Plots Lost and Found

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NISHA SUSAN

SOMETIMES A MEDIOCRE film will allow you the fantasy of the film it could have been. Perhaps Director Mudassar Aziz too had an abiding fantasy of the film he would have liked to have made. Perhaps that film is the story of an early autumn romance — the considerate and passionate love affair between Miami-based tycoon Pavan (Shah Rukh Khan) and Trinidadian model Shimmer (Sushmita Sen). It is not too much of a stretch to imagine this as a form of fan-fiction ( especially with its mild echoes of Bette Davis and her lover in All About Eve).

FILM >> DULHA MIL GAYA
DIRECTOR >> MUDASSAR AZIZ
STARRING >> SHAH RUKH KHAN, SUSHMITA SEN, FARDEEN KHAN, SUCHITRA PILLA-MALIK 
RATING >> * * * * *

Perhaps it could have been about the girl nerd Samarpreet (Ishita Sharma) who embraces the extreme adventure of finding the Trinidadian millionaire NRI Tej Dhanraj who married her and disappeared into the ether. She fills visa applications, leaves her village in Punjab, flies to Trinidad, scales high walls and breaks into a house. Sharma is fresh-faced, charming and frequently funny.

Perhaps the phantom film was one about bored playboy Tej (Fardeen Khan) whose father’s will forces him to get married to keep his fortune. The diary he carries around like Linus’ security blanket belonged to his dead mother, whose fraught marriage haunts him. Bu Dulha Mil Gaya is a thin, thin gruel of these storylines. Fardeen (in comparison to his nubile young heroine) looks so much like a drunken old roué that it changes the narrative alarmingly. Post make-over Samarpreet falls into the trap of being the retro desi bride who would drive anyone (and for sure Fardeen) into drink and orgy. Sushmita Sen plays both whimsical diva and generous Henry Higgins to Samarpreet with more than passable comic timing but is forced to also play airhead.

Since Aziz was shooting with the blessings of the Trinidadian government could he not have got some chutney soka music in, instead of Dulha Mil Gaya’s appalling song-and-dance routines? There are a surprising number of funny one-liners in this film. There would have been more if Aziz and producer Vivek Vaswani had not lost their nerves and decided to hit all their lines as hard as a boxer.

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