All stories to screen are not created equal, whether that it’s a film or TV series. We’ve all seen some doozies and gems. And right now, I really can’t tell you what makes me love something. What I can say, is that some films or dramas just look good or at least intrigue me enough to say, “Well I’ll check it out.”
Like I’ve said tons of times, it’s usually an actor that gets to me to even want to view something and this film is no different. In his second movie release this summer, Imran Khan will be starring in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. From my choti choti (little or small) understanding of Hindi the title translates as My Brother’s Bride. Yea, sounds like fun, right? And if Imran holds true to his stride, his character will be witty, refreshingly boy-next-door and darn likeable. With a stock rom-com film like this one, that’s all I really need.
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is a Yash Raj Films production directed by first-timer Ali Abbas Zafar (New York, Badama$h Company) who created– wrote the story as well.
SYNOPSIS: Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) is in search for the ideal Indian bride for his UK expat brother, Luv (Ali Zafar). He finds her, but not before he engages in some whacky stunts and near misses with a plethora of women and their families. Ultimately he lands on Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif), a free spirited, liberal woman, quite different from what he’d set out to find but right after their families give the go ahead and preparations are underway, he realizes he’s in love with her.
CAST COMMENTS: Ali Zafar began as a Pakistani popstar, who then stepped into doing film tracks. His debut (as an actor) in films was in Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden, which got him a Filmfare nomination. I actually haven’t seen the film but I have heard his music which is decent( seriously, the man really should win a music video award). I also find the premise of Tere Bin Laden pretty interesting. Though I don’t give much credit to any award shows, I think that Tere Bin Laden has potential on paper to be worthy of the nomination. Katrina Kaif, I’ve seen in several films and though I’m not impressed with her or her range, this film falls into her purview. She’s most suited(from what I can tell) for rom-coms where she can be bright and bubbly, quirky or hilarious. I don’t foresee this being a bad choice for her at all, for Dimple seems to be all those things wrapped into one and then some. Lastly, Imran Khan is a favorite, though definitely not the best actor. I commend him for being the type of actor that knows his limits but reaches and achieves his intended goal in this industry. This role is reminiscent of his role in I Hate Luv Storys, so I’m hopeful I will enjoy it on fairly the same level. I find Imran to be similar to a Matthew McConaughey, or Julia Roberts, who continuously play themselves over and over in films. (Oddly, I find this his endearing quality, while for them, not so much.) And for extra incentive (read: just to make people go see the film), there’s the promise of John Abraham making a cameo (YAY!).
MUSIC: I don’t usually pick (or enjoy) a Hindi film based on it’s musical mastery (for several reasons) but there’s been a little buzz about the music in this film, so I thought I’d take a listen so I could give you my simple, strictly technical and unbiased opinion(heh).
The album has 8 tracks: 6 original songs and 2 remixes. By far, the best tracks are Dimple’s rock intro, “Dhunki” (who can’t be swept away by Neha Bhasin) and the cheeky upbeat love song “Isq Risk.” The vocals are strong and powerful and the lyrics follow suit. Next, is title track “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan,” for it works lyrically and vocally. Which is then followed by “Madhubala,” “Do Dhaari Talwaar,” and “Choomantar,” respectfully, though Joshilay’s “Choomantar” remix elevates the song ever so slightly.
On most occasions, my favorite Bollywood tracks usually come in two colors: dancey or weepy. This a comedic romance film about a wedding, so I was looking for more dancey than weepy numbers, therefore, my personal favorites are “Madhubala,” “Do Dhaari Talwaar,” then “Isq Risk” (remix and original). “Madhubala” is so wonderful and sang refreshingly well by Ali Zafar that I can’t help be drawn to it and “Isq Risk” has that old Bollywood feel that makes you nostalgic for some of your favorite classic tracks. I can’t say that any of the tracks are groundbreaking (in any area) but overall if I were to suggest, (for the average listener) I’d say the top 3 songs are definitely “Dhunki,” “Isq Risk” and “Madhubala.” They seem to tell the general story of the film (save the title track), if not lyrically, then technically, in style and flair. I won’t say the album’s the best but it’s nice, given what’s being churned out of late. I will admit, however, that I was surprised that the songs for this film seem very traditional, whether in content or overall feel compared to the array of young adult centric films that have released in the last 5 or so years. Save the remixes, I believe only one song used auto-tune and none feature a full-fledged rap.
(Just in case you want to check them out yourself, I’ve created a playlist for you below.)
TRAILER: Watch preview and album tracks here.
RELEASE: September 9, 2011
THOUGHTS: Every synopsis I’ve read describes the characters as “middle-class” northerners so I’m thinking it’s along the same string of “regular” folk films Hindi cinema is producing. Instead of lavish over-the-top homes and locations, in recent years, filmmakers have opted to show the common man’s 21st Century India(so to speak). I really won’t comment on this much but that’s what the movie reports; regular people, with regular jobs and background, etc. It seems to be taking place in areas in and around Delhi and being spearheaded by younger actors I’m sure it’ll have themes that are easily translated for anyone college to early middle age.
With a title like My Brother’s Bride, you’d think the movie was going the route of most other films where one brother pops up with a girlfriend(that he has little in common with) and she and the other brother fall in love (ala Legends of the Fall). I’m glad that this film gives us another option. It isn’t new but I’m certain it’s going to be incredibly fun watching Imran’s Kush run around trying to find a suitable bride, bouncing from one crazy girl to another hysterical family to finally settle on Dimple, who seems kind of zany and unhinged herself. Ultimately, it’s a film about timing and proximity, which I always love.
Personally,for me, the crux of the matter is if he will fall for her during the selection process or after she’s chosen? My feeling is that he’ll figure out he was actually choosing a bride for himself, not his brother the whole while. Lurve it!
As always, with a film that isn’t very original in premise, what makes the film intriguing is the way the plot unfolds but most importantly the cast. In my opinion, this is what will bring this film from tolerable to enjoyable. It’s definitely a story about two people that meet and spend time together hanging out doing silly things and grow to enjoy being together. If the actors aren’t fun to watch, the film will crumble. However, this trio seems to click onscreen and that is it’s selling factor. I thought I hadn’t seen a better screen partner for Imran Khan than Sonam Kapoor but Katrina Kaif might snub her. Every still and video I’ve seen of them together screams excellent and honestly it’s about time Katrina found a leading man that matches her. This pairing is genuinely one of the best in quite awhile, if only because they seem natural together and no where near recycled. I’m not sure about the acting side of things but they seem to get along well so and it comes through positively onscreen.
From what I can tell, the film has the same tonal vibe as Yash Raj Films’ 2007 Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. This isn’t terribly surprising given Zafar was an A.D. on the that film. The only problem is, the directing was my biggest issue (eep!) but thankfully he has better projects under his belt and he’ll be pioneering this ship. That film didn’t do well in the box office and it was truly not that great but it was so crazy, I actually liked it. Abhishek Bachchan and Preity Zinta were simply wonderful together and with better directing, I think it could’ve won audiences over. Anyways, mentioned that to say, this film feels insane but in a good way and great for a laugh. And boy do I love to laugh!
[stills courtesy of Yash Raj Films– Mere Brother Ki Dulhan]