Khoobsurat review: Disney’s first Bollywood fairytale romance is out

Positives

Cast, Characters, Fawad Khan's royal touch

Negatives

Sonam's styling, Romantic chemistry between Sonam and Fawad

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Bottom Line

A light yet colourful love story with no complicated twists and turns

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The much awaited Disney’s remake of 80’s hit Khoobsurat was released to packed audiences in Canada on September 19th. Yes, the lineups were long at our local cinemas in Toronto (Mississauga and Brampton) and everyone seemed excited to witness the onscreen pairing of Pakistan’s heartthrob, the chocolate hero Fawad Afzal Khan, with Bollywood’s fashion icon Sonam Kapoor.

As you take the seat, Khoobsurat begins with the Disney logo which sets the tone for the viewers what to expect from this film. Although the film has been projected to be the remake of 80’s hit of the same name, this isn’t so much a remake of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee-directed comedy starring Rekha. This one is more of a chick-flick version of a loud mouthed girl who falls for a royal prince. The original Khoobsurat was the story of a middle class family that’s headed by a strict matriarch, whereas in Disney’s Khoobsurat, the script writer root their story in a Rajasthani palace, turning it into a fairytale, a Princess Diaries of a Bollywood kind. The royal gharana gets visited by a cool-doc Mili, only to shake the entire royalty upside down.

At the heart of this Disney fairytale is Sonam, she gets to become Disney’s first princess from Bollywood. The question is, does she get to become the kind of fairy-tale princess one hoped for, and gets close to what Rekha portrayed in the original Khoobsurat? The answer is simple, while there is no comparison or match to what Rekha portrayed in her Khoobsurat performance, Sonam’s characterization is more loud of girl who has no filters set on her thoughts or even what she utters when she speaks. Sonam Kapoor does live up to her character, if that’s how the writer and director wanted her to act out. Mili is goofy and she generated lots of laughter from the audience. Sonam does a fine job of portraying the unpredictable Mili who seldom filters her thoughts before speaking.

Fawad Khan is a perfect fit as the charming prince, and is seen struggling to wrap his head around this ticking time-bomb of a girl. While Fawad Khan was already a well known name in Pakistan, his recent fame across the Arab world (thanks to dubbed Urdu dramas in Arabic) and then in India with his recent Pakistani TV serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai brought a higher level of anticipation for fans as they sat down to watch his performance on big screen. The response from the audience seemed overwhelmingly mesmerizing as he lived up to his character above and beyond. He not only lives up to his character but what he does in the climax, the scene with Kirron Kher, he had the audience in loud laughters and applause.

There was also much talk about the chemistry between Mili and Vikram, the characters share some passionate moments, unfiltered thoughts as Mili puts it, but then it’s a Disney flick so you’re left to some imagination as well.

Mili, the middle-class physiotherapist, boasts an expensive wardrobe, but honestly there is something not right with the colours and wardrobe selection. The stylists could have done a better job with her wardrobe and makeup. Her task at the Royal Palace is to manage a blueblood patient (Aamir Raza Hussain) who’s lost the use of his legs. As the film progresses we are to discover that not only he’s a difficult patient to manage, we learn that Mili is a clumsy character as well, bumping into all things anywhere and anytime in the royal household. The lady of the house, Nirmala Devi (Ratna Pathak Shah), shows no patience for Mili’s utter disregard for rules, but her son, Prince Vikram Singh Rathore (Fawad Khan), finds himself slowly drawn to this fireball of a character called Mili.

Then there is Manju (Mili’s mom played by Kirron Kher). She throws the audience in bursts of laughter throughout the film with her unfiltered dialogues as she equates the royal household to a “Royal Kanjarkhaana”. There would have been no better mom than Kirron Kher in the guise of Manju. She’s the show stealer with her punchy lines and comes out flawless.

The music of Khoobsurat is mediocre. While Engine Ki Ceeti and Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai are getting popular reviews, one keeps waiting for a soft romantic musical interlude as the romance between Mili and prince Vikram blossoms, however there isn’t such romantic number that the script writer thought of.

Final verdict?

Overall, Khoobsurat is a bright and colourful cinematic experience. A light romantic flick, with no complicated twists and turns. Predictable in some parts and a laugh riot in others. While it’s not what the original Khoobsurat was, but it did end up to a standing ovation and applause of the audience here in Toronto as the final credits rolled in.

Photo credits: DisneyKhoobsurat

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