Mere Brother Ki Dulhan: A Review

Mere Brother Ki Dulhan – Dir: Ali Abbas Zafar; *ing: Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Zafar

Kush Khush hota hai

There’s really no point in pretending that this is just another review of just another Bollywood blockbuster with a Khan in the lead role and Katrina Kaif’s torso providing formidable support. No sirree, MBKD is a big deal for it marks our boy Ali Zafar’s entry into the big league, which doesn’t get much bigger than the house of Yashraj, the Hindi film industry’s equivalent of the Corleones in terms of money, influence and success, minus (presumably) liquor rackets and the dead horse. Is it any good though? Well, it could’ve been worse.

Borrowing bits and bobs from here and there, like the Steve Carell dramedy Dan in Real Life, writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar (no relation) pulls together a simple enough tale: older brother Luv (Zafar) entrusts younger brother Kush (Khan) with the task of finding for him a suitable girl to be his bride. For some unstated reason, Kush thinks beer-swilling, psychotically enervated Dimple (Kaif) fits the bill. All goes well until soon-to-be devar-bhaabi realise they’re in love with each other.

What follows from here is mainly what sets MBKD apart from other similar themed films, and also, ultimately, what redeems it. Until this point, it’s yet another mildly amusing Bollywood comedy that tries too hard to be likeable (kind of like its heroine but more on that in a bit), what with its array of double entendres, quirky characters and the filmi references that come flying thick and fast. But in a fairly ballsy (for Bollywood) move, here the film breaks with convention and doesn’t allow itself to start floundering in syrupy, maudlin territory. No sad moon eyes for Dimple and Kush, no angsty laments about what an excremental blow fate has lobbed at them; nope, they see a hitch and, girding up their loins, set about un-hitching it. Director Zafar set out to make a comedy and he’s sticking to his water-squirting guns, dammit! MBKD is refereshingly free of emosanal atyachaar and that’s what keeps it watchable. It never quite reaches the heights of the likes of Jab We Met and Band Baja Baarat, which obviously were the blueprint for its breezy formula, but it gets an A for effort. Kaif is also quite clearly channelling Kareena Kapoor’s JWM performance; that unbridled effervescence doesn’t come naturally to her however, and the seams show in the almost constant widening of her eyes that the director lets her indulge in. Still, you get used to her loco act, enough to play along. Khan is adequate in a woefully underwritten role, while Zafar acquits himself nicely; he hams it up of course, but that fits in well with the overall OTT flavour of the film. He does even better as a singer: his infectious number ‘Madhubala’ is a standout, followed closely by ‘Dhunki’.

All in all, not a bad way to start treading Mumbai waters, Mr Zafar.

 Separated at birth?

Either in terms of theme or treatment, MBKD has much in common with

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na – Imran Khan finds love in unexpected quarters

I Hate Luv Storys – Imran Khan finds love in unexpected quarters – again!

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Hrithik Roshan finds love with Katrina Kaif – underwater!

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