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Movie Review: Dil Dhadakne Do – No attachment to be had here!

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Dil Dhadakne Do

Cast: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, Divya Seth

Director: Zoya Akhtar

Rating: * * ½


An unedifying cross between a typical Karan Johar scenario set in an ‘Honeymoon Travels’ backdrop- only this time it’s not a bus but a cruise ship where all that relationship fracas between the members of a high-society family happens- with friends  and onlookers butting in to add chaos to the confusion.

The scenario is typically Karan Johar, a prosperous high society   family that runs a super business ‘AYKA,’ suddenly finds itself in the doldrums thanks to a sudden loss of fortunes coinciding with long standing frustrations erupting between the scion and his wife and sudden rebellion from the progeny. And it all happens onboard a super luxurious cruise ship bound for Turkey -an all expenses paid (8000 Euros)trip organized as part of  a 30th wedding anniversary celebration for select friends and relatives. But the trip is not meant to be all celebratory fun and games. The 3 decade old coupling has been worn out by constant straying on the part of the husband, Mr Mehra(Anil Kapoor) while the wife (Shefali Shah) turns a blind eye out of necessity. The daughter Ayesha(Priyanka Chopra), part of a fraternal twin set, has been married off into another noted industrialist family- to Manav Sanghvi(Rahul Bose),while neatly separating her from her one true love, Sunny(Farhan Akhtar), son of the loyal Manager. The other twin, Kabir( Ranveer) is a prime catch, not because of his questionable business acumen but because he belongs to the successful Mehra family. But then everyone assembled on board knows about the Mehras’ financial difficulties –even the prime target. Yet they play along.

The shipboard celebration becomes front for behind-the-scenes lobbying for  some much need influx of money through an all-too-convenient liaison between Kabir(Ranveer) and the daughter of another top business family. The fake united front dissipates when Kabir meets Farah, a singer/performing artist and Sunny is brought back into the frame just when Ayesha has expressed a desire to get a divorce. Of course all hell breaks lose and a contrived happy ending is a foregone conclusion.

This is typical Bollywood fluff with nothing much distinguishing it from the run-of-the-mill other than some smart performances and sharp emotive moments. Unfortunately, neither can save this leaky ship from sinking. The holes in the plot come from implausible characters and their contrary motivations. Also the runtime at 2 hrs 50 mins is a little too long. Couple that with a voiceover by Pluto( Aamir Khan in the most challenging role of his career (sic)), that repeats ad verbatim, every sequence that takes place on screen, it becomes a tedium inducing bore. The script – a collaboration between Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, to begin with, seemed promising even though there wasn’t any entertainment to be had in the first half. The boredom level was high but the interest was still there. But once the post interval fracas gets underway, everything goes haywire including the plotting. In fact the narrative fails to capitalize on the beautiful locales of the Mediterranean or the luxurious living onboard the cruise ship. Both get perfunctory treatment while Zoya indulges herself at length on faulty reasoning and confounding logic while allowing the relationship fracas to hog most of the runtime. The typical Bollywood climax, contrived and undignified, is a killer. Arjun Bhasin’s styling and Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music  are slick and upbeat but there’s nothing memorable about either. The strain is on credibility and affect. This is not fun in my book- not by any yardstick!

Johnson Thomas