Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dil Bole Hadippa

Rating : 4/10
Release Date : 18th Sep, 2009
Time : 148 minutes
Director : Anurag Singh; Writer : Jaya - Aparajita; Music : Pritam
Starring : Rani Mukherjee, Shahid Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Dilip Tahil, Rakhi Sawant, Sherlyn Chopra, Vrajesh Hirjee

This is a film that invokes different religions, the whole India-Pakistan rivalry & peace / love / brotherhood angle, our new de facto and most unifying religion called cricket and that too in its latest avatar, the twenty 20 format. It touches upon a father – son separation and re-unification, a husband wife separation and unification, the whole NRI identity crisis coupled with the ‘I am from the Punjab’ son of soil sentiments. And finally, the mother of them all (pun intended), it takes up cudgels on behalf of feminism. And yet, despite all of the above, it fails to really connect with the audience.

It’s the story of a woman, Veera, who works in a nautanki company and dreams of playing cricket. She’s so good that she can hit a Ranji level bowler for six sixes in an over. Yet, alas, she has no avenue to display her talents as her village obviously has no women cricket team. Enter Aman Cup – a cricket match held every year between two teams, one Indian and one Pakistani – which are put together by two childhood friends who were separated by partition and now one resides in Lahore (Dilip Tahil) and the other in Amritsar (Anupam Kher). For the last 8 years though, this has been won by Pakistan. So, Anupam now decides to bring in the heavy artillery, his son (Shahid), who is the toast of the English county circuit and a reluctant returnee back to India, who will win him his cup.

Many, many twists and sub-plots later, which includes Shahid asking along with the audience ‘Are we there yet ?’, the movie reaches its predictable end. The last couple of twists were actually the most laughable and cringeworthy.

I found the film laborious and torturous. The plot was weak – as would any plot be which tries to touch upon so many topics. It alternates between downright laughable (unintentionally though) to painfully trite and shallow in parts. The characters are equally shallow and cardboardish – I was going to say ‘wooden’ but that implies a sort of strength of sorts.

The vibrant colours of Punjab are about the only saving grace here. Maybe one or two songs if you’re into this kind of thing. I think Rani’s days of lead roles which require her to be peppy, youthful and vibrant are over. The days of Hum Tum and Bunty aur Bubli being a long forgotten bubbly memory. Probably slightly more mature roles are in order. Shahid looked ill at ease but is still ok overall. The key culprit though, is the plot…hackneyed, over emotive, complicated and predictable. After the film the heart does say Hadippa…but its more out of thanks to the Lord that its over more than anything else….


Anonymous said...

Well written. Chopra clan should try out a new recipe now. For a change.

Ardra Balachandran said...

Two extremely bad things the movie:

It is very very predictable.

It is a khichdi of many YRF movies.

But I thought Rani as Veer was darn cute! And very believable.