Dilwale movie review: Shah Rukh and Kajol’s old wine in old bottle is intoxicating!

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s Dilwale hit the screens today, but does the Rohit Shetty film live up to the mark?

Cast:Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Varun Sharma, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever
Direction: Rohit Shetty
Ratings:4 Star Rating: Recommended4 Star Rating: Recommended4 Star Rating: Recommended(3/5)

Maybe it takes a Rohit Shetty to make a Dilwale – tell the same story, with the same twists, and yet make it so heady that you don’t want the film to end. Or maybe it takes a Shah Rukh Khan to do that and not get tired. Nor do his fans, for that matter. Dilwale, of course, is different. Apart from everything usual that a Rohit Shetty film does, Dilwale has Kajol. Touted as the actor’s big comeback, the return of the iconic SRK-Kajol jodi on screen, the film has kept people waiting with bated breath ever since it was first announced. So does Dilwale live up to the mark?

For starters, that ‘mark’ is pretty low, to begin with. One cannot expect a mind-blowing, Inception-esque script from Shetty, but that’s no dampener. The director, along with the ever dependable arms-outstretched version of Shah Rukh Khan, gives the audience the standard fare in Dilwale. With flying cars (not Scorpios, thankfully), the ladies and the laughs, the film scores high on the predictable-yet-enjoyable factor.

Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) lives in Goa with his brother Veer (Varun Dhawan), his sidekicks and friends Shakti (Mukesh Tiwari) and Anwar (Pankaj Tripathi). Veer’s friend Sidhu (Varun Sharma) is by him through all his stints (and stunts). The brothers make a living by modifying expensive cars. ‘Brotherhood above all else’ is the mantra this coterie of men live and function by.

One fine morning, when  Ishita (Kriti Sanon) hitch-hikes her way into Veer’s life, the two fall in love and the inevitable happens. Well, the boy-can’t-marry-girl diktat happens too, but right now, a flashback is what we’re talking about.

The story moves to 15 years ago, to a distant Bulgaria. Raj here is known as Kali, a dreaded Indian gangster who fires bullets at people and flies his cars with scant respect for life or anything else. Enter Meera (Kajol). The sparks fly, the cars fly, the pallus fly and the whistles in the theatre just don’t stop. Shah Rukh and Kajol together, is, after all, something that many have waited for for long.

Soon, Kali and Meera find out that they are the Montagues and Capulets in Shetty’s no-love-lost story. And history, as they say, repeats itself with Veer and Ishita walking the same way.

As far as acting is concerned, Shah Rukh does a damn good job of being Shah Rukh. The eyes water when they need to, the arms go wide open when they have to. He romances Kajol like Raj did Simran in that once-upon-a-time DDLJ, and quite honestly, many people wouldn’t want more from the film.

Kajol’s strong Meera is a delight to watch, albeit something being amiss. Varun does slapstick damn well, but his tears don’t quite make anyone cry – neither does anyone else’s tears in this film achieve that, for that matter. Kriti slips into her role easily but the story doesn’t provide much scope for her. It is a Shah Rukh-Kajol film, through and through. Among the supporting cast, Mukesh Tiwari and Pankaj Tripathi have some good one-liners up their sleeve. Johnny Lever gets the laughs.

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There isn’t much to speak about the story here. Shetty lifts up a done-to-death tale and adds his touch to it. The supporting characters are predictable, the story is, and you can guess the climax even if you’re fast asleep. But the trick with Shah Rukh and Shetty is that they entertain, no matter what. And with SRK and Kajol as pivots here, the old wine is still damn heady.

The cinematography and scenes of Bulgaria are breathtaking. Goa has been captured well. Pritam’s music is humm-able and good on the ears. Gerua and Janam Janam are the songs that stay on in the mind once you’re done with Dilwale.

Dilwale is immensely enjoyable despite an oh-my-god-this-is-so-predictable story. Keep your brains out of the picture, and you have an out-and-out entertainer. Dilwale fits perfectly in the mould of a guilty pleasure. Go indulge!

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