Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
|Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Aditya Chopra|
|Produced by||Aditya Chopra|
|Written by||Aditya Chopra|
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan|
|Cinematography||Ravi K. Chandran|
|Edited by||Ritesh Soni|
|12 December 2008|
|Box office||est. ₹157 crores|
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (transl. A Match Made By God), also known as RNBDJ, is a 2008 Indian Hindi-language romantic comedy film written and directed by Aditya Chopra and produced by Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra under the banner Yash Raj Films. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, who makes her Bollywood debut with this film. It follows a mild-mannered office worker Surinder Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan), whose love for his beautiful and vivacious wife Taani (Anushka Sharma), causes him to transform himself into the loud and fun-loving "Raj Kapoor" to win her love. It was released worldwide on 12 December 2008 and marked Chopra's return to directing after an 8-year hiatus following his previous directorial venture, Mohabbatein (2000), which also starred Khan.
The film was not heavily promoted pre-release by Khan or Yash Raj Films, mainly due to uncertainty and apprehensions regarding cinema-market conditions following the terror attacks in Mumbai. Upon release, the film received mixed-to-positive reviews and broke many box office records. It was quickly declared a super-hit, and at the end of its theatrical run, it grossed over ₹1.57 billion (US$22 million) worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing Hindi film of the year overseas, as well as Yash Raj and Khan's highest- grossing film. The film's soundtrack was composed by Salim–Sulaiman, and it became the first Bollywood soundtrack to reach the top 10 albums sales on the iTunes Store.
The film's script was recognized by a number of critics and was invited to be included in the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, just a day after its release. The script is accessible for research purposes only; students, filmmakers, writers, and actors are among the regular patrons.
Surinder "Suri" Sahni is a shy, introverted, and kind-hearted office employee for Punjab Power who falls in love at first sight with Taani, the extroverted, cheerful daughter of his former Professor Gupta at her engagement, but is unable to express it. Her fiancé and her entire wedding entourage are killed in a road accident. The shocked Gupta suffers a major cardiac arrest and is hospitalized. On his deathbed, fearing that Taani will be alone in the world, the dying Gupta implores that Surinder marries her. Surinder silently concedes because he likes her anyway and as a respect to his professor, while Taani agrees to fulfill her father's last wish. Professor Gupta passes away and after an impromptu wedding, Surinder takes Taani to his ancestral home in Amritsar. While his good nature leads Surinder to treat her with exceptional care;– he even lets her have his bedroom all to herself;– he is too frightened to profess his love for her. Taani later tells him that she will try to be a good wife and thus respect her role in his life, but that she can never love him due to having no love left within her after the loss of her former fiancé. Surinder, grateful for the increasing acts of wifely affection that Taani shows him, proceeds to indulge her wishes. These include regular evening trips to the cinema to see Bollywood movies which appeal to Taani's fantasies about romance and her passion for dancing.
A few days later, Taani finds a dancing competition poster and asks for Surinder's permission to take part in it as it would help her unwind from her mundane life at home. He grants her request and provides the entry fee. During the evenings that Surinder and Taani spend at theatres, Surinder realises it is the strong and masculine images of men that Taani admires, and later on, asks his best friend, Balwinder "Bobby" Khosla, a hair-salon owner, for grooming advice that could help him win her love. Bobby gives him a complete makeover—which includes trimming off his mustache, changing his hairstyle to spiky, and fitting him out in funky Western-style clothing, including aviator-style shades with oversize pastel lenses. Surinder is thus transformed into "Raj", a name he borrows from the hero of a film that Taani admired. Raj goes to Taani's dancing competition venue to see her dance. Raj joins the competition and at the end of that dance class, all participants are put into groups of two by random numbers given by the staff, and both Raj and Taani have the number '21'. Despite Raj's initial over-the-top attempts to emulate the "cool" images given by heroes in films, after the first attempt of impressing Taani in that way, Taani refuses to be his partner, telling 'Raj' that they will never win the competition if he continues his antics. Raj responds by imploring her that he will improve and they become friends, working together on their dance routine.
