Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: Sporadically brilliant

Indians have this obsession with shaadi’s and people that want to get married. Remember the hullabaloo surrounding Rakhi’s swayamwar? This is perhaps a trademark of Yashraj Films, and while the venerable studio continues to make very entertaining cinema, the references to Yashraj films gone by is starting to wear a bit thin. Marriages and candy floss romance never go out of fashion, but Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is watchable purely because of the crackling chemistry of the lead protagonists. The story is as predictable as they come, and the actors (Katrina Kaif, Imran Khan and Ali Zafar) are what make this movie work, lending their youth and vibrancy to the movie in generous dollops. If you believed that Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif would work as a pair, you were right. But they’ve worked together despite the limitations of the story and not because of it.

In the simplest of terms, allow us to broadly break down the movie’s story for you. Luv Agnihotri (Ali Zafar) asks his brother Kush (Imran Khan) to find him a bride, and what follows is a love triangle with Dimple Dixit (Katrina Kaif) the third spoke of this triangle. What follows is the usual filmy love story followed by the will he, won’t he questions that a;ll of us have come to know so well. The premise, it has to be said, has plenty of potential for laughs and the movie follows a fairly brisk tempo in the opening half hour before it starts to trail off a bit and rely purely on the crackling chemistry of its beautiful protagonists. The characters are appealing and the ride is a bit fun, but it runs out of imagination somewhere along the way.

Credit where credit’s due, the casting of this movie is spot on right down to the last actor and some of the dialogue writing really makes you crack a smile despite any misgivings you might have about the film. The film does a great deal to capture the flavor of Northern India, and the hero’s buddies quipping about Katrina (“Bhabhi badi frank hai”) makes you wish there was more story to go around, for the dialogue writers have captured the mood and persona of the characters perfectly. Romantic comedies thrive on the idiosyncrasies of its characters, and Katrina’s laid-back bindaas character is the focal point of the film without a doubt. Of course, she has moments of faux coolness (“woohoo…hey guys!”) but in all Katrina carries her role off as well as she could. Ali Zafar holds his own while poor Imran looks mightily confused at all times.

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan picks up the pace again towards the end, but this is a film you must walk into without any real expectations of instant greatness or gratification. It entertains in its own way, but the story had so much potential that went unused and so it must be said that this is merely a one-time watch that many will remember primarily because they love Katrina Kaif or Imran Khan. And frankly, how can you not like either of them? They’re young, likable and very vivacious, and that’s what makes this film work at the end of the day.

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