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.
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