Film: Mere Brother Ki Dulhan
Director: Abbas Ali Zafar
Cast: Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar
What have the guys at Yash Raj Films (YRF) been smoking? Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Tashan, Laaga Chunari Main Daag, Dil Bole Haddippa, Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic and now, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. They just don’t stop coming.
Every year, YRF launches a director or two, who then make the same films other directors were already making for the banner. There’s not a shred of originality, not even an attempt to rise over the mindlessness; just a set pattern that is replicated to the T, even though it’s met with little success time and again.
Once in a while, you get a Band Baaja Baarat, where some spunky writing and fresh direction make up for an unoriginal plot. Chak De India, which was both original and entertaining, seems like a complete flash in the pan now.
Abbas Ali Zafar is the latest YRF ‘assistant’ who gets to debut with MBKD. He brings nothing remarkable to the table, not one interesting aspect that would make him stand out in the crowd of burgeoning directors. Instead, he comes up with an outdated plot, a sluggishly boring screenplay and unbelievably daft dialogues (he gets story/screenplay/dialogues/director credit, so it’s only natural to direct most of the ire towards him).
To make matters worse, he gets probably the two weakest actors parading as ‘stars’ currently to share screen space from first scene to last, making the ordeal that much more difficult to withstand. The result is a botched up attempt at acting out an already botched up script.
While Imran Khan fails to be consistent with even the half expression he possesses; Katrina Kaif seems to want to act. Yes, in MBKD, Katrina gets her meatiest role -- not the glamorous second fiddle to top stars that has resulted in a string of successes -- and she seems to want to make the most of it. So she goes overboard.
Unlike what Kareena Kapoor did with Geet in Imtiaz Ali’s Jab We Met, Katrina confuses acting with a combination of periodic facial contortions, constant eye-popping, and talking in a high-pitched voice, while even normal dialogue delivery seems like an arduous task. Why Imran is acting at all is a question I wouldn’t even want to ponder over anymore. Neither should you.
The only saving grace of MBKD is Ali Zafar, who plays the ‘Brother’ in the film. The Pakistani actor is amazingly natural on-camera, confident and talented in equal measure, and brings some charm to an otherwise listless film.
It’s the other Ali Zafar, the director, that is the problem. You can hardly blame him, though. He got to make his debut with the number one film production company of the Hindi film industry.
The brief must have been clear: ‘Don’t use your brains, just do what we’ve been doing for years now. It worked the last time; it’ll probably work again. If not, we’ll try again the next time.’