Lousy is, when, in a Shah Rukh movie:
1. A Sumo wrestler is fighting SRK
2. The Sumo wrestler has more screen presence (and we are not referring to space occupied on screen) than him
3. Vinay Pathak's clothes have more screen presence than SRK
4. Vinay Pathak's clothes are more expressive than SRK
5. The Sumo wrestler is more expressive than Vinay Pathak's clothes
If you were a bride, and if today was your wedding day, what would you do when the entire (and that means entire) groom's party gets killed in an accident, your professor dad has a heart attack, and his last wish is that you get married to his favourite student? One option is to do as he says, right after the day he gets cremated of course, and hope that, for all the heartache, there is indeed an SRK under that wig, those thick-rimmed spectacles, and the moustache.
So, after marrying the vivacious Taani (Anushka), orphaned and cruelly left alone at the altar, the extremely unexciting Surinder Sahni (SRK) takes her to his home to Amritsar. Surinder is head over heels in love with this woman, but isn't the expressive kind at all. Meanwhile, she tells him that she'll try and be a good wife to him but that she could never fall in love with him. So she cooks, packs his lunches and goes for movies with him, but man and wife sleep in different rooms and dine at opposite ends of the 8-seater dining table.
A dance competition excites her, and Surinder decides to enter, too, in order to woo her as a different man. 2 SRKs for the price of one, you think, and you're hoping you'll see some real romance - you know, the melting eyes, the heart-stopping loopy grin, the funny one-liners, the hugging, the sniffing, the dancing, the "all's well when SRK's around" thingâ€¦ mmmmâ€¦
Yawnticipation sets in, as you keep hoping for an SRK somewhere under all that weedy gelled hair, those hideous T-shirts, the tight jeans and that walk of a man with roaches in his pants. Shamelessly calling himself Raj, the second SRK impostor walks in, clumsily flirts with Taani and tries to learn dancing.
Surinder begins to wonder if it's a good thing at all that Taani starts taking a liking to Raj the entertainer. In the second half, he tries to end Raj's role, but Taani needs him for the dance competition, and pretty soon, Raj is taking her to hilltops and coordinating power cuts so Amritsar's lit houses can spell I Love You.
Suri tries to get her attention (in the process, fights the Sumo wrestler at a trade fair), but comes to terms with the fact that Taani is even ready to elope with the character he created, leaving her husband behind, and he gets ready for the same. However, finally, finally, Taani sees Rab in her husband, and finally, finally, finally, there's that SRK moment you've been waiting ages for.
The idea of donning an alternative personality to court someone, and then having to choose between your personas to decide which one you'll keep and which one you'll discard, could have been engaging emotional material, but why is it that even King Khan isn't able to keep this film above sea level? It takes quite a bit for a film to turn out this way. It is notable that even this does not stop Khan from his Hrithik Roshan takeoffs.
The pleasant-looking Anushka is pretty good as an actress, but too mild to be either Khan's or YRF's heroine. Vinay Pathak plays Surinder's hair-dresser friend, and he and SRK seem like they exchanged their regular onscreen personalities; unfortunately, the latter just cannot carry off the average working-class boring look, which is very ironic, seeing as he started out with all those brilliant common-man roles.
Pathak wears colourful and tight clothes, and has a few comic dialogues, but for most of the film, is relegated to asking Surinder when he will put an end to the double role. However, he's the one who gets to hug and cry with SRK.
All the actors are whispering, and the dialogues are trite. No extremely appealing visuals, either, with the film being shot in what we're told is Amritsar; the Golden Temple is the only thing picturesque in the film. But SRK sporting two totally unflattering looks, might be the real put-off. The songs touch your heart, and have some great choreography, and at the risk of inserting a spoiler, there are the customary special appearances by you-know-who-all in one of the songs.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is not worth your effort at all - the King Khan festival on Set Max is surely a better way to fall in love with Raj or Rahul this season.