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Review: ‘Dilwale’ watch only if you’re a SRK fan

Plot: SRK is Kali in Bulgaria and Raj in Goa; Kajol is Meera in Bulgaria and Mata Hari otherwise. They hate the fact that they love each other so much…

Dilwale may prove to be an effortless entertainer for those who go without any expectations from it. The film never promised to be a cerebral pleaser hence, if you go with the flow, you may even enjoy it. It shifts gears between action, romance and comedy.

Such a hyped film needs more than best cinematic minds to please the fans, and that is where Dilwale scores. It is a perfect concoction of romance, action and comedy that Hindi film viewers generally look forward to. Even though it does not have the engaging storyline of Om Shanti Om, it is just about as, or even more entertaining, than Happy New Year.

The romance of SRK-Kajol after a wait for 5 years is like another chance at reigniting your unrequited love story. Dilwale is out there to sell only for its lead pair – Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol – who still have enough merit to make you feel giddy. We have no idea how they manage it each and every time, better than ever before, but they stand true to the tag of silver screen’s last, most enigmatic on screen jodi. The actors are still earnest, putting their best foot forward but we wish the duo had returned in a film that deserved them. Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale brandishes its lack of brains and has absolutely no shame in admitting its low-IQ humour and underwhelming plot.

Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) along with his younger brother Vir (Varun Dhawan) runs a car modifier shop. But Raj has a troubled past which has left him heartbroken (he carries a bruise near his heart, literally) and wary of women. Blame it on Meera (Kajol). We won’t spoil it further for readers – although there are absolutely no surprises there – except that there are two warring Indian gangster families in Bulgaria and Raj, whose real name is Kali, and Meera after a five-minute date and some romancing to “Gerua”, can’t stand the sight of each other. Fifteen years later, having aged little – wait Shah Rukh does have a beard – and still single, circumstances bring them together again. The circumstances being the two young lovebirds in Vir and Ishita (Kriti Sanon).

Funnily, even with a pretty big budget, Dilwale doesn’t look like a polished product — possibly its worst offence. The song ‘Gerua’, shot in gorgeous Icelandic locales, looks like SRK and Kajol doing their thing against Windows 98 wallpapers.

Moreover, it’s just really difficult to wade through all the inanity beyond a certain point. While never as cringe-worthy as ‘Chennai Express’ at its worst, Dilwale is chock-full of the usual things Shetty thinks are funny: sound effects for comic effect, mildly homophobic jokes, and sexism so casual that you could wear it to work on Fridays.

The presence of Johnny Lever as mandatory comic relief is always welcome, never mind that he’s only occasionally amusing here. Khan hasn’t acted well or anything, but at least he’s a little more restrained here than usual. Kajol gets to play a role with more grey shades in it than she usually does opposite Khan and, hell, it’s kinda nice to see her again.

It’s a good thing Rohit hands us a disclaimer about his style of moviemaking, allowing the non-fans to step away, but for the others, it would be crucial to carry along earplugs because you just can’t do, watch only if you’re a Shah Rukh Khan fan or have no other option for this week.

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