want to see the SRKajol chemistry! Plus, I don’t like Shahrukh’s voice for this. At least, I don’t like him as Shahrukh’s voice. The same singer apparently sang “Tum Hi Ho” from Aashiqui 2, which I love, but his voice is somehow too rough for what I think of as Shahrukh’s sound. And everyone seems very stiff and uncomfortable the whole time. Although Iceland looks gorgeous!
Thankfully, skipping ahead, trailer 3.5 explains some of this:
First, HOW CUTE ARE THEY!?!?! I loved that opening intro bit, I love when he puts a coat around her between shots, I love them practicing the dance moves together, I love it all! Why couldn’t there be more of that cute interaction in the actual song?
Second, no wonder they were so stiff! They were literally freezing! Did you catch that they talked about how they couldn’t even lipsynch at one point because their lips were freezing together? Yes, the image of the big floaty sari against barren land is beautiful, but I would have been fine with sweaters and coats if it would have led to looser movements and better lipsynching.
I am ashamed to say it, but with all the problems with “Gerua”, I think I actually like trailer 3 with the young people better than the SRKajol Epic Love Song.
It just seems fun! And young and silly and catchy. Plus, I think they are doing a nice update of some traditional song ideas in a modern setting. Kind of like “Halla Re” from Neal ‘n Nikki (which was a really odd movie, but “Halla Re” is still good!). In that one, the lyrics literally say “I’m not a traditional girl, I don’t have a bindiya or anklets or any of the usual Indian feminine trappings, but I am still waiting for a boy to love and a boy to love me.” Anyway, this feels kind of the same.
They are wearing modern clothes, it’s a sort of hip-hop beat, they use autotune, but they are expressing very traditional feelings. It’s all metaphors about the heart, she even calls him her “Typical desi lover.” Compare this with, for instance, Varun’s song from Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania “Lucky Tu, Lucky Me.” I mean, even the title of the song (which is also the chorus), is about having sex! That’s not even subtle! The title of the movie itself isn’t all that subtle either. So it’s kind of refreshing to have a modern and catchy tune combined with some good old-fashioned Indian values.
Which brings us to Kirti’s pants. Sure, you may call them insane psuedo-Beider jeans. But I say they are actually a brilliant symbol of the new India! Salwar pants made of denim, a perfect example of the global being made local. Plus, they look super comfortable. If perhaps a little warm for Goa (that’s where this was filmed, right? It looks Goa-esque)