The pre-Christmas week has finally arrived. The best is always reserved for the last and it has been a tradition to have at least one biggie unfurl in the Christmas week, before the curtains fall on the on-going year. 2015 has been an erratic and inconsistent year vis-a-vis box-office returns, with less highs and substantial lows puncturing the spirit of the film fraternity. Nonetheless, there's no harm in hoping that the year would terminate with a big bang. The Hindi film industry is on tenterhooks, craving for a Blockbuster and the extended holiday period [Christmas and New Year celebrations] promises to usher in the much-needed respite, thus ending the dry spell at the ticket counters.
After delivering the monstrous hit CHENNAI EXPRESS, Shah Rukh Khan teams up with the Hit machine -- director Rohit Shetty -- yet again. Also, Kajol, SRK's co-star of several unforgettable films, adds incredible weight to this keenly anticipated project. In addition, several enviable names, on and off screen, lend muscle to the enterprise. The canvas is gigantic as well. It can't get bigger than DILWALE, honestly.
Rohit Shetty is synonymous with audience-friendly movies. Most critics may deplore his work, but the paying public -- the ones who matter ultimately -- reveres his cinema. He promises dollops of entertainment and encompasses just about every ingredient available on the shelf, which the hoi polloi laps up with glee. His movies may not offer ground-breaking stuff, nor do they pick up meritorious awards, but he whips up a storm at the box-office every time he attempts a high-on-entertainment fare. Naturally, one expects DILWALE to surpass SRK-Rohit's previous endeavor by a wide margin.
Come to think of it, DILWALE is similar to CHENNAI EXPRESS in several ways. Rohit Shetty focuses on the love story yet again, while the light moments, high-octane drama and aimed-at-masses dialogue -- the staple ingredients or fodder that contribute to a masalathon -- adorn the goings-on wonderfully. At heart, and true to its title, DILWALE remains a love story, not an assemblage of sequences to win and woo the spectators.
Last word? DILWALE delivers what it promises: Entertainment in enormous doses. Rohit Shetty's latest creation speaks the language that the masses comprehend. It's one formula that can never go out of fashion, if handled smartly. And, don't we know by now, how proficient Rohit Shetty is when it comes to delivering a full-on entertainer in his unmistakable style.
The gist of the story: Raj aka Kaali [Shah Rukh Khan], a don, now leads a changed life in Goa. His world revolves around his brother Veer [Varun Dhawan]. Veer falls in love with Ishita [Kriti Sanon], who happens to be Meera's [Kajol] sister. Raj and Meera's paths had collided in the past and that becomes an obstacle for Veer and Ishita.
First things first! Speculation is rife that DILWALE is an updated/modified version of HUM , but that's not true at all. Most love stories navigate identical paths and DILWALE is no different. Rohit Shetty stresses on vintage stuff [love triumphs against all odds], but he along with screenplay writer Yunus Sajawal narrates it smartly, peppering and garnishing the proceedings with sub-plots that keep you completed captivated, while the dialogue [Farhad-Sajid] act as the icing on the cake. The twists and turns involving SRK and Kajol is clearly the USP of the enterprise. In fact, the two turning points in the love story, both in the first half, will catch the viewer completely unaware.
Sure, DILWALE has its share of blemishes that cannot be overlooked either. The writing stagnates at regular intervals... The villain's track could've been more persuasive... The pre-climax, when things are sorted out between SRK and Kajol, seems convenient... However, these are minor aberrations. For, the plusses easily outweigh and outnumber the minuses here.
The soundtrack [Pritam] gels wonderfully with the genre of the film. 'Gerua', filmed most exquisitely, is a rage already and definitely the pick of the lot. 'Manma Emotion Jaage Re' is another groovy track that has caught on in a big way [the social media is flooded with its Dubsmash versions and that clearly indicates its popularity]. 'Janam Janam' is another soulful composition, while 'Tukur Tukur', which comes at the end credits, is a vintage track that's mandatory in a biggie. The best part is, the songs are appropriately interspersed in the scheme of things. The background score [Amar Mohile] is creditable and in sync with the on-screen situations.
Rohit Shetty's movies are embroidered with some implausible, but incredible stunts. DILWALE has a few action pieces, but the ones featuring SRK are vibrant. Cinematography is top-quality and the DoP [Dudley] makes every frame appear larger-than-life. The panoramic locales of Bulgaria appear truly spectacular.
The principal cast provides the much-needed sheen to Rohit Shetty's vision. For the incalculable fans of SRK and Kajol, it's a treat to watch the celebrated couple after a hiatus [after MY NAME IS KHAN; 2010]. It goes without saying that the duo dominates the proceedings with their effervescent acts. SRK is at his charismatic best in the young avtaar and carries off the angry, middle-aged guy with aplomb. Kajol looks gorgeous and steals your heart with a performance that stays in your memory. Actually, her character is one of the high points of the film and the terrific portrayal takes it notches higher. Besides, the on-screen chemistry is one of the pillars on which DILWALE rests.
Varun Dhawan, the teen heart-throb, is excellent, despite being pitted with some of the best names in the business. The young actor, barely five films old, is credible in light moments and compelling in poignant sequences. Kriti Sanon is camera-friendly and confident to the T.
DILWALE boasts of a commanding supporting cast, but the ones who sparkle include Sanjay Mishra [exceptional], Johny Lever [super], Mukesh Tiwari [first-rate] and Pankaj Tripathi [competent]. Boman Irani does exceedingly well. Vinod Khannna and Kabir Bedi, the two veterans, are just right. Varun Sharma contributes amply to the comic situations. Nawwab Shah is adequate.
On the whole, DILWALE is akin to a mouthwatering meal that satiates the craving of those who relish masalathons, besides being an absolute treat for SRK-Kajol fans. An unadulterated crowd-pleaser, DILWALE delivers what you expect from a Rohit Shetty film: King-sized entertainment. Go for it!