Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Costumes Maketh the Man 1: Suri/Raj RNBDJ

If you're not familiar with the Hindi films Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Om Shanti Om, either check out My Other Blog or Netflix them. They are entirely worth a watch. In both of these films Shah Rukh Kahn plays duel roles; one as a man w/ an alter-ego he uses to get closer to his distant wife and the other is a case of reincarnation. In this entry I'll focus on Suri/Raj from RNBDJ. Another entry will be devoted to Om/OK from OSO, and yet probably another to Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte from RNBDJ

Suri from RNBDJ is your average, dowdy, dorky middle-aged man. He works in a cubicle, he has a routine and until recently was a confirmed bachelor. The actor who plays Suri is in fact the most recognizable man in the world that in his film prior (Om Shanti Om) perfected his rock hard abs and chiseled pecs. To achieve the anonymity that Suri required the costume designer worked wonders. Whenever I watch this film, and other productions with similar transformations I am in awe. Let's analyze shall we? How do you take SRK in Dard-E-Disco and turn him into Suri "I work for Punjab Power"? We'll start at the top and work our way down:
The hair: best wig ever right? I bet you didn't even know it was a wig.
The glasses: I want a pair real bad. You KNOW there was some AP who's responsibility it was to keep them impeccably clean (if only that was my job...)
The shirt: Too big. I'd guess SRK is a 16x33. They probably put him in a 17 neck at least w/ a couple of extra inches on the sleeve, not to mention the loose torso fit, and the fact that it's too broad in the shoulders leaving the seams to slide onto his arm. Also, very washed out, dull, everyday materials.
The belt: Wah Wah. Probably pulled from stock, not new.
The trousers: genius. Flat fronts=sexy (think Daniel Craig in James Bond, or OK in Om Shanti Om) Pleats= disaster. Got washboard abs? You can't tell if your sporting synthetic pleated front trousers that are too long with a low crotch and cuffs. Oh, and did you catch the VPL in the very beginning when Suri bends over? Which brings us to...
The underwear: briefs.
The socks: As we see in the sumo scene, black. Not bad w/ his slack choice, but that leads us to...
The shoes: WHITE tennies to be precise. You can't get any better than these tennis shoes. They are a) Super retro, but not in a good way and b) are impeccable. There's nothing worse than a brand new pair of blazing white tennis shoes (take note K-Swiss lovers)
So, head to toe Surindar Sahni is a STUD (So Terribly Un-Dashing)

And then there's Raj; Suri's answer to his wife Taani's hero-less wife. First, let's discuss the fact that I firmly believe that our introduction to Raj was filmed very last and that most of his scenes were shot in reverse order. SRK was asked to drop his added muscle he acquired for Om Shanti Om to play regular guy Suri and we can tell by Raj's first appearance (seen above) that he did. However, by the end of the film Raj miraculously has acquired a striking physique, which is much appreciated by the audience, and Taani I'm sure. We can tell through Raj's costumes that a) his ridiculously Metro/gay (you decide) best friend dressed him from his own closet and b) said friend and Suri have no idea what "cool" or "macho" really is. Again, let's start from the top.
The hair: delicately frosted tips: out 10 years ago. Hair that's so full of product it reminds me of the killer lawns in Aeon Flux.
The glasses: The most outlandish and cringe/laugh inducing sunglasses known to man, that MATCH the day's ensemble.
The shirts: W/ hilarious graphics like "Bad Boy" in rhinestones or "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" on them, Raj's shirts were too small and short. Where Suri had extra, Raj doesn't have enough. He bares his man neck, man cleavage and what would be his love handles if he had any, which leads to...
The underwear: that is repeatedly flashed as Raj struts his stuff. Forget visible pantie line, try visible compression short waist bands. Which leads to...
The pants: believe me, he needs compression shorts (basically biker boxer-briefs). No pleats and no extra room. I don't doubt that SRK picked a few wedgies outside of character while inside these nutcrackers (too crude?). Ridiculously embellished with embroidered roses, extra seams and razoring and whiskering like nobody's business. His pants remind me of the robe I made for Mrs. Meers in BYU's production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. The more disgusting you made it, the more horrifically beautiful it became.
The belt: Ka-chow!! Bull-riders rarely win bigger.
The shoes: The most extreme edge of the Fiesso-esque shoe craze that has been popping up a la court jesters and such, from back in the day when the length of your shoe showed the world how prestigious you were. Ug, I could write a whole entry on these monstrosities.

I honestly can't watch this movie w/o hurting my face for smiling, and mostly at the excellence in costume goodness. Of course Anushka's salwar kameezes are T.D.F., but let us never forget the real hero of this film, the contrast between Suri and Raj made possible by their superb costuming.


  1. I don't care if it is about fashion...leave the Bollywood stuff off this one. :P

  2. whatever, a major reason for my bollywood watching is b/c of the costumes.

  3. We're totally watching this when we're both together again. <3 <3 <3