Raj feels encouraged with Taani's guidance in special dance sequences, and Taani feels good to come out from the mundane home cooking-washing housewife routine. Finally, luckily and miraculously, they are both selected for the finals. It is at this time, Raj decides to profess his love for Taani. Taani is shocked and enters into a period of internal conflict, despite Raj telling her that they can still remain friends even if she does not reciprocate his love. Surinder also faces a dilemma as he can not tell Taani that he is disguised as Raj. He thus attempts to win Taani's love as Surinder, an act which only alienates her further. Bobby tells him to show his love to Taani as Surinder. He takes Taani to a trade fair where he finds that Taani had no interest in the fair except for the Japan section. Knowing that his salary would not be sufficient enough to take Taani on a trip to Japan, he enters a Sumo wrestling competition where the winner gets a chance to visit Japan. He wrestles with the Sumo wrestler, gets injured in the process, but finally wins the competition. Taani gets shell shocked and infuriated at this. At home, she asks him while dressing his wounds, the reason for his actions, and pleads him to not keep showering his care for her as she would not be able to repay. Surinder tells to himself that true love cannot be repaid. He is disappointed that Taani cannot see his love for her as himself, only as Raj. Later that night, Taani plans to elope with Raj. Surinder tells Bobby that he will end the charade in his own way, sacrificing his cravings for her love, leaving her his property and transferring himself to Delhi. On the day of the competition, Surinder takes Taani to the Golden Temple to gain God's blessings for her performance for that night and, internally, also for her life without Raj.
While there, Taani has a realisation in which she believes God has shown her a sign that her marriage to Surinder is divinely inspired. For the first time, she reflects on her husband and becomes aware of the strength and integrity of Surinder's character, something which she grows to love. Taani thus tells Raj on the night of the competition, that she cannot choose him over her husband as it is equivalent to leaving God. She leaves him in what appears to be a state of shock with tears in his eyes, but Raj is secretly happy that Taani loves his "true self", Surinder. When the time comes for their performance, Taani is stunned to see Surinder instead of Raj joining her on stage. While dancing Taani puts two and two together and through a series of flashbacks, she awakens to the fact that Surinder is in fact Raj. Backstage, after their dance, she tearfully confronts Surinder, and when he confesses his love for her, she admits that she reciprocates his feelings. The two win the competition.
The film ends with Surinder and Taani visiting Japan via the tickets he had obtained at the trade fair, on their honeymoon.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Surinder "Suri" Sahni / Raj Kapoor
- Anushka Sharma as Taani Surinder Sahni (née Gupta)
- Vinay Pathak as Balwinder 'Bobby' Khosla, Surinder's best friend
- Manmeet Singh as Raju, garage owner
- Richa Pallod as actress in a film in the theatre (cameo)
- M. K. Raina as Professor Gupta, Taani's father and Surinder's professor
- Isha Koppikar as Dance Master
- Aneesha Dalal as Dance Master (Madonna madam by Raj)
- Kajol as Nargis (special appearance)
- Bipasha Basu as Sadhana Shivdasani (special appearance)
- Lara Dutta as Helen (Special appearance)
- Preity Zinta as Sharmila Tagore (special appearance)
- Rani Mukerji as Neetu Singh (special appearance)
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi tells a story from the point of view of an ordinary person and, most importantly, conveys a message that being 'ordinary' is cool. The filmmakers were confident that it would be able to strike a chord with millions because the film has ordinary people as its target audience:
"As middle-class people, so many of us have a routine life. We wake up in the morning, get dressed, go to office, come back, sometimes for a change we buy things to take home, watch TV, eat dinner and go to sleep. And then we repeat this day after day, week after week. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi talks about one such man who lives a routine life. It is simple film at heart."
