Trailer Watch: 'Dilwale'
Dilwale, one of the two headliners for this year’s Christmas releases, finally unveiled its much awaited trailer earlier this week, putting an end to more than a year of gossip, speculation and intrigue about the film. The trailer came hot on the heels of revealing several logo posters, which themselves looked like the rushed amateur handiwork of a first year graphic design student hurriedly finishing a design assignment on their way to class, but was it much of an improvement? I'm sorry to say, but for me anyway, like the logos the trailer too remained largely unimpressive!
And to say that's a shame might be an understatement, because there were/are many reasons to be excited about Dilwale. For one it's directed by the serial masala hitmaker Rohit Shetty, and secondly it reunites one of the most loved 'jodis' of Hindi cinema – Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, along with fresh newbies Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon. Major money has been pumped into shooting in Iceland and Bulgaria. There were even fan pics and ‘leaks’ of SRK and Kajol shooting romantic numbers and Varun Dhawan driving luxury cars during the shoot of the film. So given all this hysteria, why doesn't the trailer ultimately deliver?
Given the many marketing strategies, some smart, some not so much, like that tweet from SRK which went out to his entire follower list urging them to watch the trailer, or them basically pissing all over Bajirao's parade, there was a lot that I should have been looking forward to but it didn't happen!
It's because the trailer can't seem to decide where it wants to go. It's all over the place. All it seems hell bent on doing is cashing in heavily on the chemistry between SRK and Kajol by making several references to their most iconic film together to date, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, with the most prominent being when SRK intently states ‘Dil to har kisi ke paas hota hai, lekin sab…dilwale nahi hote’. See what they did there?!
In a three minute, seventeen second trailer, little is revealed about the plot other than SRK possibly being a gangster and falling in love with Kajol, only to possibly be separated. There appears to be a time jump of 15 years (or 15 years, 4months, 10 days as SRK says, while looking dolefully at a teary-eyed Kajol in what appears to be an emotionally charged scene) during his first encounter with Kajol, after which we see Varun as either SRK's younger brother or younger brother-figure who falls in love with Kriti.
Subsequently, SRK appears to be reformed man who somehow gets sucked into the gangster life again (but this is all supposition). Somehow, in all this chaos, a lot of fancy cars race each other, get blown up, flashy bikes are ridden, a lot of bullets are fired and the soundtrack screeches in the background while showing some truly beautiful shots of Kajol and SRK cosying up at some foreign locations. To top it off, we then get the tagline at the end of the trailer: ‘Some love stories never end….!' Huh? Phew! Confused? So were we!
The trailer does very little in conveying any semblance of plot and instead puts all its weight behind advertising what it offers – Action! Romance! Comedy! Guns! Girls! Cars! Bikes! This is even more evident when it proclaims ‘The gang that gave you… (cue list of Shetty’s previous hits). Rohit Shetty and team are back for your family this Christmas’. What else do you need? A coherent plot might be a good place to start I suspect!
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its plus points. The cinematography is amazing, Kajol looks stunning and the youngest she ever has, SRK smirks and romances like only he can, Varun dances like a dream and is matched by Kriti, and yet despite all of that it all frankly doesn't seem to go anywhere.
The box office fate of Dilwale will only be decided come 18 December, but judging by what we've seen so far, it mostly looks like a typical Rohit Shetty flick i.e. a commercial blockbuster with very little critical appeal.
Are you looking forward to Dilwale?