Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 18, 2009

Over and out!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 1:14 pm

September 18, 2009

Cast: Rani Mukherjee, Shahid Kapoor

Director: Anurag Singh

Dil Bole Hadippa, produced by Bollywood’s ‘I-Proud-To-Be-A-Punjabi’ film studio, Yash Raj Films, is an unimaginative and thoroughly boring comedy starring Rani Mukherjee as Veera, a pretty Punjabi kudi in Amritsar who is so nuts about cricket, she disguises herself as a man to join a local cricket team. Shahid Kapoor stars as Rohan, son of the team’s owner, and a county cricket player in England, who agrees to come down and coach his dad’s team so they have better chances of winning an annual match against the Pakistani side.

Expect the predictable locker room hiccups, the obligatory romance between Rohan and Veera, the subsequent revelation that the ace batsman in their team is actually a woman, and eventually an alls-well-that-ends-well climax.

Shamelessly ripped off from the 2006 Hollywood rom-com She’s The Man, the plot of first-time director Anurag Singh’s Dil Bole Hadippa is full of holes. Its formulaic screenplay is packed with clichés and stereotypes that you’ve seen dozens of times before in films produced by the same banner. The never-ending references to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, the patriotic clap-traps, and those overused Punjabi lines – very little is original here.

The film’s only bright spark is that feisty performance by Rani Mukherjee, especially in her sardar avatar. The actress lets herself go with an unhinged, uninhibited turn that showcases her fearlessness as a performer. It’s a shame she’s trapped in a meaningless, embarrassment of a film like this that does no justice to her talent.

Dil Bole Hadippa is about its sets and costumes and choreography; the emotions are superficial, its soul hard to find. The film bears no directorial signature; it’s really a homogenised Yash Raj product that borrows its moments from Chak De India and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi to name just two films.

Cheesy starlets like Sherlyn Chopra and Rakhi Sawant are thrown into the mix for cheap laughs, and it even takes up the equal-opportunity issue between men and women in cricket, just in case you thought the film was becoming too trivial.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for director Anurag Singh’s Dil Bole Hadippa; it’s a crushing bore of a film that’s neither thrilling in its cricket scenes, nor entertaining in its humour. What’s it going to take to expect some originality and inventiveness from one of the biggest players in Bollywood?

To be honest, dil bole sudharjaa!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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