Rohit Shetty is probably the most successful commercial Hindi filmmaker in the last ten years. The director specializes in action comedies and after making an action drama last year with ‘Singham Returns’, he is back with another film that promises to make the audience laugh and give them an adrenaline rush with some high octane action. Apart from reuniting Shetty with Shah Rukh Khan, with whom he delivered a monster hit in ‘Chennai Express, the film also brings back the pair of Shah Rukh-Kajol. Young actors Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon add to the star value.
Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) owns a garage that ‘remodels’ fancy cars. He dotes on his younger brother Veer (Varun Dhawan). Raj steers clear of violence and tries to stay away from any kind of trouble. He wants people around him to remain oblivious of the fact that he has been a part of a mafia group in the past; the past which also involved a chequered relationship with Meera (Kajol). He does not want to associate himself with the life and the identity he gave up fifteen years ago. Meanwhile, Veer falls in love with Ishita (Kriti Sanon) and Raj approves of their relationship too. Things go hunky-dory when Raj and Meera cross paths after fifteen years.
‘Dilwale’ has been designed as an action comedy and the director merges the two elements pretty neatly in a runtime of 154 minutes. The problem is that he does not have a solid plot to back it up with. The film has been mounted well but the screenplay could have been much better. There are a few twists in the Shah Rukh – Kajol flashback episode but they fall flat. The screenplay is far from being bad but could have been more interesting. Rohit Shetty does the best he could have of the screenplay and makes sure that the film turns out to be a consistently engaging affair. Witty dialogues, well-choreographed action pieces and competent performance by the actors make you invest in this film even as the script is a bit of a let-down.
Shah Rukh Khan does not play a double role but the character he plays requires him to bring a different side in the flashback portions and the present. He is as convincing in his romantic avatar as he is in turn as a gun-toting toughie. Kajol is bound to surprise the audience in a role they would not have envisioned her playing. Varun Dhawan plays to the gallery and comes up with an uninhibited performance. Though Kriti Sanon gets the weakest role out of the four leads, she shows the spark and spunk that is bound to make her a formidable star in times to come. Varun Sharma is terrific; watch out for him in a monologue he delivers in the second half. Chetna Pande, a popular face on television, just gets a few scenes. Sanjay Mishra is hilarious and brings the house down with the dialogues mouthed by him. Johny Lever plays a caricaturish character which does not leave a lasting impact. Boman Irani’s character lacks meat. Vinod Khanna, Kabir Bedi, Mukesh Tiwari, Pankaj Tripathi, and Nawab Shah lend adequate support.
Rohit Shetty is in his comfort zone here. He sets the film in Goa, puts up bright sets, blows up cars and serves comedy in good doses. The screenplay (Yunush Sajawal) is ordinary but it has been mounted well by the director. The dialogues (Sajid-Farhad) are superb and one of the aces of the film. The music (Pritam) has popular appeal. “Gerua” by Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra is the best of the lot, while “Tukur Tukur” appears in the ending credits. The background score (Amar Mohile) is functional. The action sequences (Sunil Rodrigues) have been well choreographed. The editing (Bunty Nagi) could have been better as certain portions in the first half seem to be rushed up. The burnished cinematography (Dudley) goes well with the film.
The film bears a faint resemblance several other mass-oriented entertainers that remain ingrained in a Hindi film buff’s memory. It follows a particular pattern and does not bring anything new to the table. With a classic on-screen pair and two promising young actors, one expected Rohit Shetty to deliver more than one gets here. ‘Dilwale’ is a typical Rohit Shetty entertainer that works but does really live up to the huge expectations one had from it. If you are fond of seeing cars being blown up on screen in a movie which happens to also feature the ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ pair, then go for it for its entertainment value.