Aditya Chopra’s 8 year hiatus has paid off. RNBDJ is a touching innocent tale of 2 very dissimilar people finding love in each other, despite the very obvious odds. Quite like his earlier ventures there’s drama, intrigue, comedy, and romance, with a pace so comfortable it unveils the story without rushing on you.
Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) is a working class hero for Punjab Power, whose life changes when he meets Taani (Anushka Sharma), a bubbly yet mature woman, who sets home with him and his lifestyle. A simple man, Surinder is aware of the gap between them but tries his best to keep her happy. A chance discovery of a dance competition incites excitement in her otherwise monotonous life. What happens next is how he reinvents himself to be the man she can relate and open her heart to.
Set in the Golden Temple city of Amritsar, RNBDJ is more a story on the nuances of relationships than the much hyped dance competition; but that doesn’t rule out lively dance sessions and heavily dramatised songs. The music is rich throughout but thankfully, stops short of being overbearing, with cameos by some leading Bollywood ladies. The screenplay is also not something to complain about. While scenes like those of Sumo wrestling and the final dance sequence are purely dramatic, the Dolly-Tiny motorbike face-off is definitely closer to reality.
RNBDJ focusses mostly on the lead pair, without getting too boring. Debutante Anushka Sharma’s performance as a young wife is praiseworthy. Not only does she carry her role well, she puts grace back into movies, without being syrupy or overly sedate. Vinay Pathak as the bawling flamboyant hairdresser is something to watch out for. But RNBDJ belongs to Shahrukh Khan. His character as Raj is something we’ve seen in earlier movies like Dilwale…, Kal Ho.. et al, but it’s his screen presence as Surinder that truly mesmerises. Right from a scooter-driving employee to a stuttering shy husband, he delivers well. And he does all this without hogging the screentime from his co-stars.