Red Chillies Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and Rohit Shetty Productions’ Dilwale (UA) is a family drama and a romcom. Kali alias Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) lives with his younger brother, Veer (Varun Dhawan). Their father (Vinod Khanna) had had an untimely death. Actually, Veer is his father’s biological son while Kali had been picked up from the street. The father had taken to the world of crime and had also trained Kali but had kept Veer away from that world. In fact, Veer is unaware of the criminal antecedents of his family.
Fifteen years ago, Kali had been in love with Meera Malik (Kajol). Her father (Kabir Bedi), a name in the world of crime, and Kali’s father had been sworn enemies. Despite that, the two, Kali and Meera, had dared to fall in love. Their love story could’ve ended in marriage but that was not to be. Meera has held Kali responsible for their marriage not happening. In reality, actually, Kali had not been responsible for the fiasco.
Years had elapsed but Kali and Meera had both remained single. Kali now ran a car modification garage. He had given up the world of crime.
One day, Veer, now grown up, accidentally meets a pretty girl, Ishita (Kriti Sanon), and falls in love with her. Ishu, as he lovingly calls her, reciprocates Veer’s love. Veer, who helps his brother run the car modification garage, has a bosom pal, Sidhu (Varun Sharma). Unknown to Veer, Sidhu steals expensive parts of the fancy cars which come to his garage and supplies the same to garage owner Oscar (Sanjay Mishra) to make quick money so that he can keep his love story with Jenny (Chetna Pande) going on.
Quite by chance, Kali and Veer encounter King (Boman Irani), an influential drug dealer, who is aware of Kali’s criminal past.
After romancing Ishu for quite some time, Veer is now ready for marriage. Ishu, too, feels, it’s time to seal their romance with matrimony. But Ishu’s sister comes in the way of her marriage with Veer. The sister is none other than Meera.
What happens thereafter? Does Ishu heed her sister’s advice? Or do Veer and Ishu try to persuade the latter’s sister to allow her to marry him? Does Meera relent? Does she keep any conditions? Are they acceptable to both, Veer and Ishu? Does Veer ever get to know about his brother’s criminal past? Does Ishu learn about her sister’s real reason for not allowing her to wed Veer? Does Kali unite with Meera in matrimony or do they remain single? Or do they get married but not to each other? Does Veer live happily ever after with Ishu?
Rohit Shetty’s story is quite routine and, in fact, reminds of the plots of films of the 1980s and 1990s. But Yunus Sajawal has penned a screenplay which is laced with drama, romance, music, dance, emotions, action and comedy, all of which make the routine story contemporary and entertainingly engaging. Sajawal has padded the story with masala of every kind, catering to the youth and the masses and, to some extent, the class audience also. If Kali and Meera’s romance is fairly intense, their chemistry is fantastic. Veer and Ishu’s romance is modern. The comedy throughout the film is fresh and highly entertaining. In particular, the penchant of Oscar to keep repeating the punch-lines of advertisement shorts of consumer products is hilarious. The comic scenes of Veer, Sidhu and Mani (Johny Lever) are also funny and evoke a lot of laughter. One comic sequence featuring Veer and brother Kali’s two aides viz. Sidhu’s brother (Mukesh Tiwari) and Anwar (Pankaj Tripathi) is simply hilarious and will bring the house down with laughter. References to that scene (for instance, Pogo, Ramlal etc.) in the latter scenes keep evoking laughter. Sequences of King are also very funny. The comedy between Kali and Meera is cute. There is a dash of emotions in the pre-climax, which will moisten the eyes of the viewers. Of course, logic is often lacking and a lot is passed off in the name of cinematic liberty. This is one reason, besides the oft-repeated story, why a section of the classes and gentry audience will not appreciate the film beyond a point.
Sajid-Farhad’s dialogues, especially the comic ones, are excellent and often prompt the audience to break into giggles and peals of laughter.
Shah Rukh Khan looks fabulous – slim as ever, suave and stylish – and delivers a fantastic performance. If he is charm personified as the lover boy, he is endearing as the family man and menacing enough as the action hero. Kajol looks ravishing and does a first-rate job as Meera. A twist in the tale about her will shock the audiences out of their wits. Varun Dhawan is extremely endearing and plays to the gallery with an exaggerated performance. He will impress the youth audience a great deal. Kriti Sanon looks pretty and gets limited scope in which she does well. Sanjay Mishra takes the cake for his superb comedy and comic timing. Johny Lever’s comedy is enjoyable and his Hindi dialogues, spoken in South Indian style, are fun to listen to. Boman Irani has his funny moments and does justice to his brief role. Varun Sharma is sincere and his comedy is quite entertaining. His outburst to explain why he steals, is lovely. Mukesh Tiwari proves his mettle in the comedy sequence (with Varun Dhawan and Pankaj Tripathi), especially in the final outburst of that sequence. Pankaj Tripathi makes his presence felt with a very natural performance. Vinod Khanna doesn’t have much to do. He is alright. Kabir Bedi also gets very limited scope. He performs reasonably well. Nawab Shah (as Raghav), Chetna Pande (as Jenny), Pradeep Kabra (as Joshua), master Mitansh Lulla (as young Veer), baby Stuti Dixit (as little Ishita) and the others provide fair support.
Rohit Shetty’s direction is excellent. He balances all the ingredients of a masala entertainer beautifully, catering to the young and old, ladies and menfolk, rich and poor, classes and masses, and audiences in big and small centres. Music (Pritam Chakraborty) is very good. ‘Gerua’ and ‘Janam janam’ songs are already hit. The other numbers are also appealing. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are of a good standard. Song picturisations (choreographed by Farah Khan, Remo D’Souza, Raju Khan and Ganesh Hegde) are good but could’ve been better. Amar Mohile’s background music is superb. Dudley’s cinematography is eye-filling. Foreign locations have been wonderfully captured on the screen. Action scenes and stunts, designed by Rohit Shetty and choreographed by Sunil Rodrigues, Kalion and Grant, are terrific and will greatly appeal to the masses. Narendra Rahurikar’s production designing is of a fine standard. Bunty Nagi has edited the film effectively.
On the whole, Dilwale is a masala entertainer from the start till the end. It will do good business at the box-office, mainly on the strength of the support of the youth and the masses. Distributors, many of who have acquired the film at unbelievably high prices, will scrape through. As for the producers, this one is a lottery – sorry, windfall! Yes, the producers may make a net profit of Rs. 80-100 crore in this film!!