Very short review: Very funny movie, excellent performances (particularly Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif), and, as usual, the more interesting story, the woman’s story, is on the sidelines. Additionally, the music was enjoyable, and the movie was beautifully shot.

Although Shahrukh Khan’s character is supposed to be 38/39 and at this point, it’s just like, “yeah, okay buddy.” I’m not sure what’s worse, ignoring his age completely or commenting on it.

The latter half of the movie takes place in the US, and it’s always informative to see how other countries view us. Packs of feral children, groups of sex workers, blonde hair, guns. In India, we see guns shot off for a happy wedding celebration. In the US, we see guns strapped to men in fatigues, ever present guards and security.

SRK plays Bauua, a man child (somewhat literally; a main plot point is his height) who wants to get married/have a relationship yet after connecting with Aafia (Sharma), he cruelly leaves her at the altar. The movie is his journey to becoming a better man, yadda yadda. Aafia is a brilliant scientist with cerebral palsy who eventually develops a way for people to travel to Mars. Her story is the one I want to follow, but I guess that’s a complaint I’m just going to have about all movies forever.

Kaif plays Babita, a famous movie star with whom Bauua is infatuated. The character is fun, going through a grueling break up, but is still a fairly typical “sleazy side of movie stardom” role.

Babita and Aafia know of each other, but never meet, and I’m pretty sure the movie fails the Bechdel Test (or if it passes, just by a hair). However, it’s exciting to see two really interesting, rounded female characters. Aafia is intelligent, funny, willing to take risks, strong-willed, realistic, sexual. Her disability is an important part of the plot, but she isn’t meant to just inspire other people, some sort of magic talisman. She’s a person. Babita is handling her break up poorly, a wreck. She almost comes across as a MPDG, but she grows and learns from Bauua, she doesn’t only help him.

The movie feels like a new kind of masala film, and one I’m all for: romance, love triangle, dance competition, road trip, family drama, magic, sci fi. More of this, please.

 

Posted by Natasha

Natasha received her MA in Literature and Culture in 2008 from Oregon State University. Currently she lives in Oregon with her husband and cats.

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