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Review: “My Heart Goes Hadippa”

September 14, 2009
Photo courtesy TIFF

Photo courtesy TIFF

Heading into the gala presentation of My Heart Goes Hadippa, I had only the vaguest notion what it was about.

I knew Hadippa was somewhat inspired by the 2006 Amanda Bynes movie ‘She’s the Man’, with sprinkles of ‘Bend it like Beckham’ mashed in. Oh, and that it was a Bollywood film.

Those morsels were about all the info I had gleaned. Suffice to say, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I walked out of the screening grinning ear to ear.

Yes, Hadippa is about a girl who pretends to be a man so she can play cricket. However, underneath the elaborate song and dance productions and Disney like plot devices, myriad themes in this movie manage to run surprisingly deep.

Broken families, the tenuous relationship between India and England, immigration, ethnic identity, tensions with Pakistan, sexual discrimination and the zeitgeist of Indian pop-culture are all elements featured or touched on in Hadippa. Did I mention that it’s mainly a romantic musical sports comedy?

Director Anurag Singh makes his debut on this film (or so I read) and does a stellar job of multitasking. Jumping genres at the beat of a tabla, Singh somehow assembles a hodge-podge of ingredients into a movie that is so cute, innocent and fetching that you embrace each cliché as you expect it to come.

In no small part this success is owed to female lead Rani Mukherjee, who not only sings, dances and looks perpetually adorable, but also convincingly plays two characters (Veera and her male doppelganger, Veer) with distinct mannerisms and effusive charm.

Asides from the somewhat disturbing final dance number that I can only describe as “Bollywood goes Lil’Wayne”, I thought Hadippa was polished and crafted even tighter than the High School Musical series, which is really its closest Hollywood parallel and admittedly a guilty pleasure of mine.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in this film on the surface and, if exploring deeper subtext, probably more than you ever thought you’d find. It also serves as a much more shiny addition to the India travelogue archive than its relatively gritty TIFF forbearer Slumdog Millionaire.

I Googled “Hadippa” and apparently it means something akin to “Hurray” in Punjabi. I can’t think of a more fitting title.

‘My Heart Goes Hadippa’ has enough entertainment value to be embraced by a North American audience. It doesn’t have a distribution deal yet on this side of the pond, but given the right limited release I think it’d be a great introduction to Bollywood for film buffs and open minded families seeking good-hearted fun alike.

TIFF information page

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One Comment leave one →
  1. jeflee permalink*
    September 14, 2009 4:49 pm

    I am intrigued by this ‘disturbing’ final dance number you speak of. Young money, bay-bee!

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