Dhanno said, “I would have cut the entire Punjab story. You don’t need a backstory to see a person’s loneliness. The loneliness is enough.” A person could come from anywhere, be anywhere, for any reason, and be lonely at a particular time in his life. They could enjoy their independence, their detached lifestyle, the perks of their work and the country they are living in, and still be lonely.
Harry aka Shahrukh Khan has that loneliness in his eyes. We do not need to see wheat fields and swaying dupattas to understand his pain. SRK serves the film commendably. As does Anushka Sharma, despite the most confusedly written role. It is because we cannot see Sejal clearly that the film fails.
I have known, I am sure all of us have, girls, friends, who have wanted and indulged in that fling, that crazy crush before going off to marry the right guy, within the conventions of their family. But because Sejal’s character changes from scene to scene, we are never really able to understand what the hell she is thinking, what is it she wants, is she just a terrible tease? And we are unable to go on this journey of love with her.
Ellipses work in literature and life, in films too, but not when other chunks of the story explain too much, and the parts of the story, which are the actual journey of the character, are jumped over.
It only leaves me with the unfortunately too-oft-repeated thought, do the men who write and film women, really know women? Do they see the women in their lives as they really are, or only through their own preconceived notions, either idealized or victimized or vilified? And knowing or understanding anyone from another culture or race of course, that too a woman, is too far-fetched a notion then, to even expect.