When DDLJ released two decades back, the biggest challenge for any non hindi speaking tamilians was not understanding the movie but to ask for tickets naming the movie. Dilwale Dulhania le Jaayenge was more than a tongue twister for many of my school mates. Saaruk kaan became the new style icon. The thick browed heroines name was a debate topic for several folks - was it Kajol or Kaajal or Kaajol. From Sowcarpet to Saidapet amplifiers blasted "Mehandi laga ke rakhna" for every marriage function with bandmasters making it mandatory for all weddings. Saloons went out of patronage for several months with students aping for Saaruk's hairstyle. Railway stations suddenly became romantic hot spots courtesy the movie climax, despite many a Mani Ratnam inspired scenes prior. It took an Alaipayuthe to reclaim train station romance back to tamil movie dom.
When Dilwale was being promoted, the erstwhile onscreen magic/chemistry of SRK/Kajol was touted as the movie's USP. The trailers had references to scenes from their blockbuster DDLJ and the title also was supposedly an inspiration from the same. If at all anything, this movie is nothing like DDLJ, to start with.
I often guess around what makes a hit movie on my reviews. Predominantly the lead pair chemistry takes the lion's share alongside good songs and comedy scenes. These three pretty much assure a sustained show post the big bang opening that is solely driven by the charishma and pull of the hero and the extent of hype and promotion. Bigger the buck bigger the bang. Add to the mix, few popular scenes with punch you are bound to have a decent hit formula. Despite ticking every single box above, Dilwale falls flat on its face. They've a near copy scene from Basha with SRK throwing in punch dialogue "King se bolo Kali aaya tha" which is nowhere in the same pincode as "oru thadava sonna". Nor is SRK the Rajini kind of actor. Salman would've suited better. But his last twenty movies are of same kind. So zero marks for this copy cat. There is another famous lift off scene from the romcom drama series "How I Met your Mother". Unfortunately for SRK and Rohit shetty, people nowadays are following English series on par with their desi counterparts. The famous date scene where Ted takes his doctor girlfriend for a ten minute lunch has been so shoddily shot, even SRK the supposedly mohabbat man, couldn't salvage it. There is one more lift off from the famous Love actually movie proposal scene which has been bestowed to Varun Dhawan to manage. The result is needless to be explained. The so called SRK-Kajol chemistry that sold the movies prior fails to take off with age having caught up with the lead pair. An age apt romantic storyline might've still worked wonders. But pushing them as twenty something killed the golden goose. Surprisingly for a SRK movie, this one has not a single hum worthy song!! Probably a first.
To me it felt like a tamil dubbed movie. Would be surprised if it clicked with Hindi audience. Had this been made in tamil, match for match, could've been Bhagavathy/Villu - erstwhile Vijay flopshow 's remake. Vijay and Nayanthara could've reprised the lead roles with Jai and some bakra hindi heroine filling up the rest.
Gils verdict: Dabba movie. Might be released in Colors channel for this Christmas. This Dilwale usiru le jaayega for sure.