Saturday, September 19, 2009

DIL BOLE HADIPPA : Family entertainer ;Film Review

Dil Bole Hadippa is interestingly has been released at a time when the sporting world is debating controversial athlete Caster Semenya's gender. This is in no way to suggest that Dil Bole Hadippa is a social commentary on gender bias in cricket. In fact the movie is not even a sports flick. It's a lighthearted Punjabi comedy with bits of romance, cricket, music and some good, Indian values thrown in.
Dil Bole Hadippa opens on a familiar note. In the first 15 minutes we are given a journey down Veer Zara's sarson ke khet, a Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi style gururdwara, a sporty DDLJ style entry for Shahid Kapoor, Chak De India's coaching camp and a Dhoom 2 poster stuck permanently in the background. Apart from this the film is sprinkled with several references to classic Bollywood blockbusters. But most of these are done with heart and genuine love for Hindi cinema – which is why you don't mind them.
The story of Veera Kaur (Rani Mukerji) who disguises herself as Veer for a chance at playing cricket is something of a female version Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Her coach is the England returned Rohan (Shahid Kapoor) whose dream is to resurrect his father's flagging T-20 team. The cricket angle in the film is the backdrop of an Indo-Pak friendship series called Aman Cup. There is also a love story between Shahid and the real Rani, that acts as a filler between all the sporting action.
Most of Dil Bole Hadippa relies on the confidence of the lead pair. Their charming enthusiasm and ability to infuse energy into the erratic screenplay is the movie's biggest trump card. While this is clearly a Rani centric film, Shahid Kapoor doesn't allow himself to get overshadowed. Already basking in the glory of Kaminey, this is Shahid's opportunity to showcase some Bollywood style herogiri. He even does a SRK DDLJ spoof, which is almost like an audition test for future YRF projects.
Rani is brilliant as the over the top Sardar. Some of the best scenes of the movie are between Shahid and the Sardar. As the naughty, small town girl, she does a retake of her Bunty Aur Babli act. Rani also makes subtle references to Madhuri Dixit, someone who did many author-backed entertainers, just like Mukerji. All that flab may have disappeared but Rani's screen presence is solid as ever. She goes through the entire film without shedding a tear, except for the last scene.
Which brings me to the last 30-minutes of Dil Bole Hadippa. While the first half is lengthy, disjointed and slow – things pick up post interval leading to a solid finale. The match choreography is no patch on Lagaan and Chak De India, but the emotions are sound. Rani's surprise shot with bat is a 'wow' moment in the film. Anupam Kher plays a cross between Lalit Modi and the cool DDLJ dad. The item girl duo – Rakhi Sawant and Sherlyn Chopra are used as mere props, purely for cleavage show. The peppy score (especially Disco Wale Khisco) is underutilized and deserved better song placement.
Yet despite its flawed screenplay and cheesy treatment, there is an underlying goodness and innocence to the film. There is no vulgarity and some nice bits on family values and religious harmony. Come on! Cinema need not always be dark and edgy.
Verdict: It's a long weekend ahead. And Dil Bole Hadippa is just the kind of movie you will enjoy with your family. This one is an easy watch.
Rating: 2.5/5

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