Dilwale Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

Dilwale Rating: 4/5

The pre-Christmas week has finally arrived. The best is always reserved for the last and it has been a tradition to have at least one biggie unfurl in the Christmas week, before the curtains fall on the on-going year. 2015 has been an erratic and inconsistent year vis-a-vis box-office returns, with less highs and substantial lows puncturing the spirit of the film fraternity. Nonetheless, there’s no harm in hoping that the year would terminate with a big bang. The Hindi film industry is on tenterhooks, craving for a Blockbuster and the extended holiday period [Christmas and New Year celebrations] promises to usher in the much-needed respite, thus ending the dry spell at the ticket counters.

After delivering the monstrous hit CHENNAI EXPRESS, Shah Rukh Khan teams up with the Hit machine — director Rohit Shetty — yet again. Also, Kajol, SRK’s co-star of several unforgettable films, adds incredible weight to this keenly anticipated project. In addition, several enviable names, on and off screen, lend muscle to the enterprise. The canvas is gigantic as well. It can’t get bigger than DILWALE, honestly.

Rohit Shetty is synonymous with audience-friendly movies. Most critics may deplore his work, but the paying public — the ones who matter ultimately — reveres his cinema. He promises dollops of entertainment and encompasses just about every ingredient available on the shelf, which the hoi polloi laps up with glee. His movies may not offer ground-breaking stuff, nor do they pick up meritorious awards, but he whips up a storm at the box-office every time he attempts a high-on-entertainment fare. Naturally, one expects DILWALE to surpass SRK-Rohit’s previous endeavor by a wide margin.

Come to think of it, DILWALE is similar to CHENNAI EXPRESS in several ways. Rohit Shetty focuses on the love story yet again, while the light moments, high-octane drama and aimed-at-masses dialogue — the staple ingredients or fodder that contribute to a masalathon — adorn the goings-on wonderfully. At heart, and true to its title, DILWALE remains a love story, not an assemblage of sequences to win and woo the spectators.

Last word? DILWALE delivers what it promises: Entertainment in enormous doses. Rohit Shetty’s latest creation speaks the language that the masses comprehend. It’s one formula that can never go out of fashion, if handled smartly. And, don’t we know by now, how proficient Rohit Shetty is when it comes to delivering a full-on entertainer in his unmistakable style.

The gist of the story: Raj aka Kaali [Shah Rukh Khan], a don, now leads a changed life in Goa. His world revolves around his brother Veer [Varun Dhawan]. Veer falls in love with Ishita [Kriti Sanon], who happens to be Meera’s [Kajol] sister. Raj and Meera’s paths had collided in the past and that becomes an obstacle for Veer and Ishita.

First things first! Speculation is rife that DILWALE is an updated/modified version of HUM [1991], but that’s not true at all. Most love stories navigate identical paths and DILWALE is no different. Rohit Shetty stresses on vintage stuff [love triumphs against all odds], but he along with screenplay writer Yunus Sajawal narrates it smartly, peppering and garnishing the proceedings with sub-plots that keep you completed captivated, while the dialogue [Farhad-Sajid] act as the icing on the cake. The twists and turns involving SRK and Kajol is clearly the USP of the enterprise. In fact, the two turning points in the love story, both in the first half, will catch the viewer completely unaware.

Sure, DILWALE has its share of blemishes that cannot be overlooked either. The writing stagnates at regular intervals… The villain’s track could’ve been more persuasive… The pre-climax, when things are sorted out between SRK and Kajol, seems convenient… However, these are minor aberrations. For, the plusses easily outweigh and outnumber the minuses here.

The soundtrack [Pritam] gels wonderfully with the genre of the film. ‘Gerua’, filmed most exquisitely, is a rage already and definitely the pick of the lot. ‘Manma Emotion Jaage Re’ is another groovy track that has caught on in a big way [the social media is flooded with its Dubsmash versions and that clearly indicates its popularity]. ‘Janam Janam’ is another soulful composition, while ‘Tukur Tukur’, which comes at the end credits, is a vintage track that’s mandatory in a biggie. The best part is, the songs are appropriately interspersed in the scheme of things. The background score [Amar Mohile] is creditable and in sync with the on-screen situations.

