OK...I admit it! I was wrong, Ms. De. Forgive me for doubting your intelligence (Though I'm still surprised that you seriously didn't like Kaminey!). Now to justify my apologies....I loved it. I LOVED IT! So sue me...sure. But not before you read why I loved it so much.
So here goes.
From the moment the first promo of that kick-ass title track came out, I was hooked. I would count days (literally, like people do for the World Cup or their marriage!) anticipating the release of this film. And thankfully, it didn't disappoint.
The movie begins with Veera Kaur (Rani Mukherjee), a sassy yet ordinary girl with big dreams of getting it on in the big bad Man's world of Cricket, knocking the socks off some random arrogant bowler with her six sixes off six balls. She is a cricket crazy gaon ki gori who doubles working at a local theatre company where she is aided by her best pal, Chamkila (Vrajesh Hirjee) who has the hots for their lead dancer played by Rakhi Sawant. However, her real dream is that to play for Pind in 'The Aman Cup' , an annual friendship cricket match organised by long-time friends Vicky (Kher) and Lucky (Tahil) who are now separated by the Indo-Pak Border. While Veera dreams on here, we cut to London and meet Rohan (Shahid Kapoor), Vicky's son and successful Cricket player for some English county. Daddy can't seem to be winning any matches and dupes Rohan into coming to India to make him win. In Punjab, Rohan leads a rigorous training to accumulate India's best players (OK OK Punjab) to create a team in whose vocabulary the word 'defeat' does not exist, or so he says. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to show her prowess yet banned from playing cricket because of being a woman, Veera has to put on a turban and a moustache to become the new opening batsman for the team, Veer Pratap Singh!
The transformation of Veera into Veer is only about half an hour into the run time. The director also manages to establish a background for both leads, as well as the cross-border friendship in the same time quite well. The real fun starts after that...Despite the many locker room gadbads, Rohan loses his heart to desi lass Veera and here we have a bunch of songs and some extremely mushy moments. Sherlyn Chopra's track as the sexy seductress out to woo Rohan is funny in parts, though not completely wasted. And as all cricket movies must end with a gripping and large-scale match, this one does too. Here is where the secret is unraveled and the guy and girl must beat the odds (of the bad score, the so-to-say dhokha and the girl playing cricket) to win the match and each other's hearts. I can't say that the finale match isn't predictable, but very well executed nonetheless and keeps you gripped. However, the movie would've fared better with a more thought out climax (the speech....big snore!).
As a debutante director, kudos to Anurag Singh for a modest first attempt at creating which may be loosely bothered from Hollywood flick She's The Man (2006) (though I never even thought about that for a second) but is Punjabi *ahem ahem* Indian at heart. The cinematography is nicely done making Punjab looking even more beautiful than it is and Veera's batting skills much more believable. Keeping in tradition with most recent Yashraj releases, there is oodles of Punjabi-Hindi dialogue, a tribute to DDLJ (in which Shahid shines) and heavy patriotism. Now, what can be bad about that? The songs are quite average to listen to, barring the title track remix, but surprisingly, seem quite enjoyable while viewing in the movie. Good for Pritam is all I can say... Hirjee and Sawant are a waste with absolutely no role. Though this is not much of a surprise or a disappointment.
Even though the script has its loose ends, the film rides high with some fabulous performances by the lead pair. Rani Mukherjee once again proves why she was, is and will remain the queen of Bollywood and manages to win hearts immediately (We'll leave aside how believable she was as a man...C'mon it's a movie....let's forget it!). Being a comeback vehicle for her, the script provides her with ample opportunity to prove her prowess in almost everything - comedy, drama, dance et al. And she excels in most. Shahid Kapoor gives a sort of an all-rounder performance (get it..cricket..all-rounder...joke). He is cool, calm and restrained in the dramatic scenes...utterly adorable in the romantic scenes (with the best dialogues, mind you) and pretty witty in the comic scenes. All in all, he is extremely spontaneous and looks hot throughout the movie. The chemistry between the lead is immense, and contrary to what is believed, Rani doesn't look older to Shahid at any point of time. Kher and Tahil lend able support.
All in all, Dil Bole Hadippa! is worth a watch for the fairy-tale-of-a-romance, and the never-say-die spirit of Punjab and Yashraj. Catch it once...it's the festive season and it's a fun, frolicking and colourful fare. Don't forget to leave your brains at home...but keep your eyes tucked in carefully...you'll need them when lusting after Shahid Kapoor!
PS. Nothing like a bunch of girlfriends getting together for this movie. You'll be whistling and clapping all the way :)
About the Author: Rhea