Shy, introverted and kind-hearted Surinder Suri Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan) is an office employee for Punjab Power. He meets the daughter of his former teacher, and professor (M.K. Raina), beautiful and vivacious Taani Gupta (Anushka Sharma), during the preparations for her wedding. A short time later, the shocking news arrives that her fiance and his wedding entourage were killed in a road accident.
Taanis father suffers a major heart attack due to the news. On his deathbed, fearing that Taani will be alone in the world and unable to bear the trauma, the professor requests that Surinder marry her. Surinder silently concedes because he likes her anyway, and Taani agrees for her fathers sake.After an impromptu wedding, Surinder takes Taani to his ancestral home in Amritsar. While his good nature leads Surinder to treat her with exceptional care â€“ he even lets her have his bedroom all to herself â€“ he is too frightened to profess his love for her.
Taani later tells him that she will try to be a good wife and thus respect her role in his life, but that she can never love him due to having no love left within her after the loss of her fiance. Surinder, grateful for the increasing acts of wifely affection that she shows, proceeds to indulge her wishes. These include regular evening trips to the cinema to see Bollywood movies which appeal to Taanis fantasies about romance and her passion for dancing. One day, while walking in the market, Taani sees a poster about a dancing competition; she soon asks for Surinders permission to take the expensive dance class with a visiting Bombay company, to unwind from her mundane and boring life at home. He grants her request and provides the entry fee.
During the evenings that Surinder and Taani spend at the movies, Surinder realises it is the strong and masculine images that Taani admires, and later on, he asks his long-time best friend, Balwinder Bobby Khosla (Vinay Pathak), a hair-salon owner, for grooming advice so as to help him win her love. Bobby gives him a complete makeover which includes trimming off his mustache (an accidental gag, due to the power cutting off), changing his hairstyle (putting on lots of gel and shaping it to be spiky), and fitting him out in a funky Western-style clothing, which he feels is very tight, from the front and the back, including aviator-style shades with oversize pastel lenses. Surinder is thus transformed into Raj, a name he borrows from the hero of a movie that Taani had admired. After having that makeover change done by Bobby, Surinder goes to Taanis dancing competition venue to see her dance, without her recognising him, but he then gets pulled into the dance recital by an instructor. At the end of that dance class, all of the participants were put into groups of two by random numbers given by the staff, and somehow, both Surinder and Taani had the number 21.
By chance, or, as Surinder puts it that it was not chance but it was by the divine choice of God and so he becomes Taanis partner in the competition. Despite Rajs initial over-the-top attempts to emulate the cool images given by heroes, in movies, after the first attempt of impressing Taani in that way, Taani reacts badly, telling Raj to never flirt with her. He and Taani become friends as they work together on their dance routine. Surinder feels encouraged when Taani does not want to tie a rakhi on Rajs wrist during the festival of Raksha Bandhan (doing so would indicate that she thought of him only as a brother). Soon Raj is unable to dance and thus decides to quit the dance competition during the rehearsals and thus is encouraged by Taani.
Finally they both are selected for the finals and decide to do a competition of gol gappa (an Indian snack) it is decided that whoever wins this competition can ask for any thing from the other. Raj wins the competition and doesnt ask for anything then. The next day Raj then decides to invite her to his birthday, claiming the prize for beating her in an eating competition. He tells Taani of how he always spends his birthday alone. So they go on a day of visiting Punjabs wonderful cultures, thus, after some time, Raj declares his love for her.
Taani is shocked, to say the least, and enters into a period of internal conflict. Surinder also faces a dilemma in Taanis misery. He thus attempts to win Taanis love as Surinder, an act which only alienates her further. She eventually runs away to find Raj to tell him the predicament she is in, hoping he will help her. He offers to elope with her, which she agrees to, tearfully.
They set the date for their elopement to the next night, the night of the competition (the finals). Surinder is disappointed that Taani cannot see his love for her as himself, only as Raj. Later that night, Surinder tells Bobby that he will end the charade in his own way, sacrificing his cravings for her love, leaving her his property and transferring himself to Delhi.On the day of the competition, Surinder takes Taani to the Golden Temple to gain Gods blessings for her performance for that night and, internally, also for her life without Raj. While there, Taani has a realisation in which she believes God has shown her a sign that her marriage to Surinder is divinely inspired.