Rohit Shetty’s movies are embroidered with some implausible, but incredible stunts. DILWALE has a few action pieces, but the ones featuring SRK are vibrant. Cinematography is top-quality and the DoP [Dudley] makes every frame appear larger-than-life. The panoramic locales of Bulgaria appear truly spectacular.

The principal cast provides the much-needed sheen to Rohit Shetty’s vision. For the incalculable fans of SRK and Kajol, it’s a treat to watch the celebrated couple after a hiatus [after MY NAME IS KHAN; 2010]. It goes without saying that the duo dominates the proceedings with their effervescent acts. SRK is at his charismatic best in the young avtaar and carries off the angry, middle-aged guy with aplomb. Kajol looks gorgeous and steals your heart with a performance that stays in your memory. Actually, her character is one of the high points of the film and the terrific portrayal takes it notches higher. Besides, the on-screen chemistry is one of the pillars on which DILWALE rests.

Varun Dhawan, the teen heart-throb, is excellent, despite being pitted with some of the best names in the business. The young actor, barely five films old, is credible in light moments and compelling in poignant sequences. Kriti Sanon is camera-friendly and confident to the T.

DILWALE boasts of a commanding supporting cast, but the ones who sparkle include Sanjay Mishra [exceptional], Johny Lever [super], Mukesh Tiwari [first-rate] and Pankaj Tripathi [competent]. Boman Irani does exceedingly well. Vinod Khannna and Kabir Bedi, the two veterans, are just right. Varun Sharma contributes amply to the comic situations. Nawwab Shah is adequate.

On the whole, DILWALE is akin to a mouthwatering meal that satiates the craving of those who relish masalathons, besides being an absolute treat for SRK-Kajol fans. An unadulterated crowd-pleaser, DILWALE delivers what you expect from a Rohit Shetty film: King-sized entertainment. Go for it!


  1. Avatar
    aryan 5 years ago

    Movie Review by Raja Sen

    You can tell a lot about a filmmaker from the way they use a stolen scene.

    Somewhere in the middle of the once-great sitcom How I Met Your Mother, narrator Ted Mosby meets a doctor called Stella who is too busy for a date. She eventually grants him two minutes and, within those fleeting seconds, he heroically packs several samples of a date-night, from cab-ride to movie to dessert. Romance, if you will, by way of tasting menu.

    Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale has Kajol — a street-side artist who seems to have nothing better to do than buy high-contrast metallic nailpaint — give Shah Rukh Khan a similar five minutes, following which Khan throws out his take on the full Mosby. Except that this is only possible because Khan, a mafia don, has henchmen working for him, and because Khan, the mafia don, has a ton of money to spend on her. The shameless lifting of the scene is eclipsed by the tragic fact that the original prized the character’s ingenuity, while the knockoff is all about budget and access.

    Budget and access. These have long been Shetty’s favoured lego blocks, and they have never been more visible than in Dilwale, where the greatest on-screen pair in modern Hindi cinema are reduced to insignificance. Sure, there is a sparkle here and a gleam there of what could have been — and Kajol looks beguilingly beautiful, better here than ever — but Dilwale is an absolute dud. We expect insignificant froth from the director but this particular can of Rohit Shetty has been lying open too long. The contents are not merely un-fizzy but, unforgivably, flat.

    Nothing, for example, happens in the first hour or so of the film. A lot of grown men share hugs and talk about how they love each other, all moist-eyed and overwhelmed, but this is too generic to care about and, disturbingly, too straight-faced to laugh at. As the plot unravels, involving rival gangster families, a bullet-ridden past and a Dilip Chhabria present, the film goes dimly through the motions, not even bothering — as Shetty normally insists, inanely — to tickle laughs out of us. Set mostly in a Goa so oversaturated it feels like an Aqua video, there is nothing here to be seen despite Varun Dhawan trying gamely to appear spontaneous and Shah Rukh Khan hamming it up like only he can.

