Any good Indian husband somehow tries to keep his wife happy, and in love. So does an Indian wife. They ensure her spouses get all the love in the world from them.
Cut to a situation where a newly wedded woman confesses to her sincere and dutiful husband that she can never ever love him. He admits his fate.
In fact, they live separately in other rooms from the very first day of their wedding (prior to the confession scene).
The wife, as we may think is heartless, melts her husband’s heart when she accepts his ‘invitation’ to come downstairs for meeting his office colleagues, who want to meet their Bhabhi, eat and drink to their hearts.
Behind all these smiles, fun, and frolics, lies sadness in the couple’s life. She serves soft drinks and food, wears a pretty smile while interacting with them, listens to their jokes, and even laughs out loud.
But all that is momentary happiness. Aditya Chopra’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) is all about that couple (Shah Rukh Khan as Surinder/Raj and debutante Anushka Sharma as Taani).
Taani is married off to Surinder, who is her late father’s all-time favourite student. She marries marry to keep her dying father’s last wish. Surinder is an ideal man and perfect husband material.
Taani is a flamboyant girl, who believes in love stories coming true (Mills and Boons). But Aditya Chopra does not make this happen to Taani.
Instead, he pushes his heroine to a situation where she has to live with Surinder, a not-so-attractive man, who has mustaches, wears glasses, goes off to his office (Punjab Power, Lighting Up Your Life ji, he keeps saying), rides a scooter and returns home haggard.
Rab Ne Bana Jodi mixed romance with emotions. The textured layers of emotions, love, and sacrifices make the movie different from other Yashraj ventures. Aditya Chopra returned to direction after ‘Mohabbatein’ (2000), a hiatus of eight years.
Taani’s only happiness is dance classes, which she joins to keep boredom at bay. Surinder, now obvious of his fate, goes for a makeover for wooing her.
His friend Bobby (played by the versatile Vinay Pathak), who owns a parlour, transforms Surinder into a young, hot, and happening cool guy Raj (Naam To Suna Hoga, Raj asks Taani at their first meeting at the dance class).
Taani, a good-natured woman, has to win the dance competition with Raj as her partner (partners selected randomly).
Though she hates Raj, she falls for his happy-go-lucky attitude, and above all ways to woo a woman.
In an emotional scene, she reveals how sad she is in her marriage with Surinder. Raj alias Surinder feels happy and sad at the same time.
On one hand, he knows Taani is unhappy with Surinder, and on the other; she is happy with Raj.
The character of Raj/Surinder deserves special mention here for his ability to change and also feel different. If she elopes with Raj, it is his win and Surinder’s loss.
One man’s meat is another man’s poison, but here the ‘one man’ and the ‘another man’ is the same.
Raj, as Surinder keeps saying ‘lighting up your life ji’, lightens the entire city of Amritsar to propose Taani. A bemused Taani looks at him and curses her fate.
Being a dutiful wife, she cannot leave her husband, whom she does not love at all.
Surinder’s ceaseless tragic moments continue to shatter his life. Taani begs Raj to take her away from Surinder and this compromised marriage.
A happy Raj and sad Surinder agree. The various layers of emotions in the three characters Surinder, Raj and Taani keep surfacing throughout the movie.
The final dance competition (Raj and Taani get selected from the last round) reveals everything. As Taani waits for her dance partner and would-be-life partner, steps in Surinder on the stage. Though confused, Taani realises Surinder’s boundless love for her.
It’s really the Rab, who makes these jodis.