Bollywood major Yash Raj ends a dull year on an even duller note with “Rab ne bana di jodi,” the much-hyped return of inhouse producer Aditya Chopra to directing after legendary hit “Dilwale dulhania le jayenge” (1995) and “Mohabbatein” (2000). Despite the marquee name of Shah Rukh Khan and sprightly playing by newcomer Anushka Sharma, the story of a dweeby clerk who adopts a flashy alter ego to please his life’s love has a huge, hollow center that sinks the project early on. Mid-December release opened pretty strong but won’t win many hearts in the long run.
Khan plays Punjab Power employee Surinder Sahni, who falls for the vivacious Taani (Sharma) and surprisingly gets to marry her, at her dying father’s request. When Taani wants to participate in a couples’ dance contest, Surinder secretly reinvents himself as studly Raj Kapoor, hoping to win her love. Paper-thin script drags itself to the finish line amid tiresome mugging by Khan, a huge credibility gap (she never recognizes him without his glasses and mustache?) and a blah score with only one showstopper (featuring five famous actresses). Hindi title means “God Created the Couple.”