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"Mere Brother Ki Dulhan" is a quirky romantic comedy set in the world of the upper middle class in Northern India. Kush Agnihotri (Imran Khan) is looking for the ideal Indian bride for his brother Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar) who stays in London. In his quest, Kush goes through an array of wacky encounters with several families until he finally finds that perfect girl in Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif), the craziest / wackiest girl he has ever known. Both the families meet. Formalities completed. Preparations proceed in full swing. And just then, our hero Kush falls in love with Dimple, his brother's dulhan. What follows is a comical and unpredictable series of events in this unusual topsy-turvy tale of love.Written by
Decades ago, there was a time when good movies and successful movies meant the same thing. Content was the king and filmmakers made good movies in order to be successful. But then things changed. Commercial success and good quality cinema became distant from each other. Chak De India and Company became less and Ready, Om Shanti Om and Tees Maar Khan started defining success.
This overdose of commercialism also results in films like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (MBKD) where the corporates decide on the cast first and script comes later. Is script important to filmmakers or to the masses? Probably not. The success of Ready and Bodyguard assure that it's not. Then why fuss about the story of MBKD? Masses in the 100% occupied theater in the late night show were giggling and laughing. The guy sitting next was literally rolling on the floor. It doesn't matter if 10% of the people sitting in that theater did not like the script because they will not decide the success or failure of the film.
MBKD is a love triangle, pretty much a love rectangle, of Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar and Tara D'Souza. Ali, who breaks up his five year long relationship with Tara, assigns his younger brother Imran the task of finding him a bride in India. Imran finds Katrina and falls in love with her much to his own dislike and the trouble begins. Along come extremely unnatural dialog delivery, roughly cut sequences and superfluous song placements. As promising as the premise of the script sounds, it's the extremely unpersuasive first hour that makes the film a drag. Every actor is trying to defeat the other in overacting. On the plus side, the film has pretty good choreography especially in the title song where Chaiyan Chaiyan has been replicated in a very creative way and Madhubala which gives a new life to Jai Jai Shiv Shankar. Bosco-Ceaser, good show, boys.
The second half gets much better after a relatively mundane start and does get funny in a few segments. A big reason for this turnaround is Ali Zafar who has much more screen presence in the second half than the first.
Speaking of Ali's performance, it does have its shortcomings; however, it still remains the best act in the film especially in the second half. His comic timing is much better than Imran's although not as good as it was in Tere Bin Laden (TBL). He was pretty good in his scenes with Tara D'Souza in the second half. He has a pretty special talent in voice variations which excelled in this performance and saved grace in the second half. Most of his shortcomings could be attributed to the director's weak treatment. From Ali's perspective, it was a good movie to sign. With TBL he grabbed the attention of filmmakers and he needed this to grab the audience too and it makes sense for his future in the industry. He needs to improve his dancing skills though.
Imran disappoints. After an entertaining Delhi Belly, this looks like a hasty effort from the actor. Utterly artificial scenes with his childhood friends and no chemistry whatsoever with Katrina. Romantic scenes between the two looked amateurish to say the least. It was another one of those Break Ke Baad and I Hate Luv Storys types of performances by Imran. Katrina Kaif surprised on a few occasions. In fact, in the first half, she was probably the best of the lot mainly because others were pretty bad. Poor bike scenes and poor rock concert song where she could not control her overacting but decent otherwise. Her role was very badly conceived. A 27 year old acting like a 13 year old is never funny.
Tara D'Souza did well in her brief role; however, she was again portraying a confusingly written character. Other supporting cast was a drag except for Zeeshan Ayub who played Shobit.
A huge frustration was the cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee. I'm still struggling to understand what he was trying to do. One of the worst displays of camera works I have witnessed in recent past. 60% of the film was in extreme close-ups with only the actors' faces visible on the huge screen. Camera looked as if it was going to go inside their noses. Sudeep has an impressive career record with Chak De India, Kaminey, Guzarish and a fairly impressive Road. I believe he was probably working on a brief from the director for that completely not-so-innovative camera work.
Which brings us to probably the biggest culprit of the film, the second Ali associated with it i.e. Ali Abbas Zafar. He wrote and directed the film and more often than not failed on both. A very weak script which depended a lot on acting and dialogues, hence, succeeded at some places and failed at others. The story was half cooked and a mixture of several films previously seen like Tanu Weds Manu, Jab We Met etc. Direction was flawed, full of unnecessary sequences, unplanned songs and even continuity errors like shoes changing from within scene.
Overall, MBKD could have been and should have been a much better film if, and a huge if, it had a better script, better direction, better acting and more prominent role for Ali Zafar. It still might be a successful outing on the box office, because as I said earlier, commercial success has new definitions in this day and age, however, it's pretty far away from being a good film.
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