Millennial Review: Mangalsutra FTW in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’
(With Padmaavat on its way to becoming a massive success, Avinash Iyer, 32, thought it’s a good idea to revisit one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s earlier hits - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)
One female lead, two male leads, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Yes, we’re talking about……………………………..Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. What were you thinking?
At the start of the film, we’re introduced to Nandini’s (Aishwarya Rai) extra large joint parivaar. They’re almost like an annoying family WhatsApp group that has come to life.
People of all shapes and sizes constantly talking to one another, and the sad part is you can’t even mute them. Poor Nandini. But that’s the least of her problems. Nandini’s singer father is going to host his Italian shagird at their palatial haveli and she has been asked to give up her room for him. You see this story is set in the pre-Trivago world. Unhone shayad kabhi online hotel search hi nahin kiya tha.
The Italian shagird is Sameer (Salman Khan). He is shown walking on a desert, while finding his way to Nandini’s house. The camels were on surge pricing, probably. Once there, he starts learning sangeet, manages to amuse the WhatsApp group family with his antics and soon develops the hots for Nandini.
During one scene, when he’s kissing her, Nandini asks him whether that will make her pregnant. #VirginPeopleProblems. Sameer channelises his inner Dr Watsa and tells her that that’s not how babies are made.
And even as she’s busy learning about the birds and the bees, her family is doing rishte ki baat with Vanraj (Ajay Devgn) who also seems to be a virgin.
Vanraj had seen Nandini dance at her cousin’s wedding and instantly fallen for her. Who cares if their interests match or not, but we’re given to know that unke chhatees ke chhatees gunn milte hain. Good luck with that.
Now Vanraj seems like the kind of person who would write ‘Only looking for friends. No hook ups’ in his Tinder bio and his facial expression throughout the film is of someone who has received only Rs 20 cashback on a Rs 1000 transaction. Sameer is sent packing, and Nandini’s family marries her off to Vanraj against her wishes.
This poor dude tries to establish pati-patni ka rishta on his suhaagraat only to be c**kblocked by his wife. Now how will Raju Chacha, Raju Chacha come, come, come?
As for Nandini, to borrow from Shubh Mangal Savdhaan, her gufa will only open for Alibaba Sameer. Sorry Vanraj, no ‘bob and vagene’ for you. You do feel bad for him. Imagine saving yourself for marriage and then this happens. And boy, she almost treats him as you would do to someone who doesn’t have an Aadhaar card. Now that should give you a fair idea.
Soon Vanraj, his virginity still intact, learns why his wife has zero interest in him and he decides to unite her with Sameer, who is supposedly in Italy. They leave for Italy and after putting in some efforts manage to track him down. But trust Nandini to come up with surprises time and again. After finding Sameer, she….*wait for it*……friendzones him because she is shaadishudha now and must go back to her pati. Mangalsutra, FTW yougaiz! So much for c**kblocking him in the first place.
Nandini runs along the length of this long bridge at the end of which is Vanraj. This run is very reminiscent of the one that we see at the end of Devdas.
Quite sure that if Sanjay Leela Bhansali were to make Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, he’d cast Aishwarya Rai in the title role. Bhaagne ki practice toh already ho gayi thi.
We dunno what happens to Sameer, but hopefully Nandini and Vanraj manage to lose ‘it’ this time round and live happily ever after.
On the side: Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam has some decent performances and all the things that you usually associate with a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, but is excruciatingly long. Like yawn-inducingly long.
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