Casting and filming
In February 2008, Aditya Chopra announced that he will helm another film titled Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and that it will star his lucky mascot, Shah Rukh Khan. The female lead was to be a newcomer who would be chosen following a massive talent hunt for a young, demure woman with quintessential Punjabi features. In May, Yash Raj announced the casting of the 19-year-old model Anushka Sharma as the heroine opposite Shahrukh Khan. Yash Chopra commented:
"We were looking first for someone who could truly embody the spirit of small town Punjab. We know we have found her in Anushka. While she has no previous acting experience, we have seen that unique spark in her that makes us confident that she will be a standout even opposite Shah Rukh" Sharma was chosen over hundreds of girls for this role and was kept hidden from the media during the filming. When asked about that, Khan said: "The idea was not to keep her a secret; we wanted her work to speak for her. When new actors come into films, it is important for people to see their work and then question them. It becomes easier after the film releases." Vinay Pathak was cast to play an important role in the film, making it his first commercial outing.
Filming began in May 2008; Yash Chopra was present at the shoot. A portion was shot with Khan at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. Khan had to lose the six-pack abs he developed for the song "Dard-E-Disco" from Om Shanti Om (2007) since he was playing the role of a very normal, regular person.
|Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||14 November 2008|
|Venue||Mumbai, Los Angeles, California|
|Studio||YRF Studios, Mumbai|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||Yash Raj Films|
The soundtrack of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was composed by Salim–Sulaiman. The lyrics of all the songs have been given by Jaideep Sahni. This marks the second collaboration of the composer duo with Shah Rukh Khan, after Chak De! India, in which the soundtrack album became a success. The album was mixed by Vijay Dayal at YRF Studios in Mumbai and was mastered by Brian “Big Bass” Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
The song "Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte" pays homage to Bollywood actors Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Rishi Kapoor and actresses Nargis, Sadhana, Helen, Sharmila Tagore, and Neetu Singh. The performance of the song includes appearances by Kajol, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, Preity Zinta, and Rani Mukerji.
The soundtrack of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was released on 14 November 2008. It is the first Bollywood soundtrack to reach the top 10 albums sales for the iTunes Store. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 19,00,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack album was the year's second highest-selling.
|1.||"Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai" (Male)||Roop Kumar Rathod||04:43|
|2.||"Haule Haule"||Sukhwinder Singh||04:25|
|3.||"Dance Pe Chance"||Sunidhi Chauhan, Labh Janjua||04:22|
|4.||"Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte"||Sonu Nigam||06:36|
|5.||"Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai" (Female)||Shreya Ghoshal||01:44|
|7.||"Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai" (Hinglish Mashup)||Roop Kumar Rathod, Jay Kadn||03:33|
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was released across 30 countries worldwide on 12 December 2008 on over 1,200 screens, including approximately 300 prints for the overseas market, making it the first time a Bollywood film was released on such a wide scale. Before release, the film witnessed a large volume of advance bookings. Aditya Chopra, who is known for maintaining secrecy over his films and not showing them to anyone until the day of release, made an exception and held a special screening on 23 November 2008 at Yash Raj Studios. The screening was attended by Khan and his family, Karan Johar, Yash Chopra, and debutant Anushka Sharma.
There was a huge debate in the industry whether Aditya Chopra's decision to go ahead with the release of film in the wake of the terror strikes in Mumbai was the right one. With the trauma of the terrorist attacks on Mumbai city on 26, 27, and 28 November still fresh, there was divided opinion on the release schedule. While some felt that Chopra should go ahead with the release because the public, tired and depressed after watching news of the attacks and the aftermath on television screens, would be waiting for a true entertainer to divert its mind, others thought he should postpone the film release as the audiences, not just in Mumbai but all over the country, were still not in a mood to visit theatres.
The first poster of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was released in October in theatres and multiplexes across India, with full-page advertisements in national dailies. The first theatrical promo was released on 14 November, with Karan Johar's Dostana. Initially very little was known about the movie, and there were many theories floating around on the Internet about the story. The first music promo of the song "Haule Haule" was released on 2 November 2008, across all leading television channels to coincide with Khan's 43rd birthday. The song promo had received praise from the public.
Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama gave the DVD of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi 3.5 out of 5 stars stating that it is a good choice if you "want to watch a clean family movie at home." The DVD includes the documentaries, The Making of the Film and The Making of the Songs ("Haule Haule", "Dance Pe Chance", "Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte") as well as a number of deleted scenes and interviews. The film was released on Blu-ray a year after its theatrical release.
