There is only one reason why this hideous satire gone awry can be tolerated for a bit. Sushmita Sen playing the broadly satirical hugely self-important chic but self deluding shimmer just…simmers on screen!
Dazzling in spite of her fluctuating weight, in-sync with her character in spite of a script that doesn’t seem to know its mind, and utterly oblivious of the bustling mess that first-time director Mudassar Aziz has created, Sushmita just has so much fun with her character.
Sadly no component in the plot supports Sushmita’s unique ability to create a woman who is simultaneously sexy and cerebral. How the hell did Mudassar Aziz think he could pass off this exotic but idiotic echo of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1969’s Pyar Ka Sapna as a contemporary take on commitment-phobia in times of serious pubbing?
There are some interesting sporadically-touching moments in the mish-mash of chaotic comic timing and misguided social message. Watch Sushmita in that moment when all her cynicism about the validity of the sweet innocent village girl from Amritsar dissolves in fleeting close-up. That moment is worth more than the entire film.
Dulha Mil Gaya seems to endorse garishness in place of glamour, hedonism rather than a high-life and a ceaseless stream of awkwardly-written jumble of scenes that would probably be rejected in a halfway decent American sitcom on the haughty heiress and the incorrigible playboy.
Ms Sen is every inch the haughty heiress. But how much of the rest of the cast ranging from the teakwood Fardeen Khan to the over-the-top Howard Rosamayer (playing the whiny effeminate ‘man’ Friday) can she control?
One expects the screen to light up when ‘guest’ star Shah Rukh Khan turns up in the second-half. Tragically the anarchic humour of the second-half dips to all all-time low, leading to a manufactured, fractured climax that even the most diehard romantic would find hard to stay awake for.
Yes, the first-half has its interesting interludes. Shimmer’s first encounter on flight with Samarpreet (Ishita Sharma) the poor lost bride looking for her playboy husband in Trinidad, crackles because of Ms Sen’s patronizing preening. No one can do the la-di-dah benign bitch’s act better. The way Shimmer takes the bereft Samarpreet under her wings, could have been done with more restrain and panache.
The gaudy interiors (what was the art director Leela Chanda thinking?) just don’t match with the natural scenic splendour of the Trinidadian outdoors. Artificiality is the middle-name for this wacky wedding on speed.
Most of the time we get the feeling that the crew of this film went to Trinidad to party with noisy music for company. Someone forgot to carry the script for this corny Caribbean cruise. Debutant director Mudassar Aziz seems to have shot the excruciatingly screechy film remembering the scenes by heart, though we don’t much heart in any of this auto-pilot parody.
Largely unbearable even for the diehard Sushmita Sen fans.