Reactions to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

I’ve naturally been following how Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi has done for itself and tried to make out from the responses and its further promotion what sort of film it is, but I’m still confused ;-P
Anyway, despite being released right after the 26/11 attacks, it’s a big hit.
It’s done well in India, but the really spectacular results have been abroad. I guess this is becoming something of a trend with Shahrukh. His results in India no longer seem to be better than other A-list stars (so far in terms of 2008 box-office successes, it sounds like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi has had comparable success to Akshay Kumar starrer Singh is King and Aamir Khan’s just released Ghajini had a bigger opening in India than RNBDJ). SRK is the ruling Indian star abroad, however, and that seems to be what’s keeping him at the top.

As for the actual content of the film - this is where responses get very mixed :] Hollywood clearly liked it - it almost immediately requested the script for their script library. The comments I’ve read on-line have been, er… very diverse ;) There are those who say this is yet another of the YRF-Shahrukh kind of romantic films and that it’s boring cause we’ve seen this a zillion times over. Then there are those who say it’s a fairly formulaic Bollywood romance, but very well done and a lot of fun. And then there are those who say the film is a different kind of romance to what Shahrukh has done before. Which of these I’m supposed to believe I have no idea lol

The plot seems to be a bit easier to make out now than it was when I first wrote about the film. The backdrop of the love story is a dance reality show. If the love story is different than usual then it’s probably because of the main character - Surinder is supposed to be a shy, honest, boring, middle class kind of guy. The cool “alter ego” is called Raj - which is the name that most of Shahrukh’s romantic heroes have had. But we’re clearly supposed to be on Surinder’s side. Raj is, apparently, really obnoxious ;)
In some ways this film almost sounds like a final farewell to “Raj”. Shahrukh hasn’t done a conventional romantic film for four years now (I think the last was Veer-Zaara in 2004), so coming out with a romantic film which says something along the lines of “Raj is not the kind of guy that should be your role model” seems kind of significant. To me it feels like this is going to be his last sugary, romantic kind of film, but we’ll see :) I actually would be happy if it was ;-P Not that I dislike his romantic films or anything, but I think he’s kind of outgrown them and there are much more interesting things to do in Bollywood now.
As for the film, I think whether I enjoy it or not is going to hang on whether I like Surinder as a character. Based on most of the trailers I’ve seen, Surinder has seemed a little too over the top to me - sort of like he’s made into a caricature. And I think that for a film like this to work for me, I need him to be a bit more real. But then one can’t judge this accurately from trailers *shrugs* And actually I did find one recent trailer where Surinder didn’t seem quite that exaggerated, so we’ll see.
They’ve released an over-abundance of promotional materials, but one of my favourite is probably the Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte Making Of clip. It’s the celebrity cameo song in which they pay homage to the Bollywood stars of the 50s, 60s and 70s and it looks like a lot of fun :) (also you get to see Preity fall over which is always nice ;-P)

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