In other words, I LOVED the film, even if the title sucks, and Rani is more Bubbli than Veera! But it is Shahid who captures hearts with a slick and cerebral performance in a movie that is supposed to belong to (ghar ki) Rani. Not that Aditya Chopra's girl does not deliver. Rani is superb as Veer Pratap, but as Veera, it is yesterday once more. Plus, the close- ups are a little cruel. The thing about Rani is that she has blinded us with her wholesome appeal over years, and it is impossible to switch gears and accept her in an ill -fitting gold bikini top. Kyon???? You want to scream. Leave that to the hungry bimbettes who need the exposure ( pun!). Rani is way above the rest in the histrionics game, and she isn't going to woo new admirers by stripping. By the time the credits roll and the bikini-harem pants finally come on, the audience is already in love with her. Besides, the work that has gone into her performance is equally evident, when she hits those balls out of the field. The script is king , here. What an unusual story, and how cleverly executed, minus any artificiality ( if you can ignore Rakhi Sawant and some horsy creature called Sonia, clad in lame hot pants). This is the sort of 'family entertainment' that has been ignored for too long by our hot shot producers busy chasing ludicrous plots and action thrillers sans logic. It is very much an old- fashioned, sweetly chaste, unapologetic 'sarson da saga', more Punjabi than makki di roti, but equally palatable. The OTT Yash Raj touches are everywhere, particularly in a silly 'date' sequence, in which Shahid takes over a typical dhaba to woo his 'Buffalo Girl', no, not with lassi , rabri and jalebis alone, but a chilled bottle of Moet!
The 'Nautanki' dressing room resembles a Baz Lurhmann set from 'Moulin Rouge', or at least the dressing rooms of the ongoing Lakme India Fashion Week. Some nautanki company, this!! To justify it, Rakhi Sawant performs a sizzling item number that leaves Bipasha Basu's 'Bidi', in its packet... or at the gatepost. Rani as Veer Pratap, matches her step for step in this wonderfully choreographed number. As for Shahid's hot moves and his SRK take- off - the man struts his stuff with absolute panache. He could so easily replace ALL the Khans with his freshness in this role. Far more convincing here than in that embarrassingly gauche, stutter-lisp 'Kaminey' double dholki. His bod looks hot - all compact abs and strong tennis wrists. Let's hope success doesn't corrupt this young actor. He could be the 21st century Dilip Kumar.
As for Rani..... darling, you proved your point. You are the best. Now, will you just go off and get married, please?
And yes, leave those LBDs to the wannabes. Stick to patialas and mojris - nobody wears them better.