I am very concerned - and I say this without facetiousness - about Aditya Chopra's mental health.
I know that a lot of people will think Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a crap movie. But frankly, I thought it was quite lovely to start with - uptil the scene where she tells him she'll never be able to love him. And it had a pretty good ending sequence or two. But of course in between it was like - as hapless as Suri's character. In the part where the female protagonist has her completely ridiculous epiphany I started yelling Bachao Bachao quite loudly much to my friend's horror. This sort of tapori-pan is much tolerated in Bombay but in Bangalore there was only a horrified silence. People acted as if they hadn't heard. Or perhaps they had been stupefied by the sheer gone-to-lunch-ness of the script.
But to return to AC's mental health.
Now, I genuinely feel this could have been a beautiful film. The ideas at the heart of it are eternal questions about love and romance: as we project what we think the object of affection likes, as we seek romance, how do we figure out what love is? How do we know if we are loved for ourselves or for the idea we have projected. And in the middle of it all, which is really us?
If the screenplay had handled this frivolously even that would have been something. But it's more like a certain incoherence sets in, an inability to explain what the script means.
Given the kind of relationships it explores (especially the easy homoeroticism of so many male friendships in the North), some of the very fine dialogue in the film (often spare, infrequently verbose), the moments that matter - Suri's deliriousness at getting his first tiffin for instance - you can see there is a genuine understanding, a mesured sensibility that embarked on this film.
What then prevented it from becomign what it wanted to be?
Basically I think, the stubborn-ness of the director-producer's idea of himself, ironic as that is. So insistent has Bollywood been that it is mediocrity that triumphs; that people don't want a thing of beauty and maturity; that they know the commercial formula tune to which the public dances, that it won't let itself go down the path which opens up. So neurotic is this interplay between the felt thought and the imposed commercial rationalisation, that Aditya Chopra stifles his own very bonny baby because he thinks he knows how to make a mannequin.(sorry I am sounding as incoherent, but you know what I mean I hope). It's almost as if this director wants to assert that he has not been wrong with all the movies gone by in the last couple years, even if it means not making the movie his heart tells him to make.
So, strangely enough, the film becomes exactly what the main character is - repressed. But instead of moving towards some sort of release and resolution, it remains impotent and turning its violence onto itself to become a lesser being.
Makes you feel so sad. And worry for Aditya Chopra's mental health.