For the first time she reflects on her husband and becomes aware of the strength and integrity of Surinders character, something which she can grow to love. Taani thus tells Raj on the night of the competition, that she cannot choose him over her husband. She leaves him in what appears to be a state of shock with tears in his eyes. When the time comes for their performance, Taani is stunned to see Surinder instead of Raj joining her on stage. While dancing Taani puts two and two together and through a series of flashbacks, she awakens to the fact that Surinder is in fact Raj.
Backstage, after their dance, she confronts Surinder, and when he confesses his love for her, she tearfully admits that she reciprocates his feelings. The two win the competition.Upon release, the film received positive reviews. Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times calls Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi an agreeably amusing comedy/romance/musical noting that, the magnetic Khan is a skilled enough comic actor with his physical transformationâ€”like a Peter Sellers-ish recessive turning into a Jerry Lewis extrovertâ€”that believing Taani wouldnt notice isnt difficult. Rachel Saltz of The New York Times describes it as soft, sweet and slow, in the words of one of its songs.
It deftly blends comedy, the ruling tone of the new Bollywood, with melodrama, the ruling tone of the old. Manish Gajjar of the BBC gave the film 4 out of 5 stars noting that, Shah Rukh Khan makes you laugh and cry as the nerdy-looking, clumsy, bespectacled Surinder and the all hip and happening Raj. A true professional in his own right, Khan breezes through his dialogues during the emotional and comic scenes. Frank Lovece of Film Journal International argues that it is smarter and more self-aware of its rom-com contrivances than most Hollywood movies and notes that while the movies cleverness eventually devolves into a simplistic Harlequin-Romance-for-males wish-fulfillment about beauty and the geek, its a very well-acted variation on a Hollywood staple. Critic and author Maitland McDonagh of MissFlickChick.
com stated that the film, has been dismissed in some quarters as self-conscious and artificial, a coyly self-referential reworking of outdated movie tropes a la Todd Haynes Far From Heaven, but it works for me in a way that most contemporary Hollywood romcoms dont. Some critics did not give the film very favourable reviews. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN was critical, giving it two out of five stars and stating that Aditya Chopras return to direction after eight years is marked by a flawed script, which in turn spawns a disappointing film. Wheres the smart dialogue and the spirited characters that defined his debut film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? Theres no trace of either in this film . the problem then, at the root of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, is that much like those artificial sets in the film, the emotions too are contrived.
Derek Elley of Variety argues that the film has a huge, hollow center that sinks the project early on . A paper-thin script drags itself to the finish line amid tiresome mugging by Khan, a huge credibility gap (she never recognizes him without his glasses and mustache?) and a blah score with only one showstopper (featuring five famous actresses). A number of critics have further noted the similarities between this movie and superhero films. Khalid Mohamed, of the Hindustan Times, gave the film three and half out of five stars stating that Suri is a soul brother to the mousy Clark-Kent-cum-Superman who makes you laugh and sob alternately. Mayank Shekhar from Mumbai Mirror gave the film three out of five stars and argues that [The] same person, oppositely twinned, is usually the stuff of super-hero films; the kinds of Clark Kent-Superman, Peter Parker-Spiderman etc.
You feel entirely lost in this fantasy flick, because for most part, it's built around something so intimate and real. It'd be much easier to travel to foreign countries around far-fetched situations with fake heroes. In addition, Sudish Kamath of The Hindu states that while Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi could have been an interesting art film exploring the dynamics of an arranged marriage, the director instead treats this character type like Sam Raimi would treat Spider-Man . Superhero Raj slips into costume and out, complains how it gets uncomfortable around the crotch, to win over his Mary Jane with not much saving-the-world business to keep him busy. But while Spidey does it for a bigger reason than just MJ, Raj's sole motivation is to stalk his wife and play out his fantasy as somebody else.
His obsession with his alter-ego reaches new heights when he wants his wife to cheat on the real himâ€”the goofy Surinder Saini who starts off well.
Shahrukh Khan, Anushka Sharma
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