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Surinder Sahni (Shah Rukh Khan) is a shy and quiet office worker. While visiting his former professor, he meets the professor's daughter, a beautiful, vivacious young woman named Taani. It is Taani's wedding day, but soon news arrives that Taani's fiancé has been killed in a car accident. The shock of this event causes her father to have a fatal heath attack. On his death bed he asks Surinder to marry Taani because his death will leave her alone in the world.The couple agree to this and after the funeral and wedding Surinder takes her to his home in Amritsar.
Taani is heartbroken and tells Surinder that she will be unable to love him although she will do her best to be a good wife. Surinder soon realizes that he has fallen in love with Taani, but he keeps this fact to himself. He humbly enjoys the added attention he gets from Taani as she cooks his meals, takes care of his home, and packs his lunch in a tiffin bucket for him each day. In return, Suri treats her with great kindness, often taking her out to movies, and when she asks to take dance classes, he consents to that also. Their relationship remains platonic, and the two occupy separate bedrooms.
As Taani begins her dance classes, Surinder finds himself becoming discontented with the condition of his marriage. He asks his friend Bobby, a hairdresser, to give him a makeover so that Taani will fall in love with him. Hilarity ensues since Bobby and Surinder's ideas of what will transform Suri into a cool dude are decidedly over the top.
When Suri shows up to see Tanni at her dance class he is now dressed in a trendy t-shirt and jeans, a spiky hair gelled hairstyle, cool aviator sunglasses instead of his own geeky glasses, and minus his moustache which had fallen victim to a failed trimming attempt. Suri is compelled by a dance instructor to participate in the dance class. He dances very poorly and gets into further trouble as numbered cards are passed out in order to pair the dancers into couples for the remaining lessons. Due, as Suri believes, to divine intervention, he ends up with Taani as his partner. When he finds that she doesn't recognize him, he impulsively tells her his name is Raj, and then decides that he will continue the charade in order to spend more quality time with her.
He has Bobby make him a fake moustache so he can remain the ordinary and rather uninteresting Suri at home, while attending the dance classes as Raj, who behaves in a far less inhibited manner. Taani is offended at first by the loud, flirtatious and "cheap" behavior of Raj. However, once he manages to reign himself in a bit they become friends. But as Raj points out to Suri during a funny monologue he has with himself, in life as well as in Hindi movies a girl and a guy can never be "just friends" since love and romance are always right around the corner.
Raj does begin to win Taani's heart, and this leaves Suri in the odd position of being jealous of himself. Bobby advises him to end the dual role he is playing and tell his wife the truth. Suri insists however that Taani must learn to recognize and value the love her own husband has for her even though it is much more quietly and gently expressed than that of Raj, who is in fact, "nobody".
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi contains examples of:
- Adorkable: the urban dictionary needs to have Suri's picture next to this word. Raj very nearly fits too since he is a geeky guy's mistaken idea of what coolness is.
- Arranged Marriage
- Color Motif: Yellow is Raj and Suri's favorite color. See how many yellow objects you can find in the movie- there are a lot. Interestingly, in another Shahrukh Khan movie, My Name Is Khan the protagonist is afraid of the color yellow.
- Dancing on a Bus: but this time it is dancing on top of a little yellow car.
- David Versus Goliath: Suri versus a sumo wrestler
- Eating Contest: Gol Goppa eating competition. (Gol Goppa are crunchy little fried thingys with spicy filling in them-they look yummy.)
- Fan Service: Raj's skimpy t-shirts combined with Raj's low riding jeans.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: At the time this movie was made, the stereotypical Bollywood protagonist was a sweet, upperclass beta male, usually a metrosexual. Fastforward two or three years, and the industry is overrun with strutting working class alpha male with Memetic Badass aspirations. The Raj persona makes for a great parody of that kind of character, whether they meant it that way or not.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Suri and Raj both think Taani loves Raj. They eventually learn better.
- Sad Bollywood Wedding: What could be sadder that having to marry your dad's geeky friend because the boyfriend you picked out for yourself and your dad both just died like on the same day.
- Stout Strength: the sumo wrestler Suri fights
- Teacher's Pet: Suri to Taani's father, a teacher. Part of the reason Taani's prejudiced against Suri as a marriage partner is Hype Backlash against the way her father used to talk Suri up and hold him up as a role model.
- Two-Person Love Triangle: Suri got himself all confused over this one.
- Wet Sari Scene: obligatory. Also includes riding a motorcycle in pouring down rain and Suri bathing in his underwear under a spigot in the courtyard.
- Woobie: Suri and Taani both have elements of this