I wasn’t familiar with the language when ‘Dil Tho Pagal Hai’ was in the theaters, I remember dozing off for Veer Zaara and when the running time flashed as 180 minutes again, I wasn’t sure whether if I was going to make it to the end. Yash Chopra’s last however ended up being something worth immersing.
Anil Mehta and Namrata Rao were my top stars of the show; followed by Katrina Kaif, except for this one scene where she couldn’t stop blinking for some reason, Katrina playing Meera delivers a surprisingly convincing performance though all she had go through is the Yash love distress.
A bomb needs to be defused in the middle of a market in Leh. The fearless colonel Samar Anand steps in and defuses the bomb without even wearing the safety suit.Colonel Samar aka The Man Who Cannot Be Killed had already defused 97 bombs never once wearing the safety suit.
What makes this man so immune to death? What made him this passive personality unlike the one playing the guitar in the trailers? He loved.
Akira (Anushka Sharma), a member of the Discovery channel’s documentary team fumbles upon Samar’s diary and the first half (a flashback) tells the story of Samar and Meera in London. Samar is a part time guitar player working many other jobs to make ends meet. Its love at first sight for Samar when he sees Meera at a church making one of her oaths to The Christ (the oaths she leads her life by, ever since her mother left the family when she was eleven). Their next close encounter is Meera’s engagement to a Brit where Samar is on one of his double shifts serving drinks.
Meera wants to present her dad with a Punjabi song for his 50th birthday and she makes a 30 day pact with Samar wherein she will be teaching him proper English in return for the song. A montage of this pact, some intense hip hop dancing and Samar proposes to her at a empty subway. And after fighting with herself and revisiting her mom Meera breaks her oath and gives in to her feelings for Samar. Until an accident almost kills Samar and Meera makes an oath to let him live for the sacrifice of the thing she loves the most (Samar). The disheartened Samar leaves London and joins the Indian Army to see how long the Oath will keep him alive.
Inspired by the journal and with a BBC job at stake Akira starts shooting the tough colonel’s fearless bomb defuses while she is drawn towards this man with a stubborn attitude about his love life. For the documentary to finish Samar needs to go to London and again an accident, only this time Samar is struck with Amnesia and this sets his memory back 10 years, to the day of the first accident. This gives Samar a second chance to get Meera as she and other old London acquaintances help putting up an act in which Samar owns a restaurant and had been married to Meera for five years.
The fluff of the film was never in the face, thanks to Anil Mehta’s versions of London and Ladakh, cut by Namrata Rao it holds your attention even as the film slumps a little towards the end.
It was refreshing to connect with Samar Anand making it past the The King of Bollywood persona. The dialogue by Aditya Chopra works well in humanizing the expected epic nature of its characters, with the score of ARR always adding to it.
Though it is a film wherein the most repetitive moment was Shahrukh tearfully hugging either one of the leading ladies it still sells and lets you immerse.