Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dil Dhadakne Do - Movie Review

Every heart beats - to its own rhythm, so let em beat on you oldies - that's the theme. To make things more interesting for those of us who might never ever get on a cruise ship unless we sell off all our possessions, Zoya Akhtar kindly takes us aboard a cruise ship to celebrate the 30th wedding anniversary of the Mehra's - along with family, friends - mutually exclusive. Anil Kapoor is Mr. Mehra, Shefali Shah is his Mrs and they have two cute, uncertain children Priyanka and Ranveer - P is an achiever in some areas and a failure in some (like producing babies), R is the family idiot (they call him that enough number of times so don't blame me, though he does show signs of intelligence many times with his improvised acting).

Now to check how each heart is beating. Business magnate's heart wants to revive a sinking business - trading his non-achiever son in marriage to rich man's daughter is a plan. His heart also beats for women other than his wife which is probably why the business is not doing well (bad, bad man). Wife's heart is beating to eat, and to accompany her husband on various trips (not really! I don't know what her heart is beating for except for food!). Priyanka's heart is beating to get out of a marriage to an insufferable mother-son duo and be known as a successful woman that she is (why she takes nonsense from everyone for someone who is such a successful businesswoman I could not understand - Bharatiya sanskar?). Her heart also beats for Farhan, son of manager uncle, who is now a big journalist in Egypt. (Farhan's heart beats for heart to heart talks with Pluto Mehra.) Ranveer's heart beats for his only true love in life - his airplane. While on the cruise (funny things happen on cruises, so romances not to be taken seriously as every one knows), his heart shows signs of beating for Farha, a mysterious UK based dancer, but we don't know if it will beat long enough for her. Many other hearts are also beating to their own drums and in the midst of all this drumming we must find space for what's right and what's not. Can the kids do what their hearts say? Can the parents do what their hearts say? Should we wait for permission? Should we not?

The story is narrated by Pluto Mehra, a wise old dog who has studied the human race well. 'This doggy knows everything,' said a seven year old next to me in wonder as Pluto engaged in a philosophical discussion on love and life and that summed it up. Pluto Mehra should have been Plato Mehra.

I like Zoya Akhtar's sensibilities. I especially like the way she adds these small, little background pieces of our lives to movies - little gestures, jokes, things. The premise is old as the hills that different hearts beat differently so nothing new is delivered there. But what's new is the cruise, the freshness, the Mehra family's perfect casting (it's as dysfunctional as any). Dil Dhadakne Do has its moments thanks to Ranveer, Priyanka, Anil Kapoor and Shefali with able support from a reliable supporting cast that includes a self-obsessed Rahul Bose and a chronic hypochondriac Zarina Wahab. Would I watch it again? Hmmm. I doubt. My main reason - there's no one in the movie for me to fall in love with. But despite that, the movie has its moments, and is certainly better than most others, though it may not be better than the really great entertainers.

Sometimes, when I have nothing better to do, I like to stretch the movie further and see if it still makes sense. Would R get his dancing sensation from Birmingham? Unlikely. Would P hook up with F now, when they have not been able to hook up earlier? Unlikely. Would it solve the problem of sinking business? Unlikely. Would Mehra's now be a happy couple? Unlikely. Only Pluto Mehra's future looks predictable. perhaps because his heart does not crave for all sorts of stuff that looks good on the shelf. And again, like I said, cruise behavior is very different from land behavior.

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