Dil Bole Hadippa, this week’s big release, is the story of a feisty Punjabi Kudi, Veera Kaur (Rani Mukherjee) who eats, breathes and lives cricket. But her village has no Girls’ cricket team so that gives her very little chance to play. Her ultimate dream is to bring glory to her Pind by playing against the Pakistanis in the Aman Cup, a friendly cricket tournament organized by two best friends- Liaqat Ali from Pakistan and Vikram Kapoor (Played by Anupam Kher) from India. After facing defeat for 7 years straight, Vikram summons his son-Rohan from England (Shahid Kapoor) to lead the team and infuse the much needed spirit. Rohan conducts selections for the team, which Veera takes to be her golden chance. So she dons the attire of a man, in order to be able to play. Veera, becomes Veer Pratap Singh. And hence, the confusion begins.
DBH is one of those Great Indian Potboilers. It stands for all things archetypically Indian. Like London returned guy falling in love with the Desi Kudi (Yawwwn...) , Village girl going on to prove her detractors wrong, the Father asking his Son to fulfil his sapna, a Rakhi Sawant Item number, a song after every few minutes, the whole 'Ik Onkar Satnam' playing everytime Rani comes to bat (!!) , even a “Rani -Jhansi-can-do-it-why-cant-I" speech at the end ( Lol).…..the list is endless. Infact the village where DBH is based, is the one that you have seen in (COUNTLESS ) squared number of films. DDLJ,Veer Zara, Namaste London, Singh is King…For god’s sake, why cant we have a different setting ? The film has nothing to offer in terms of originality, the plots and the concept is done to death. The matches are shoddy, they lack the finesse and thrill of Chak De or Lagaan. While cricket could have been the high point of the film, it slips into the background in the second half when the focus shifts on their love angle.
Well.. before you conclude.. there’s a bright side too. The film’s entertaining to the extent that it gives value for money. Its funny in parts. Particular scenes stand out.. like the one where Veera is taken to the Men’s room forcefully. Rani is endearing, to say the least. And Rakhi’s overshot expectations, whatever little is there of her, it makes for pleasant viewing. After the Dev Ds and Kamineys, its kind of refreshing to have a family entertainer which doesn’t require you to expend your intellect but just enjoy the ride.. however senseless it may be. Rani’s comic timing is perfect, though her dialogue delivery is a little irritating at times. Shahid is pushing the envelope with every film. He might not have given an Oscar Winning performance here but it is better than what the so called Rulers of Bollywood (SRK, Akshay Kumar etc) do.
If only the cliches did not so much outweigh the goodness of the film, we could have had a decent caper at hand. Dil Bole Hadippa is STANDARD Bollywood. And sorry to say but we have had decades of it.