banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

gori tere pyaar mein (2013) – love at work

I so much wanted to like ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein‘, if for nothing else, but Dia’s (Kareena Kapoor) character. She is an activist, someone who genuinely is concerned about the world around her, and does what she can to make a difference.

The role is well-written, in the sense, that often Dia comes out as too well-meaning, naive, maybe even making the wrong judgements. But she is real. As is her foil, Sriram (Imran Khan) who really does not care about anyone else but his comfort. After a stint in the US, he has come back to India, largely indifferent to his family, the country, the state of things, though he remains good-humored through it all. What he wants more than anything else is that big, swanky car. He is amoral, and even when he follows Dia to the village, and makes an effort to help the villagers, it is only because he wants Dia back.

There is a little bit of concession given to the Hindi film hero, of course, in that, it is Sriram with his charm and his wits, who saves the situation, and actually manages to get the villagers the bridge they need. But Dia to the end remains true to her self. Even when she is attracted to Sriram, and in a relationship with him, she does not lose her sense of what she considers right, and she is not going to give up on her work, even as we see them leaving the village behind, their work there accomplished.

The problem with the film is that apart from its main characters, it is poorly written. Once again, as with most romantic comedies being made these days, secondary characters are stock, and kept to the minimum. What filmmakers don’t realize that in fact this takes off some of the charm of the lead actors, as by the end of the film, we feel fatigue at having to see mostly their two faces.

The village story is a necessary add-on, and even keeping aside the patronizing attitude of urban do-gooders, bringing solace to the poor villagers, it reeks of a certain kind of ignorance of village life on the part of the director (Punit Malhotra) and scriptwriter (Arshad Syed and Punit Malhotra). To be fair to them, early on, they make references to films like Sholay, Lagaan and Swades, as if to make it clear that all they know about villages is through films.

However to get back to Dia, it’s been a long, long time since one actually saw a heroine at work, and very rarely does one see, her work and her need to achieve something driving the plot, so it’s a pity that the film was not made better, and therefore, failed to connect to the audience.

In the light of Sharmila Tagore’s articulate address on ‘Popular Stereotyping’ in Hindi films, it would have been good if her daughter-in-law’s film had been a hit, only for the role etched out in Dia.

Gori_Tere_Pyaar_Mein

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6 comments on “gori tere pyaar mein (2013) – love at work

  1. Anu Warrier
    December 8, 2013

    Banno. did you really think Dia was well-etched? I thought she was smug, and so filled with a sense of her own superiority. (It probably didn’t help that the role was essayed by Kareena Kapoor, who looks snooty and superior all the time.) It was even more of a pain because after all her bleeding-heart dialogues, she promptly returns to her air-conditioned snugness.

    On the face of it, it was an o-kay film, especially considering it came from the Karan Johar school of film-making. That lot probably only know villages through Lagaan, Swades et al. :)

    • Banno
      December 8, 2013

      Anu, yes, I do think Kareena failed to play Dia really well, somehow as if she herself did not understand her at all. But in the sense, that she was smug, and a bleeding heart, she was naive and full of good intentions, but not necessarily right, I liked the wholeness of the character. Definitely an O-kay film, but could have been much better, at least it had some right ideas.

  2. Anu Warrier
    December 8, 2013

    ps: I read that speech by Sharmila Tagore earlier, and clapped. She was a pathbreaker in more ways than one, and she did it with a lot more class and dignity than her daughter-in-law shows in public.

    • Banno
      December 8, 2013

      Anu, The speech by Sharmila Tagore, is really good, articulate, no-nonsense. I am not so sure about Kareena though. She does come across as a little less well-rounded in terms of education or awareness, but I think she holds herself pretty well. As you can see, I quite like her. :)

  3. Anu Warrier
    December 9, 2013

    I have mixed feelings about her, Banno. On the one hand, her honesty is endearing. You get the feeling that everything is there – to your face. On the other, the arrogance is breath-taking. It makes me itch to slap her. :(

    As an actress, I think she is undeniably talented – but she definitely needs a strong director to rein in her excesses. Or she begins to ham. In any case, one either hates her or likes her – she definitely cannot be ignored.

  4. Banno
    December 9, 2013

    Anu, yes, you have just about said it. :)

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2013 by in me just me.
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