'Rab Ne...' brings cheer to Yash Raj Films

Dec 13, 2008 IANS

Mumbai, Dec 13 (IANS) Mumbai is still not in a cinema-going mood after the terror strikes, but movie buffs - and loyal Shah Rukh Khan fans to be precise - could not have given Yash Raj Films' much-awaited movie "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" a miss. So if not in droves, they came in sizeable numbers for the first day first show to give the movie a decent and honourable opening in the city.

The opening collections here ranged from 70 percent to over 80 percent - and more in other parts of the country. According to initial reports, the collections were cent percent in many centres in north India, especially Punjab, thanks to rapid advance bookings.

Yash Raj Films (YRF), which has suffered monetary losses after successive failures of its recent ventures, could not have asked for more.

In one quick shot, "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" redeemed its prestige. The credit for this, as many in the industry said, should go to the 'jodi' (alliance) of Shah Rukh and the industry's most private filmmaker, Aditya Chopra - the duo that have given one of the biggest hits in "Dilwala Dulhaniya Le Jayenge".

The film is Shah Rukh's first release of the year. Apart from this, it is the first Shah Rukh Khan-Aditya Chopra film in over eight years. They had last collaborated for "Mohabbatein" in 2000.

Set in Amritsar, "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi" is the story of a mismatched couple played by Shah Rukh and newcomer Anushka Sharma and how the two of them find love in the backdrop of a dance competition.

The trade circles, which earlier were a little circumspect in their opinion about the movie's probable box-office fate post 26/11, have now given the movie a thumbs up, saying it has brought a little cheer to Mumbai's prevailing sombre mood.

In spite of not being a run-of-the-mill Bollywood blockbuster, "Rab Ne..." is attracting audiences all over the country because cinegoers have been missing the nation's darling, Shah Rukh, the whole year and the breeziness he displays on the screen.

"Bollywood masala addicts may find "Rab Ne..." a low-key affair as it has no pungent sex and the picturesque locales YRF movies are known for, but what has marked it out is that it has identifiable characters and that makes it an intimate movie within the limited scope of the story," said trade analyst V. Verma.

YRF has two weeks to cash in on the enthusiasm the movie has generated among the audience before Aamir Khan-starrer "Ghajini" arrives. But by that time, "Rab Ne.." would have consolidated its position at the box-office and be declared a superhit," said I.M Pannu, another trade analyst.

Reactions to "Rab Ne...", however, was not as enthusiastic among some young audience members.

"I know 'experimental' may not be the right word to sum up the movie, but somehow I found the movie to be a tepid fare, lacking in the usual grandeur of a Bollywood movie," said 21-year-old Dipesh Vyas, a college student.

But his friend Sheetal Jain said Shah Rukh made it all up. "Even the new girl, Anuksha Sharma, is good. In totality, I would say the movie is okay " she added.

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