Subhash K. Jha on 'Dil Bole Hadippa!'

By Subhash K. Jha

Film: "Dil Bole Hadippa!"; Cast: Rani Mukerji, Shahid Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Poonam Dhillon, Rakhi Sawant, Sheryln Chopra; Director: Anuraag Singh; Rating: *

Somewhere down the line in this mish-mash of "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi", "Chak De" and what have you, Shahid Kapoor, looking as intense as a man who has just discovered he has acute molar ache, scowls at Rani and says, "You should be an actress in films".

Actress she is. And a highly competent one. Rani has worked really hard on getting the Sardar-ji's act together. At times she's quite funny and poignant. But her attempts go waste in a film that seems to move in a rudderless stupor.

Rani is sorely let down in her made-to-order vehicle by a script that's as phony and pasted-on as the moustache she pastes on to infiltrate the all-boy's cricket team helmed by a Britain-returned dude from a broken family.

Shahid's dad Anupam Kher lives in Amritsar, while his mom, Poonam Dhillon, lives in London.

Backgrounds are not very high in the list of this messy and annoying mishmash about cross-dressing and sporting spirit. While Shahid's character we know is from a broken home, only god and the scripwriter know where Rani's character Veera/Veer comes from.

While Hillary Swank, as a girl dressed as a guy, got the Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry", Rani misses her award-winning turn by a wide margin, thanks to a script that meanders like a bumbling bumblebee which doesn't know whom to sting.

The story of the spirited girl's sprint into a men's game and into the coach's heart lacks bite and humour. The dialogues are ultra-pedestrian, some of the exchanges between the rustic Rani and the posh Shahid shamelessly taken from "Jab We Met".

What were the makers of this film thinking? Not much, as we can easily see in the slithering progression of the material and dismaying lack of motivation. After the interval, the wobbly narration just collapses in a tired heap, with scenes in a nautanki featuring Rakhi Sawant plunging to the bottom-most rung of mediocrity.

The climactic cricket match between India and Pakistan is as exciting as watching "Kaminey" with the soundtrack turned off. In "Dil Bole Hadippa!", the soundtrack is so loud it drowns any finer point that the narration may possess.

Don't waste your time looking for silver linings in this dreadful cricket film. Someone said cricket is a game played by 12 fools and watched by 12,000 fools. No we know what he meant.

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