Film Review
Dilwale: Marred by Lifeless Comic Antics
By Rafiq Ebrahim
Winfield, IL


This much-awaited Shahrukh-Kajol starrer surprisingly falls flat on the celluloid; and one wonders what an established film-maker like Rohit Shetty was doing while directing the flick. Dilwale has nothing notable to offer. A poor script, marred by lifeless comic antics, artificial-looking characters, middle-aged romantic pair and too many dons – one, Boman Irani, a comic one – their sons and daughters, is what Dilwale is all about.

The story is about multiple dons – Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Boman Irani and a few more and their sons, Shahrukh Khan and Varun Dhawan; daughters, Kajol and a pretty new girl – all of them making a mess on the screen. Kali (Shahrukh) after indulging in a number of shoot-outs suddenly reforms into an owner of a car garage that repairs cars and also modify them. He loves his brother Varun (who in reality is not his real brother, but that doesn’t make any difference), and caters to his every whim. Varun, meanwhile, falls in love and performs silly comedy to win the girl, who turns out to be Kajol’s younger sister.

Kajol and Shahrukh are separated, the former thinking the latter to be a real enemy as a result of the clash of the dons. Fights and Hollywood type of actions, including car chases and gun fights follow. After fifteen years they meet each other. During all these years Kajol believed that it were Shahrukh and his father who started the fight with her father and his men and killed her father. The misunderstanding is at last cleared; and the movie comes to a welcome end.

As regards the performances, Shahrukh looks impressive only in the scenes in which he has a dark stubble on his face, looking like a matured and kindly person. As a young lover, he fails miserably. He appears as if he has been forced to be romantic. The lipstick on his lips makes him look haggard; his face is in most scenes covered by a cap and hair covering his forehead and dark glasses shielding his eyes. In this film, Shahrukh Khan has given one of his worst performances.

Well, it is time for Kajol to say goodbye to romantic roles. She has almost lost her Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaege magical touch. She stands out only in the sequence which shows her as a true gun-smart daughter of a don, frustrating Shahrukh’s plan of smuggling gold. The Shahrukh-Kajol jori, once outstanding, now seems to be a faded-glory.

All others have done their bit roles in a likeable manner, spoilt when trying to be comic. The musical score is just average, and not even the dance and song number performed by the lead players in a costly location like Iceland appeals.

Rohit Shetty may be a recognized director, but this time he has failed to do any impressive scene from the poor script. If the lifeless comedy was taken out of the film, the result would have been tolerable. That way the director could have focused on whatever positive aspect he could have picked from the script. The only thing that deserves merit is the camera-work and the angles and lenses the photographer has used, particularly in Iceland.

Lamentably Dilwale doesn’t deserve even a star ranking. At the most, because of the presence of Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, let me give it one star.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.