This film was a real gem. Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol are fantastic together: they’re truly one of cinema’s greatest screen couples. I’m going to confess there are melodramatic scenes and moments of imperfection. I don’t care. There are also scenes with fantastic cinematography in the San Francisco sun and truly touching and heartfelt moments. The leads, SRK and Kajol, are in their prime and their characters drive the film through twists and turns and on to its satisfying climax.
The second half of the film involves touches of magical realism in coastal Georgia. I guess that’s a nice way of saying there’s probably nowhere in Georgia that looks like a Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings set, but that’s what we get in the film. It serves as a metaphor for New Orleans, that much I get: so let it go at that. I still maintain this is an important – and entertaining – film. It’s a must-see, and bring the Kleenex.
How to explain this one…? Like any Bollywood film, it can go through a massive range of issues and settings. For me, the biggest story line is the issue of love and hate. It’s clear in this message and comes down squarely on the side of love. There is tremendous trauma through it all – Bollywood knows better than to sugar-coat. The second half has the toughest punches, but also the greatest redemptions. This is no singing-and-dancing masala production, but the music is wonderful on its own. I especially enjoyed the first musical number, where our two main characters meet up and start their friendship.
Although SRK plays a man with Asperger’s Syndrome, this isn’t “Rain Man Goes to Guantanamo.” The love story and the question of redemption and forgiveness keep it from being just that. Nor is it “Forrest Gump Speaks Urdu.” Rather than stumbling into history, our main man walks purposefully forward into his future. He’s very human and, in spite of the dehumanization around him, retains his humanity and respects the humanity of all those around him. Although the film contains elements that date it, the underlying theme is timeless. I strongly recommend this film to anyone that doesn’t mind reading subtitles.