    Hamming, of course, is the sensible option in a film this badly written. No actor in the world could have lifted this material, and Khan cleverly chooses to play his part — lips q-q-q-quivering, eyes ‘intense’ — with such showiness that it looks like he’s in on the joke. Thank God. Kajol is more earnest, and both actors occasionally conjure up some fire when their eyes lock or when their grins match, but there is too little of this amid the increasingly loud tomfoolery. It is this tomfoolery, to be fair, that somewhat makes the second half bearable — in relative terms, I must stress, but there is only so much Sanjay Mishra is allowed to do in a film of this sort.

    Even the car stunts — something Shetty is known for — are unoriginal, coming to us from Goldeneye and The Fast And The Furious movies, and so Dilwale, which, in its convoluted, sloppy fashion, tries to pay homage to Mukul Anand’s Hum — a highly compelling action melodrama — was always going to be an uphill climb. What we end up with barely gets off the ground. Ho-Hum.

    Rating: 1/5


  2. Avatar
    shan 5 years ago

    Just back from Dilwale. Had gone in with zero expectations and really enjoyed it. SRK looked dashing and acted very well after a long lon time. Some of the dramatic scenes are very effective. Most of the cast does well and some comic scenes are really funny. The film has its share of misses but those are more than made up for and it is a well made masala movie along the lines of Main Hoon Na. Far far better than anything SRK has been in lately!

  3. Avatar Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Dilwale Movie Review by Anupama Chopra

  4. Avatar Author
    sputnik 5 years ago

    Dilwale Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 2

    Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Varun Sharma, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever, Sanjay Mishra, Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Mukesh Tiwari, Pankaj Tripathi

    Director: Rohit Shetty

    It’s very hard to describe Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale as anything other than a mixed cuisine buffet, given that it tries to offer a little bit of everything to please just about everyone. You want comedy? Come on over, we’ve got Johnny Lever, Sanjay Mishra, Boman Irani, and Varun Sharma. You want action? We’ve got fists flying, guns blazing, cars flipping. Romance, did you say? Step right in; we’ve got Bollywood’s favorite 90s pair thawing the bergs in Iceland with their combustible chemistry. And if you like your stars younger, we’ll throw in two up-and-coming heartthrobs to make your day. For what it’s worth, the film even has that most elusive, rarest-of-rare secret weapons – it’s got a story, I kid you not.

    With so much going for it, it would take a special kind of talent to still come up short. But Dilwale, with all its bells and whistles, is far from a sure thing.

    Veer (Varun Dhawan) meets Ishita (Kriti Sanon); the two quickly fall in love and become desperate to get married. But there’s a hitch. Veer’s elder brother Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) is hiding a dark secret. He was once a gangster in Bulgaria who went by the name Kaali. Turns out he has a history with Ishita’s sister Meera (Kajol), and let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

    Buried somewhere beneath those juvenile comic tracks – involving Johnny Lever as a petty thief, Sanjay Mishra as a stolen car-parts salesman, and Boman Irani as a local don searching his missing drugs – there’s at least one good twist, and a few charming moments between Shah Rukh and Kajol who still manage to light up the screen. Varun Dhawan flexes every facial muscle to embrace the film’s hammy humor, but redeems himself in a nice emotional exchange with Shah Rukh in the film’s last act.

    The real problem with Dilwale is the sheer artificiality of the enterprise. From the rainbow-hued sets and the touched-up landscapes in the Gerua song, to many moments of comedic and emotional payoff, so much of it just feels fake.

    Doesn’t help either that the film clocks in at a butt-numbing 155 minutes. I got up to leave at three different points that I imagined were the climax, only to discover that there was still more to come. Never a good sign when you’re looking at your watch instead of the screen.

    I’m going with two out of five for Dilwale.


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