No matter how bad the character he plays, it’s impossible to hate Hrithik Roshan on-screen. I mean, just look at him.
And if you’re still not certain, tell me you didn’t watch Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon because of him. We’re all guilty of it.
Today, though, we’re not discussing that messed-up rom-com that Bollywood gave us, but rather another, equally flawed film, Mujhse Dosti Karoge. In particular, about Raj and Pooja, the two problematic characters with whom we sympathised when we first saw the movie.
Re-watching Bollywood movies from the ’90s has rarely turned out well. After the climax, all we notice are the massive red flags that our teen hearts had completely overlooked.
Finally, in this rom-com starring Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor, and Rani Mukherji, we get to see the actual “villains“. It had always been Raj and Pooja. Soulmates, indeed.
So the film begins with Raj (Hrithik Roshan) moving to London with his family, leaving his childhood friends Tina and Pooja behind (Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherji respectively). While they say their goodbyes, he totally ignores Pooja’s presence and urges Tina to write him letters. See! The kid had shown signs of being a jerk from an early age.
For years, Tina and Raj continue to converse via letters, but with Tina posing as Pooja. Original catfishing? We think so! And when Raj plans his return, he, naturally, has a whole different idea in mind of his equation with Tina.
But little does he know that it was Pooja who had been writing to him all along. Meanwhile, Raj is overjoyed to see Tina, but not because they haven’t seen each other in so long. For the fact that he may now breathe a sigh of relief because he fell for a gorgeous woman. SMH.
Reminder: Even as an adult, he pays no attention to Pooja, despite the fact that she is present in every frame.
Raj only comes to Pooja to presumably ask for her help to woo Tina. And only considers her a friend.
Yeah, right! Raj, you’re her pal who hasn’t written her a single letter in the last decade.
Later, we get to see that not only was he all about looks, but he was also kinda creepy. He apparently thought it was “cool” to enter someone’s room without consent. In fact, he also blames the other person for keeping the door open. Ever heard of knocking Mr. America?
And even after being schooled for it, he still continues to do so. Tina and Pooja, take a hint, sis. Run!
Moving on, after a long holiday and a few pointless songs, Raj now returns to London. That’s when we uncover another of his character traits: he’s a hypocrite. So Raj has a jackass friend who congratulates him on not falling for a “kaali” or “moti” girl. Tauba, Tauba! Wouldn’t that have been a disaster? (Insert eyeroll)
Suddenly, he gets preachy and lectures his buddy. Wow! You are the one to speak.
As the movie progresses, Raj confronts Pooja about the reality behind the letters. Given the fact that he hasn’t been a perfect guy all this while, Pooja beats him this time.
She questions him for ignoring her, but then completely switches to gaslighting, trying to blame him for everything that has gone wrong. Pooja, I know you were too young to realise what you were doing at the time, but it’s “catfishing.”
Rather than apologising to Raj or telling her best friend the truth about her feelings, she devises a plan to marry them. Pooja, on the moral high ground, also insists on Raj making the “sacrifice”. However, she doesn’t stop there. She also goes on to erase the last chance that her friend had to come out clean.
Then she continues to drop hints in order to keep her on the fence. Pooja, make up your mind!
And since the pair does not want to hurt people with honesty, they plan to marry different people and hide the truth from their potential spouses. But then go ahead and do this in front of a swarm of relatives and family. Sure! Nobody is gonna know.
Finally, as this messed-up story draws to a close and Tina learns the truth on her own, they make her believe she was at fault. Raj and Pooja simply stand there, while she blames herself for failing to recognise their love.
In the final scene of Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Tina says, “Meri zindagi mein sab double hai, do ache dost.”
More like, do “dhokebaaz” dost, who had no regard for your feelings at all. Wake up and smell the coffee already.