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WELCOME TO THE MAD WORLD OF THE MEHRAS !
Jun 06, 2015 09:34 AM 3541 Views
(Updated Jun 07, 2015 08:27 AM)

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DIL DHADAKNE DO - Movie Review


INTRO


The Wikipedia defines a dysfunctional family as one in which conflict, misbehavior, and often child neglect or abuse on the part of individual parents occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. The cult ADDAMS FAMILY which first appeared in the 1960s is perhaps a prime if somewhat bizarre example of a dysfunctional family. A few years ago a low budget flick from Hollywood, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE wowed the Oscars with its gripping depiction of a dysfunctional American middle class family. Nearer home, Karan Johar's weepy saga KABHI KHUSHI KABHI GHAM was an ode(albeit flawed) to this same genre. So when the uber-talented writer-director Zoya Akhtar's latest offering takes another crack at this very genre the obvious question is, does she do a swell job of it? Read on.


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!


Excel Entertainment has, over the last decade carved a niche for itself as a production house in Bollywood. Irrespective of how they fared at the box office, all their films have a few things in common. They employ cutting edge technology and yet do not compromise on content. Most crucially, they go about doing their business in an organized manner hitherto unheard of in big, bad Bollywood. And DIL DHADAKNE DO typifies this ethos wonderfully. Cinematographer Carlos Catalan who has been Zoya's go-to guy in all her films so far has outdone himself this time. Every frame is a joy to behold, every shot is exquisitely composed. My personal fav though is the Turkish Hammam scene with the women taking a bath in the background beautifully juxtaposed against the ensuing drama.


The trio of Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy seem perfectly in sync with Zoya's vision and this translates into music that adds its own hue to the onscreen shenanigans. To know what I mean watch the song'Pehli Baar' where the Ranveer-Anushka pair set the screen on fire with their infectious energy or even the rowdy' Gallan Goodiyaan' which has the whole cast(almost) letting their hair down and having a blast.  The editing is credited to the duo of Anand Subaya & Manan Mehta and they have an unenviable job what with the film clocking at 170 mins. Kudos to them for rarely letting the movie lag and ensuring that it is thoroughly engaging. The writing by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti(another Zoya regular) is not without its flaws but in light of the fact that they have a dozen and more characters(with back stories to boot) to do justice to, they do swimmingly well.


DIL DHADAKNE DO has an unlikely'sutradhar' in PLUTO MEHRA, the family's pet dog. The dialogues for this character are specially penned by the legendary Javed Akhtar and they sometimes are hilarious and at other times, insightful. And the fact that a big star like Aamir Khan gets to voice over for PLUTO gives it more teeth. Though gotta say that every once in a while it does get a little over bearing. The dialogues mouthed by the rest of the cast are written by the multifaceted Farhan Akhtar. Full of dry wit and sarcasm, there is a lot that is said subtly without ever being preachy and the dialogues are indeed the life of this enterprise. Coming to the flaws, the leisurely pace at which the first half moves is a bit putting off. Also there are umpteen sub plots and back stories some of which could have been snipped off. And I, for the life of me just couldn't figure out why Priyanka wants a divorce and as a result could not empathize with her character.


Anil Kapoor is mostly in terrific form as the self serving, hypocritical patriarch and I say mostly because much to my chagrin, he suddenly hams it up towards the end of the film. To him also belongs the'will-bring-the-house-down'  scene where he stumbles upon a couple kissing. Shefali Shah, the consummate actress that she is nails the role of the wife who accepts her husband, warts and all. The scene where she stuffs her whole mouth(literally so) with chocolate still gives me gooseflesh. Priyanka Chopra's character and her motivations for what she does just did not work for me. She tried hard but is let down by an inconsistent character graph. I mean she is supposed to be this strong willed self made woman yet attempts to kill herself when her father disowns her and needs a Farhan(read knight in shining armor) to rescue her. The roles of both Rahul Bose and Farhan Akhtar are half baked and register little impact.


DIL DHADAKNE DO well and truly belongs to Ranveer Singh. Here is an actor who can be charming(BAND BAAJA BAARAAT) sublime(LOOTERA) or delightfully over the top(RAM-LEELA) with equal ease . As the somewhat shy, reticent Kabir Mehra who slowly comes into his own and finally explodes in the end, he owns the role and pretty much every scene that he is in. Even in scenes where he is somewhere in the background without any lines, he draws your attention to him. The scene that takes the cake(and the whole bakery) is the one where he very sarcastically tells Zarina Wahab how to kill herself. And looking at his chemistry(a much abused word) with his ex-flame Anushka, one wonders why it took four excruciating years for them to come together. Well, better late than never. Final word. Move on Ranbir Kapoor!


From the time Zoya Akhtar made her debut film LUCK BY CHANCE(which tanked by the way) she has been the best woman film maker of India by far. She does her reputation no harm here and with DIL DHADAKNE DO, she only cements her place further. There is this scene where Anil Kapoor's character confronts his son in law(Rahul Bose) over his daughter( Priyanka Chopra) and storms out of the room only to be followed by her. In the passage, she calls out to him and he turns around. Nine out of ten film makers of this country would have had her running into his open arms with loud background music ending in both hugging and sobbing uncontrollably. Here he only lifts his hand gesturing her to go back and heads out. Now that is vintage Zoya Akhtar!


My rating: 3.5(the extra half for the awesome Ranveer)


P.S.If not for a bit of self indulgence from Zoya, this movie would have been a classic.


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