When was the last time you had a woman lead from the front in a big banner film? Fashion, toplining Priyanka Chopra and earlier Aaja Nachle with Madhuri Dixit come to mind. While the former proved to be a turnaround of sorts for Chopra’s sluggish career, the latter turned out to be a still-born.
Aaja Nachle was a Yash Raj film, which was touted to be a comeback of sorts for Madhuri. Dil Bole Hadippa, yet another Yash Raj film, has been generating headlines for being Rani Mukerjee’s ‘relaunch’ vehicle.
We know by now what Dil Bole Hadippa is all about. There are no surprises, no thrills or twists in this film about a girl dressing up as a boy to be able to play cricket. Dil Bole… tries to be a lot of things – a bit of Chak De India (when Shahid greets his team on day one, it brings a strong sense of déjà vu), Lagaan, a typical romcom about an angrez guy meeting desi girl in mustard fields, of Indo-Pak bhaichara, women’s emancipation (yeah there’s Sunita Williams, Indira Gandhi and Jai Mata di thrown in as well). Unfortunately, it ends up being none of the above. DBH, speaks in a confused, and at times surprisingly silly dialect.
In fact, the screenplay, plot and direction fail to support Rani’s vivacity on screen. Over and over and over again. There are some delightful moments no doubt. Whenever a bearded Rani takes to the pitch, there are laughs galore in the auditorium. You wish you saw more of her in this avtar.
Problem with DBH is, it is predictable, dated as a concept and unconvincing. Especially when you gawk at an uber-glamorous Rani, in her French manicures and blow-dried hair, fixing a truck in the middle of nowhere, or in her designer little red dress and stilettos, meeting Shahid for a date in a village dhaba. Or for that matter hitting a string of sixers with a broken arm, in face of the toughest Pakistani opposition.
Rani tries, real hard to carry an amateurish attempt on her petite shoulders. And maybe, all fans of the star should watch the film just to laud her effort. Because there is hardly anything else.
Shahid Kapoor has little else to say other than “shut up” and has a permanent scowl in his face. The rest of the ensemble cast has precious little to do as well. Sherlyn Chopra, the self-styled internet download queen, shows why she should just remain a wallpaper on your computer screen. And Rakhi Sawant proudly shows off her belly roll.
Verdict: The million dollar question is, should you watch this film? Well, Dil Bole Hadippa does have its moments to be honest. Pity they are too few and easily forgotten. Rani’s fresh new look, her incredible comic timing and hard work deserved a better platform.
By Chandrima Pal