It's very rare for another actor to steal the thunder right from under Shahrukh Khan's nose. Even though the script is the winner here, newcomer Anushka Sharma walks off with an applause-worthy performance. It's difficult to believe that this is her debut. RAB NE BANA DI JODI will be spoken more for the spunk in her performance than for SRK's dual role. Knowingly or unknowingly, SRK is supporting Anushka!
Right from the first frame, until the last, Anushka captures the screen and keeps her character alive with effortless ease. She portrays a gamut of emotions with the grace of a seasoned pro. Here is a natural beauty with an impish grin and an infectious screen presence. A crazy dancer, too. A star is born.
With her performance, she has thrown her hat in the ring for a plethora of awards. Best Actress, Best Debut, Fresh Face of the Year... This film too, will be a top contender for the Best Film Of The Year Award along with JODHA AKBAR, JAANE TU... and ROCK ON. Of course, GHAJNI is still to hit the cinemas.
For a newcomer, Anushka has handled well the pressures of standing up to one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. She matches SRK scene for scene. So powerful is her presence and performance, that SRK at most times, pales in the shadows. This, in no way means that SRK has under-performed. Keeping his character in mind, he has stayed 'within', playing perfectly to the script and the direction of Aditya Chopra. To his credit, it must be said that it's a brave decision to have played the character he played because the role of Anushka has turned out to be the central point on which the film rotates. And this would not have missed the sharp eyes of SRK at the post-production stage.
The movie plays within itself and the concept that some relationships we choose, while others are ordained by God. This is exactly the story of Surinder Sahni (SRK) and Tanni (Anushka). By a twist of fate, they are married off. While Surinder loves her deeply, Tanni cannot bring herself to love her husband and she also makes this fact clear to him. She marries Surinder because her father asks her to on his deathbed after suffering from a massive heart attack because her husband-to-be and the entire marriage party are killed in an accident.
He is a simpleton working in a government office while she is, or rather was, just the opposite. She expresses her desire to take part in a dance competition. Surinder encourages her and also hits upon an idea of going in for an image change (for fear of being recognised by her) to take a closer look at her during her dance rehearsals. What was meant to be a one-time makeover goes on until the end. So who wins in the end, Surinder, or Raj, the makeover persona?
This movie is loaded with the right dose of emotions, action, lighter moments and 'masala' scenes. In one song, SRK does an ode to Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. He is accompanied by Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee. A clean take on the yesteryear stars, without fear of lawsuits. Remember Manoj Kumar and OSO?
On the flip side, I fail to understand why every film from the Yash Raj banner needs to have references from their past hits... or flops.
Anushka, once again, take a bow. Aditya Chopra, you too. This one is an ordinary love story told in an extraordinary manner. In the current scenario where everyone's emotions have taken a beating, this film is sure to lift up your spirits.