Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (God Destined the Couple) (2008)
Director: Aditya Chopra
Religion rarely makes an appearance in Western romantic comedies, so I was rather surprised by its prominence in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. I probably should not have been so surprised, it is present in other Indian films I have seen, even Bollywood films. Like others, this film started with an image of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the city which is the film's setting. However, during the film, there is a song that references several different religions in India (Sikh, Catholic, Hindu and Islam) and the third act turning point is one character receiving a divine revelation about another.
The interesting part of the film is the insight into Indian culture. It is very much about the emerging middle-class, who have money and are interested in travelling, yet also uphold many traditional customs. The two protagonists have good chemistry, and Shah Rukh Khan plays his dual roles well. The costumes are nice and several of the songs are quite catchy.
However, the plot is one that could easily be done away with if the two characters (mainly Khan's Suri) were open with each other. What Suri does for Taani can be seen as sweet, but also rather unnecessary: just tell her you love her! The length also was an issue for me, though I know many Indian films are over 2 hours long. Maybe because the other Bollywood films I have seen were period epics the length wasn't a problem.
Should you see this film? Hmm. If you are interested in seeing films from other cultures, then sure. But there are plenty of other Indian films out there that I would recommend over this. But I am glad I saw it.