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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Dilwale- Movie Review: Naming a film ‘Dilwale’ doesn’t make it DDLJ!

Dilwale marks the return of the Shahrukh Khan (SRK)-Kajol pairing after a five year hiatus, since My Name is Khan. Plus, this venture co-stars the newbie hotties, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon. Furthermore, this is the second SRK and Rohit Shetty collaboration after the blockbuster Chennai Express. Therefore, it is evident that the expectations are high. So what’s all the fuss about?! Here is my review on the film!

Director: Rohit Shetty

Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Kabir Bedi, Vinod Khanna, Johnny Lever, Varun Sharma, Mukesh Tiwari, Sanjay Mishra and Boman Irani.

Synopsis: Ex-gangster, Raj (SRK) lives in Goa with his younger brother, Veer (Varun Dhawan). When Veer falls in love with Ishita (Kriti Sanon), Raj is forced to face his past love, Meera (Kajol).

What’s Good?  1. Elements of a Rohit Shetty entertainer:  If you like Rohit Shetty’s style of films, then you may find some enjoyment in this one. There are a few genuine laughs. For instance, there was a scene where Mukesh Tiwari is trying to explain SRK and Kajol’s history to the two Varuns (Dhawan and Sharma) by watching various movie/TV clips. This scene was funny. Also, if you have missed the blown up and crashing cars, then your wish is somewhat fulfilled here. But is the movie a laugh riot? Unfortunately, not.

2. SRK-Kajol Jodi reunited and Kriti Sanon is not just a pretty face!


After the much hyped anticipation, we finally get to see golden couple SRK-Kajol , once again. Their chemistry will not disappoint the fans. But does the chemistry create magic like in their previous films? Probably not! At times, it felt like they were re-enacting their moments from My Name Is Khan and DDLJ (to some extent). Nevertheless, Kajol looked beautiful on screen! Also, a special mention to SRK-Varun’s chemistry as brothers was impressive. Apart from that, I would like to talk about Kriti Sanon here. Post Heropanti, Kriti impressed the audience  with her chirpy performance. In this film, Kriti maintains her presence despite being overshadowed by the bigger actors. I would love to see more from her!

What’s bad?

3. The loud, OTT performances!

dilwale-still-srk-varun-dhawan-kriti-sanon-740x478YES! It’s a Rohit Shetty movie. Yes, it’s a comedy film. But seriously, the performances do not need to be over the top. If one watches classic slapstick movies, the actors were not over the top with their acting and nor were they loud. Here, almost every actor overacts… SO let’s take a look in more detail. Varun Dhawan impressed with his dark performance in Badlapur. In Dilwale, he takes the ‘Main tera Hero’ style performance too far. At times his squeaky voice and overacting becomes irritating to watch. Similar for Varun Sharma, who impressed us in Fukrey and Dolly Ki Doli. Here, his OTT acting also becomes irritating. Johnny Lever as Mr Almeida (Kuch Kuch Hota Hai character name!) was his usual. We have seen better from Johnny sir! Sanjay Mishra and Mukesh Tiwari were good. They seemed to be the only ones who were not hamming. Kabir Bedi and Vinod Khanna did well in their brief roles as the fathers of Kajol and SRK. But again, we have seen better. Boman Irani essays the comical villain, King. I felt that he was  wasted in this film. The character was pointless and did not really enhance the plot in any way. We know Boman sir is a brilliant actor and therefore deserves a better role!

4. Holes in direction/story:

For a Dilwale style of film it really is necessary for one to ‘leave their brains at home.’ But seriously, there has to be some logic to the story! For example, there was a scene where the two notorious gangster fathers shoot each other in Bulgaria. Strangely, there was no inquiry by Interpol nor was there an intervention by the police…. HELLO?! Did someone forget to call 911 or something?! Also, the direction is flawed. For instance, there was a scene where Kajol’s car brakes down and SRK repairs it. After this, he gives back her car keys when she never gave it in the first place! Come on Rohit, you can do better than this!

5. The mediocre soundtrack:


Pritam has had a decent year with composing successful albums such as Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Phantom. But the soundtrack for Dilwale is adequate. Apart from Janam Janam, Gerua and Manma emotion, the rest of the other tunes are forgettable. This is NOT the best album by Pritam.

On the whole, excluding Varun and Kriti’s pairing, there is nothing new in Dilwale. Indeed it marks the comeback of the SRK-Kajol pairing, but that ‘DDLJ’ magic lacks majorly. Furthermore, the film lacks the Rohit Shetty’s quintessential laugh out loud humour. As such, the lukewarm music does not help the film either. I would not recommend the film particularly, but if you are a die hard SRK-Kajol and Rohit Shetty fan, then this one might be for you. But overall, it’s a dud venture!

fjp   (2/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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