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When A Film's Length Spoils It All!
Feb 03, 2013 04:53 PM 2240 Views





There’s absolutely no iota of doubt that the new-age directors are coming up with some brilliant concepts and ideas. However, translating them into celluloid can prove to be a tad risky affair. After all, it’s cinema. A film can have one positives but handful of minuses can lead to a film’s downfall. David falls in this category. The film is aided with a very impressive idea of three men, all named David, based in three different eras and how their lives change and even interlink, coincidentally all on the same date of their respective eras – March 3! Director Bejoy Nambiar also throws in some well-sketched characters and different colour tones for each track. However, a film of this type and style ought to be taut and pacy and definitely not lethargic. David, that’s almost 155 minutes long, therefore fails to create much of an impact.

The story of the movie: 1975 London: David (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a fiercely loyal to his master, Iqbal Ghani (Akash Khurana), a dreaded mafia, and in love with the rebellious Noor (Monica Dogra). Officials from the Indian government are sent to eliminate Ghani and they decide to use David and the secrets of his bloodline to set their plan in motion.

1999 Mumbai: David (Vinay Virmani) is a happy-go-lucky youth who loves to play guitar and even give lessons. He doesn’t share a cordial relation with his dad, Father Noel (Nasser) but decides to fight for him when he’s needlessly dragged into a political issue by Malati Tai (Rohini Hattangadi).

2010 Goa: David (Chiyaan Vikram) is a fisherman who is addicted to his drink. His mother wants him to tie the knot but he’s least interested, until he comes across Roma (Isha Sharvani), a deaf and mute girl. He soon realizes that he’s in love but there’s a hitch, a big one that too.

While all the three David’s are of different sensibilities and strata of society, what runs common among them is how their lives changes forever in a span of one month. Also, the tales are essentially based on father-son relationship. And yes, the three stories do converge in the end. The best track of the lot is undoubtedly of Vinay Virmani. It remains consistently interesting and to the point. Mumbai of 1999 is smartly shot although one wonders why it’s raining in a February! The finale is brilliant – it comes up unexpectedly, finishes off soon but leaves a deep mark. Vikram’s story is laced with Goa fun and hordes of funny characters. Not to forget, the ‘spirited’ father (Saurabh Shukla) too! But it becomes too long and after a point, it becomes bland. Also, his conversations with Frenny (Tabu) don’t make much of an impact. The climax again saves the day. Neil Nitin Mukesh’s track sadly is the least interesting of the three. The B&W is effectively used but somehow, one doesn’t connect with the principal character. Also, it goes on and on and takes time to reach the conclusion.

While the first half is more or less fine, the interest significantly dips in the second hour. Thankfully, the climax uplifts the film and the final scenes save the film to a great extent.

The actors pitch up some superb performances. Neil Nitin Mukesh is terrific as the cold-blooded gangster. The B&W and the UK setting add to his performance. It’s unfortunate that the script couldn’t rise to the level of his performance. Vinay Virmani is a surprise. The actor has a brilliant timing and puts up a great show. He deserves and should be seen more in Bollywood! Same goes for Chiyaan Vikram – a stellar performer! He gets his drunkard act right and is a pleasure to see him roaming in quaint by-lanes and beaches of Goa with a bottle forever in his hand/pocket. Monica Dogra, who charmed one and all in Dhobi Ghat, performs with same gusto in David. Isha Sharvani looks immensely beautiful and gives yet another indication that she should get more roles and it’s not the time for her to fade into oblivion! Tabu is quite okay. Akash Khurana was completely unrecognizable but makes an impact. Nasser leaves a mark while Rohini Hattangadi delivers a splendid performance. Nishan Nananiah (Peter) was natural. The film also stars Lara Dutta (Neelam) and was likeable in a short role. Saurabh Shukla does his bit in enhancing impact. Sheetal Menon (Suzie) and Shweta Pandit (Alice) are good in their respective parts. Prahlad Kakkar, Rubi Chakravarti (Vikram’s mother), Milind Soman, Neil Bhoopalam and the actors who play the Indian officials also do fine.

There are almost 7-8 music directors in the film, each delivering their best. Mast Kalandar leaves major impact, also thanks to Sarika, but she was hardly shown unfortunately. Maria Pitache (featuring Remo Fernandes) is peppy. Ghum Huye is aptly called ‘Theme Of David’. Yun Hi Re is soulful and has a haunting tune. Other songs too have meat and most importantly, don’t hamper pace of the film. Background score is apt. The film has three cinematographers (R Rathnavelu, P S Vinod and Sanu John Varghese) for three stories, each showing his brilliance. Action is worth a watch. The locales, be it Ireland, Goa and even Mumbai is appealing.

Bejoy Nambiar’s story is immensely interesting without doubt. However, the film falters thanks to the uneven script and direction. There are portions, especially in Neil and Vikram’s track, that could had been shorter or tighter which would have enhanced impact. Also, one lacks sympathy for Neil’s character. The climax and convergence of the three stories was smart which thankfully saves the day. Bejoy showed his brilliance in Shaitan and to an extent does so even in David. Hope he brings out his very very best in his next.

Some of the best scenes:

  1. The song Ghum Huye

  2. Entry shots of all the three David’s

  3. David (Neil) confronts Indian officials

  4. Politicos attack David’s (Vinay) father

  5. David (Vikram) goes to meet bald girl (Hilarious)

  6. David (Vikram) goes to drop Roma

  7. David (Vinay) confronts Malati Tai

  8. The climax

On the whole, David rests on a brilliant idea and is aided by competent performances, eye-catching locales, soulful music and intriguing characters. But the stretched narrative coupled with frequent dips in interest levels spoils the joy. Thankfully, climax saves the day. Very unfortunately, it’s an average watch!

My rating-** ½

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