09 June, 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do - A serious wake up call for Zoya

When a director makes a superb debut film, follows it up with a blockbuster hit road movie and has partnered on interesting projects then not only does she raise the viewing audiences expectations but also that of the producers, so what if they are family.

It is like the novelist who after having come out with a spectacular first book is paid a huge advance by the publishers for the upcoming one.

This can be serious pressure. The unexpected can happen too, like if the writer director hits a block on ideas and the delivery date is fast approaching. Then what does the think tank of this project do? Should they still go ahead and launch the project in its expected style ? This one does. Big names are roped in, given the prestige associated with the producers and the successful director involved; the budget also expands exponentially. But still the story idea does not emerge, so what next?

An earlier movie called Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd had a bus journey, the Think Tank searches for inspiration within the same base skeleton of that plot ( after all its their own production) and then they up the ante. The bus journey from Bombay to Goa now becomes a Luxury cruise between Turkey and Egypt. The pieces have begun to fall in place. Soon a screenplay emerges from the one liner that the director had begun this project with. And now what do we get?

We get a superbly packaged film that has a screen play, one that is a medley of scenes. In the process of building the scenes up, now even the one liner story plot is brushed aside and so if we keep searching for it its not a guarantee we shall find it now. Out of Zoya's previous two directed films, “Zindagi Na Miley Dobara” achieved commercial success. It was a great package because it cohesively was held together with exotic locales and a purposeful story that grew upon you as the movie progressed. The first one, Luck By Chance was a searing comment on the Hindi Motion picture industry , made with a lot of heart and hence the most honest of her work so far. ...

“Dil Dhadakne Do” like the title suggests is an entreaty to the viewing audience...please do bring your hearts to this movie because we didn’t put ours into it.

Farhan Akhtar with his cult debut Dil Chahta Hai introduced us to his world of the uber rich and it continues in most of the films produced by Excel Entertainment. Its an altogether special and different world; a world of cut glass and crystal. Here social butterflies bitch serenely over herbal teas and baba ganoush, while their hubbies play golf, have their flings on the side in distant locations and talk multiple billions with absolute impunity, offspring are but mere pawns in their business deals. When they rebel and show individuality, they are screamed at that they never had it so good because they were spawned by self made men. Three such screamers are Parmeet Sethi, Manoj Pahwa and the loudest of the loud (Kamal Mehra) Anil Kapoor. Notable among the wives is Kamal Mehra's spouse played by Shefali Shah. The Mehra’s to celebrate their 30th Marriage Anniversary organize a cruise party. The impact that this cruise has on their two children Priyanca Chopra and Ranveer Singh and their love lives forms the crux of this film. 

What one can look for here if one has to go for this film...is of course the scintillating presence of Ranveer Singh & Anoushka Sharma, they are on fire and their auras grab eyeballs whenever they are on screen. Priyanca Chopra has done a splendid job as Ayesha and looks glorious in the fine clothes she gets to wear. Anil Kapoor is Anil Kapoor and the old dog hasn’t learned a single new trick. He still confuses raising the performance bar to increasing the sound decibel levels and that he does at regular intervals. The worst part is that he has been given the maximum screen time and this blunts the edge of the film. The other metabolic waste in this film is Rahul Bose. Small mercies is that he is accurately cast as the constipated chauvinist; his is the most exemplary of performances because he lives the part and brings it to life just by being. He does not act at all...why? Did someone consider the possibility that maybe because he just can’t? There is a dog Pluto who narrates the side stories. He sounds like Aamir Khan and on closer look even resembles the finicky star. Divya Seth has by now become the symbolic token of anything Delhi in a cinematic plot just like Victor Bannerjee once upon a time was of anything Bengal.

Ranveer – Anoushka – Priyanca keep the filmy ship cruising. The Anil Kapoor- Rahul Bose combo almost sinks it but the other characters in sheer numbers balance them out and prevent the mishap. Farhan Akhtar should get back to direction quickly, he is looking jaded and the thrill of being seen on screen is long gone, acting now definitely seems to not be his metier. Shankar, Ehsaan & Loy are uninspired.

Zoya needs to pull up her socks. What one feels when one comes out of the cinema hall is being short charged and quite arrogantly too. 

The product has been released and is now so in your face, god forbid if you don’t like it, because then you may even be brashly told it’s maybe too classy for you. 

This film is a wake-up call and hope she reads it well, because one doesn’t like to see ordinary stuff from talented directors. If it makes tonnes of money, that would make it even sadder. 


shreya datta said...

R. U mad????? Who paid you to write this review.....or were u drunk while watching it????

Ashish Karnad said...

Your writing style is too good Kau

kau kau goes the crow said...

Thank you Ashish :-)

Mandar P said...

Interesting observation Kaustubh. I am no fan of Hindi movies, watch them selectively. For one I feel, this film has much deeper message- money is useless for most things in life! That has begin brilliantly conveyed. Yes the setting is a bit clich├ęd for Zoya, but hey only the moneyed class can say 'money is .....' I would say this is a very very good film to spend your limited time & money on

kau kau goes the crow said...

Ha ha ha ...Shreya..you sure say it like it is.

The tragedy...I wish somebody did pay me :-) at least I could recover my ticket cover price from it.

As to being drunk, stoned, spaced out, zonked or what have you...I love cinema too much to do any of it. Watching a good movie is a good enough high...that's sufficient.

With certain directors one expects far better things...case in point in another field, if a Sachin Tendulkar takes his bat to the crease the viewer expects nothing but a century at the very least...a 50 or 60 run score is not enough for that talent and caliber...I am not satisfied and shall not settle for less...but that is strictly my opinion.

Its nice of you to come here and share yours. I appreciate it, we need not agree but an exchange of ideas always fosters a better understanding of each other...do keep coming here...you are always welcome.

kau kau goes the crow said...

Thank you Mandar for visiting here...Different strokes for Different folks is all I can say to that :-) That is the beauty...it takes all kinds to make a world.

Start Shining said...

Nice stories.
Amazing Stories

Madhumitha Murali said...
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