Dil Dhadakne Do Reviews
It’s easy and breezy, and packed with terrific actors who appear to be enjoying themselves.
High-society hi-jinks on the high seas. This, in short, is what ‘Dil Dhakakne Do’ comes off as primarily, even if there are multiple straining-for-depth strands in it. Of creeping middle-age and dwindling love. Of gender imbalance caused by dominant males, and the making of submissive women. Of lineage and privilege and position. Of life lessons from the wisest of them all, a dog named Pluto.
What doesn’t work so well is the pacing in the first half. The set-up takes too long. A voiceover, amusing at first, starts to grate because it’s over-used. I also wished that the depth in the writing had extended to the characters of Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma. Both are charismatic, capable actors, but their parts are under-written. So be prepared to get restless in the first hour, but once Dil Dhadakne Do gathers momentum, it will force you to care about this frustrating, flawed family.
There is hardly any takeaway from Dil Dhadakne Do and its characters are not likely to stay with you for long. Also, it would be hard for you and me to identify with the doubts and troubles of the morally ambiguous Mehra family. However, the film has a good starcast and that can dictate the game at the box office.
Despite its flaws, I find myself looking back at Dil Dhadakne Do and smiling. Dil Dhadakne Do translates to let the heart beat. The heart, it wants what it wants, and that’s all very well, especially if it wants the kind of watery climaxes where hugs solve everything. But ah, how I wish this film hadn’t gone doggystyle.
Hindi cinema history has seen one big film about "loving your parents". Dil Dhadakne Do is about "hating your parents" and in the process compelling them to change their ways.Yawn! Dil Dhadakne Do is a snoozefest and a surefire cure for insomnia.
Dil Dhadakne Do goes behind the glossy grins of Indian family life, presenting screaming, sobbing dysfunction, heart-ripping extramarital affairs, bitter gender discrimination and heavy parental control. Yet, it has a light hand, not preachy but breezy while sensitively making modern points.
...is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is a high society drama that may tackle regular family issues too but may not suffice as entertainment for all. I am going with a 3/5 for this niche family drama.
DDD would've been a lot of fun had it been shorter, crisper and less indulgent.
...a lot of patience and stifling of yawns on the viewer's part. Zoya Akhtar tells her simple tale well, but weighs it down with too many relationships and too much of drama. So much so, that after a point, you're no longer interested in the goings-on in front of you. Watch it for the ensemble cast. And of course, Ranveer-Anushka.
...if you want to understand the nitty-gritty's (read 'the do's and don'ts) of a complex family relationship, then, do yourself and your family a favour by taking them to meet the Mehras this weekend. In simple words, DIL DHADAKNE DO makes for a decent watch.
Dil Dhadakne Do is about a bunch of people who think they are going places but actually they are going nowhere and they all have some serious problems to boot. Of all places, the resolution incidentally happens on cruise ship during a holiday in the Mediterranean. That’s Zoya Akhtar’s ultra long Dil Dhadakne Do, a film that has a decent beginning and a redeeming end with a whole lot of nothing to fill up the spaces in between.
And that’s the other reason, I like Zoya’s films – you feel inspired to live the life you want to live and not the one you are supposed to. Average is not good enough, you want to break the boundaries and aspire for more. Some of us are okay to make do with mediocrity, some of us put a limit on happiness, some of us are scared to let go. Life is short – we have to live every moment. We have to invest in the relationships that matter and learn to let go of the ones that don’t. Essentially we have to stay real and make it count – let this Dil Dhadakne Do.
With a run time of nearly three hours, the pace of the film is slow, but it's entertaining!
Every member of the literally big ensemble cast in DDD, comes together to make it feel like a family. You have a quirky Punjabi clan and their oddball friends dancing and singing to some great music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. They’re in good looking locations with fancy clothes and luxurious ambiance. It’s an exclusive peek into the lifestyle of the rich and famous. There’s a decent well-rounded story as well. It’s the perfect exotic weekend getaway.
... may not find its audience with the typical, commercial, Bollywood masala filmgoers, but with the metros and the urban crowd, it's sure to be a monster hit. Go on, let your heart beat!
Audience Reviews for Dil Dhadakne Do
"Expected much better from Zoya!!!"
The last couple of weeks of the summer holidays saw the box office making merry on the back of "Tanu Weds Manu Returns" & "Piku". The vacations have now concluded but Bollywood would still be banking on Zoya Akhtar's "Dil Dhadakne Do" which has hit the screens this week to keep the good times going. Undoubtedly, the promos has caught the fancy of the fans after all it seemed like a rollicking rom com with an ensemble star cast. So will it actually live upto Zoya's previous ventures???
Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) was a self made man whose company "Ayka" had touched the heights of success through his sheer hard work & business acumen. But in recent times, the wheels were coming off from his company as he struggled to keep it afloat while his son, Kabir (Ranveer Singh) didnt seem to be upto the task as he longed for a career in aviation. Even the spark in his relationship with his wife, Neelam (Shefali Shah) seemed to have lost somewhere over the years. However, when it's an affluent family that mingles with only the upper strata of the society; all that matters at times was just what their friends & foes thought about them rather their own feelings for their family. In order to mark their 30th wedding aniversary, their daughter Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra), a successful entrepreneur who was also involved in an unhappy marriage arranges a cruise for them & their guests. It was not just a leisure trip for Kamal but rather a business proposition to ensure Ayka stayed in his hands. So does things work out in the manner that he had hoped for or will the Mehras finally realise that life isnt just about pomposity and materialistic gains???
This movie has been in the news for some time thanks to its star cast but I actually happened to hear it from a friend of mine who had seen the shooting of it when he had gone to Turkey for a conference. Anywaz Zoya is back with her latest venture & as in "ZNMD", the script was the result of her fruitful collaboration with Reema Kagti. However, unlike her previous ventures; this one fails to strike a chord with the audience. There is no doubt that they have a fair idea regarding the pretentious nature & at times, frivolous issues that the wealthy clan seems to have which they have portrayed precisely, but it doesnt go beyond that. Another major drawback of the movie is its length, as it does take a toll on our patience. But thanks to Farhan Akhtar's dialogues, the film does have a humorous undertone throughout or else it would have made for a mediocre experience. In the technical department, the art direction, costumes & Carlos's visuals were impressive but Anand Subaya & Mana Mehta should have made the movie much more crisper. As for the music, Shankar Ehsaan Loy might not be in the best of form here, but it still deserves mention.
The biggest positive of this movie was the star cast who had all performed impressively even though the script had let them down considerably. For once, I absolutely loved Ranveer's performance as he was spot on with the comic timing & as the spoilt brat with a heart of gold. Anil Kapoor rocked the show with his range of histronics in sync with the arrogant & patriachal character that he was. Giving him apt company was Shefali Shah while Priyanka & Anushka also impressed, though I have to admit I was kinda baffled by the former's characterization of being submissive & independent at the same time. As for the rest of the cast, Farhan had a small role but he seemed apt for it while others like Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, female who acted as Ranveer's aunty etc were also fine.
Verdict: The film will surely have a fantastic initial & should do booming business in the urban circuit. However, it's unlikely to garner as much dividends as the producers would have expected as the lackadaisical script & the lengthy running time would surely be turn offs for the audience. In short, it's a decent one time watch thanks to the praise worthy performances but whether you want to watch it within the confines of the theatre or living room is your choice!!!
Nice portrait. The conflict within the family is nicely depicted. But, conventional... not much new idea is added. Expected a lot but got few.
Ship Sailing On Rough Water. ♦ 38%
Zoya Akhtar's brilliant takes on life and human relationships is the reason one gets involuntarily attracted to her films. Although, unlike her previous features, this one is just a contaminated concoction.
And the contamination is probably the filmmaker's ambition, which adds too many side stories in its shallow primary plot, only to end up with a disastrous mess. The story of rich and influential Mehra family is that of a normal, Indian family's, given that it has its own business empire and expensive hobbies. One stops and thinks about the adjective "dysfunctional" that is being used everywhere to synopsize the film. As it begins narrating the story, one will definitely relate to at least 5 of the total 17 million characters in it.
You may call it a gimmick or an invention, but the film is wholly narrated by and through the partial perspective of a dog, the Mehra family's beloved pet Pluto. It is a twisted idea to represent relationships through the eye of an animal who stands very low in the food chain. One might expect some startling descriptions and insights from the epitome of loyalty, but all it delivers is cliché. Radiationally polished cliché.
The four-member family and their histrionics is amply expressed in the first hour, which leaves the audience gasping for story development. The plot furtherance is slower than the gait of a nonagenarian who is diagnosed with arthritis. That Kamal (Kapoor) is a self-made, vanity-filled businessman who profusely cheats on his society lady of a wife Neelam (Shah), in spite of having two adult children, one of which is a nobody (Singh) obsessed with flying and in search of true love and other (Chopra) a subject that manifests feminism in the film is what the first part will tell you in a zillion different ways. The second half is where things start to go downhill.
