Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mere Brother ki Dulhan - review

'Abandon all logic ye who enter here' - this should be put up at the multiplex gates me thinks. It's a sign of the times that I go to watch movies these days with remarkably low expectations. Its the only way that one can still hope to be pleasantly surprised and get some value for money. Mere Brother ki Dulhan (MBKD) is a mindless, somewhat hypocritical romp through Delhi, Agra in the company of some beautiful people.

The story starts with Luv (Ali Zafar) breaking up with his girlfriend in London. Somewhat to my mystification, he then proceeds to tell his brother Kush (Imran Khan) in India to find a girl for him since he plans to get married very soon. Kush soon realises this is not so simple when he meets several psychotic families with eligible daughters. Finally he chances upon Dimple (Katrina Kaif) who he recalls as a wild child he had known briefly in college. He is impressed by her free-spirited ways, she manages to convince him that she is now suitably ready for an arranged marriage with a London based, good-looking, pound rich man like his brother. While both families get ready with marriage preparations and before Luv can set foot in India, Kush and Dimple have hit it off. From thereon its a short step to finally accepting that they love each other and devising plot after plot to cut out Luv and get hitched to Kush.

The USP of the film are of course its fresh-faced actors. Katrina has made a career out of just looking super pretty. Here, to give her due credit she does give her all to a characterization quite removed from the plastic doll act she is so comfortable with. Imran Khan is cute and insipid as always. It is frankly amazing to see how even Ali Zafar or Katrina have more screen impact than him. See the "Madhubala" song and you will know what I mean. Imran is much better than his Jaane tu... days where only his eyebrows did all the acting. But he is still a long way from being a dashing leading man. Ali Zafar is promising but his acting also seemed to be on a different key - sort of felt as though he was about to spout some romantic Urdu poetry any minute.

The part that gets me irritated if I stop to think about it, is the sheer hypocrisy of the characters. Dimple, a bohemian chick who has even been arrested for holding concerts near the Taj Mahal, is deeply Westernised in her behaviour, admits unabashedly that she is okay with an arranged marriage with a 'package' deal. She interacts with her prospective husband only about once over the web before agreeing. And this way she makes her parents happy and secures her future. The respective sets of parents are from the IFS and from the Army. They are shown to be almost moronically outdated in the way they keep worrying about "badnaami" in the community. The movie is pathetic in its attempt to be modern (with a heroine who gets drunk and loves trouble for the sake of it) and at the same time struggling to depict its essential Indianness (arranged marriage, log kya kahenge syndrome). This is a fine balance not easily achieved. It is inspired by the DDLJ's and Jab we Met's of the world to which almost all movies make a passing nod. In fact I am quite tired of seeing faintly outrageous bubbly heroines in the manner of Geet - Tanu Weds Manu or MBKD, its all a takeoff on Kareena.

Which brings me to the thought of how different the movie would have felt if it had a Kareena, a Shah Rukh, even a Ranbir. Still one must accept what one gets and enjoy the pretty faces and fairly good catchy music. Ignore half-baked plots, uneven acting and mediocre direction. Timepass for the weekend.


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