The stars: Shahrukh Khan and Sushmita Sen (who was robbed of her Miss Universe jewels on a visit to TT more than a decade ago)
The synopsis for Dulha Mil Gaya--which was filmed on location in Trinidad--on the Movietowne website reads: "Dulha Mil Gaya is a heart-warming take on four individuals each of whom have different takes on relationships in their lives. When paths cross for these four characters, fireworks go off and they not only land up influencing each other with their outlook on relationships but also get influenced themselves and learn a whole new meaning of the term. Through the interwoven love stories of Donsai, Samarpreet, PRG and Shimmer, Dulha Mil Gaya with the help of humour, music, emotions and style attempts to unlearn the norms of love and relationships in the present day world. A satiating romantic experience that promises to bring more than a smile to your face."
That's right folks, there's a character named Shimmer. And she literally shimmers. And let's not even discuss Donsai.
This is an entertaining movie that is exactly what you'd expect it to be. It's no worse than the typical hackneyed Hollywood romantic comedy. It's just that this one has LOTS of singing and dancing (and some really, really bad songs).
Trinidad and Tobago locations are used to Bollywood (and not dramatic) effect, there is one crassly sketched character that made me want to walk out of the cinema immediately, of course the plot is laden with hegemonic tropes about gender roles, and the entire island of Tobago is relegated to a place where people in Trinidad are banished to. And let's not mention the weird dimension of race in the film, with an opening narrative making it clear that there are lots of "people like us" (Indians) to Indian audiences.
Of course the Bollywood style is something to be admired, but often--as in the case of this movie--it's nothing more than a series of well-edited music videos stringed together. It certainly all brings more than a smile to your face.
Word is that Machel Montano is making a Bollywood film which will be filming scenes in the streets of Carnival this year. Maybe there is now a vogue for films like this (especially post-Moulin Rougue). Soon all manner of folk will be rolling on hillsides amidst flowers and jumping into bales of hay as they extoll their love, for our entertainment.