Upon release, the film received mixed-to-positive reviews. Robert Abele of the Los Angeles Times calls Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi an "agreeably amusing comedy/romance/musical" noting that, "the magnetic Khan is a skilled enough comic actor with his physical transformation—like a Peter Sellers-ish recessive turning into a Jerry Lewis extrovert—that believing Taani wouldn't notice isn't difficult." Rachel Saltz of The New York Times describes it as "soft, sweet and slow, in the words of one of its songs. It deftly blends comedy, the ruling tone of the new Bollywood, with melodrama, the ruling tone of the old." Manish Gajjar of the BBC gave the film 4 out of 5 stars noting that, "Shah Rukh Khan makes you laugh and cry as the nerdy-looking, clumsy, bespectacled Surinder and the all hip and happening Raj. A true professional in his own right, Khan breezes through his dialogues during the emotional and comic scenes." Frank Lovece of Film Journal International argues that it is "smarter and more self-aware of its rom-com contrivances than most Hollywood movies" and notes that while "the movie's cleverness eventually devolves into a simplistic Harlequin-Romance-for-males wish-fulfillment about beauty and the geek, it's a very well-acted variation on a Hollywood staple." Critic and author Maitland McDonagh of MissFlickChick.com stated that the film, "has been dismissed in some quarters as self-conscious and artificial, a coyly self-referential reworking of outdated movie tropes a la Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven, but it works for me in a way that most contemporary Hollywood romcoms don't."
The film also received some negative reviews. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN was critical, giving it 2 out of 5 stars and stating that "Aditya Chopra's return to direction after 8 years is marked by a flawed script, which in turn spawns a disappointing film. Where's the smart dialogue and the spirited characters that defined his debut film, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge? There's no trace of either in this film...the problem then, at the root of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, is that much like those artificial sets in the film, the emotions too are contrived." Derek Elley of Variety argues that the film has "a huge, hollow center that sinks the project early on...A paper-thin script drags itself to the finish line amid tiresome mugging by Khan, a huge credibility gap (she never recognizes him without his glasses and mustache?) and a blah score with only one showstopper (featuring 5 famous actresses)."
A number of critics have further noted the similarities between this movie and superhero films. Khalid Mohamed, of the Hindustan Times, gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars stating that Suri "is a soul brother to the mousy Clark Kent-cum-Superman" who "makes you laugh and sob alternately." Mayank Shekhar from Mumbai Mirror gave the film three out of five stars and argues that "[The] same person, oppositely twinned, is usually the stuff of superhero films; the kinds of Clark Kent-Superman, Peter Parker-Spider-Man etc. You feel entirely lost in this fantasy flick, because for most part, it’s built around something so intimate and real. It’d be much easier to travel to foreign countries around far-fetched situations with fake heroes." In addition, Sudish Kamath of The Hindu stated that while Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi could have been an interesting art film exploring the dynamics of an arranged marriage, the director instead "treats this character type like Sam Raimi would treat Spider-Man...Superhero 'Raj' slips into costume and out, complains about how it gets uncomfortable around the crotch, to win over his Mary Jane with not much saving-the-world business to keep him busy. But while Spidey does it for a bigger reason than just MJ, Raj’s sole motivation is to stalk his wife and play out his fantasy as somebody else. His obsession with his alter-ego reaches new heights when he wants his wife to cheat on the real him—the goofy Surinder Saini who starts off well."
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi collected ₹420 million (US$5.9 million) in its opening week. By its fourth week, it had earned ₹860 million (US$12 million), making it Shah Rukh Khan's fifth consecutive blockbuster in 3 years and Aditya Chopra's third blockbuster as a director. The film grossed $8.43 million in the overseas market of which $2.09 million was contributed by the United States and $2.24 million from the UK, and was declared as a blockbuster overseas.
At the end of its theatrical run, it grossed ₹1,578.9 million (US$22 million) worldwide, thus becoming Yash Raj Films' and Khan's highest-grossing film at the time of its release. It was the second-highest-grossing film domestically and the highest-grossing in the overseas market that year.
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