After an hour, Akhtar forgets about the story and delves on the melodrama. Forced slapstick is all over the place as there is no explanation provided to understand why the characters do what they do. With 2 serious plot flaws that mar the story development, the film takes its burden and slips freely down into the gallows.
Performance by the ensemble cast, direction, and cinematography are the three highlights that will cause some of its audience to forget the above mentioned facts. While Kapoor steals the limelight, Singh steals majority of the screen space. While Chopra and Sharma debate about whose lip job is better, Akhtar and Bose are missed in a couple blinks. If one wants to watch a film that is purely about the celebrities fooling around in the frames, then this is it. Otherwise, chances are high that the little fun that one has in the first half due to mild humor may be overshadowed by the folly of the second half.
Of course, there are some social issues talked about in the film with big implications, that are either left to die or snapped midway. And at the end of the day, there is only a little to grasp from the film which is basically a 3-hour long confrontation between parents and their children, with topics of marriage and relationships brushed. Giving a highly predictive ending, one of 2015's most anticipated films is something that people should skip. One might as well watch the trailer and be content.
BOTTOM LINE: Dil Dhadakne Do is a titanic that is on an odyssey, sailing aimlessly to foreign shores, surrounded by an ocean of clichés.
RATING: 4 stars out of 10. May skip.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Animal Instincts: Dil Dhadakne Do Review
There are moments of brilliance in Zoya Akhtar's Dil Dhadakne Do, but they are far-stretched and too insipid to leave a mark. As the film came to a long and halted close, I stretched my legs and felt something a miss. Even though nothing substantial happens, Akhtar makes you hold your pee pre-interval just because you have faith in her and the people on-board. But as the movie proceeds you just crave for something good to come your way. The emotions don't hit the right spot, the screenplay drags leaving you helpless with every passing second, and quite like The Mehra's you want to shout at the film to get a kick-start but you don't just because you are too nice.
Much like Zoya Akhtar's previous film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Dil Dhadakne Do basically deals with people suffering from First World problems. The film travels across the world as their perspectives about life, people and everything that's wrong with them, changes.
I never complained about the theme of the film, because I knew that Zoya Akhtar could pull it off. But alas! she had me in splits here. First of all, even though ZNMD was about people from the First World, it was quite relate-able as it had quirky characters and touchy and realistic moments. Dil Dhadakne Do has all the potential to do what it was supposed to do, but the tiresome screenplay and the snail-pace doesn't work in its way.
The film is about The Mehra's and their 10 day cruise where they are to celebrate their anniversary. The odds are not in their favor. The filthy rich couple is on the verge of being bankrupt and their only way out is getting their son who is a good-for-nothing-nobody to marry one of their associates's daughter. On the other hand, their own daughter, who is a self-made women is not happy with her marriage and wants a divorce. The film is about a lot of things but mostly its about acceptance. The greatest problem that a family faces is accepting their loved ones for who they really are. The Mehra's are decisive but naive, inert but greedy, rich but stupid. Their greatest strength lies in them bonding together, but pretty much like every other family the words that are needed to make things right never leave their mouths.
Dil Dhadkne Do is not half as bad as millions of other commercial films but only if it had relied on real emotions and feelings to convey its central theme. Like Javed Saab's poetry in ZNMD which was a midas touch to the already good film, we have a strange voice-over where the family dog walks you through the film. The sad part is, rather than relying on the subtlety of the moments, we are forced to listen to the voice-over describing every single thing to you. I'm not saying that the Animal vs Human analogy used is bad but after a certain period of time it just doesn't feel right. Imagine a man fishing in the sea while someone describes every single emotion on the man's face. How strange would that be?
If you are really going to watch Dil Dhadkne Do, watch it for the amazing locales and breathtaking cinematography. Its strange how even in a mediocre film everything looks so beautiful. Also, the performances are great. Specially by Shefali Shah and Anil Kapoor. There's a scene where Shefali stuffs her mouth with chocolate cake. It's moments like these which could have made the film an amazing drama, but sadly didn't.
Final Verdict: I really liked the third act of the film, but to get there you need a truck-load of popcorn and a lot of patience. There's a good film in here but it got lost somewhere in the sea.
(ALSO PUBLISHED IN JAM MAGAZINE)