David is a slick and classy struggle between right and wrong. If only all three stories had enough meat to make for a 2+ hour film. Only 1.5 of the 3 do.
With David, Bejoy Nambiar struggles the gray area between right and wrong. Be it love or war - whether an action is right or wrong, many a time, becomes debatable given the situation. Nambiar explores that zone in-between. Unfortunately, only one of the three tales he chooses is compelling and there is a half baked one. Though the third one struggled the most with the dilemma, it seemed more like a comic and romantic relief to take the edge off the seriousness of the other two.
David (London, 1975 - Neil Nitin Mukhesh) is part of a Muslim underworld family. Though he is not a part of the family, he is trusted the most. Yet, the family is keeping some of his personal history from him. Should that change his alliance with the family? The most layered of the three, this is the one that tears its David up the most. The black and white treatment stands in good contrast to David's conflict within.
David (Mumbai, 1999 - Vinay Virmani) belongs to a lower middle-class Christian family. A local politician accuses his father, a priest, of trying to convert Hindus into Muslims. David's struggle as a common man is much like the situation of the common man today, over a decade later. The build up in this one with David's quest for why he and his family are suffering kept me intrigued. However, it loses steam towards the end. The way it culminates though resonated the most with me.
David (Goa, 2010 - Chiyaan Vikram) is a Goan village's outcast because his wife left him at the wedding altar. Other than the fact, that that makes no sense, I believe in the human race's capacity to hold one person's misfortunes against him. The simplest of them all this one should have had its David miserable between friendship and love. But, somehow that ground is left uncovered and gets diverted with its humor that shuffles between dark, slapstick and quirky.
One of David's main problems is the length. Though it has three stories to tell, there are times when the film feels like it is a little all over the place. The only thing holding it together are awesome performance across the board. From the three main leads to Monica Dogra, Tabu, Saurabh Shukla and the people he possesses, right upto Rohini Hatangadi - all give play their bits with conviction.
There is one thing I have begun to love about Bejoy Nembiar's films. The way he picturizes his songs. The most unlikely songs are set against some brutal action sequences and yet they sound and look beautiful. Of course, the rest of the film too is slick and has a classy touch to it. The good news is that the feeling I got in Shaitan that his film is a vehicle to showcase all the "cool" things he ever wanted to have in films, has reduced. So, yet again, I am left looking forward to his next film. If only, it had more to hold the film together.
As far as the connection between the three Davids goes, one David doesn't let the other go out of character while sticking to his roots. The third one, well he's just there waiting to be noticed by one other David. Let's just say this, the three are as connected as you and I. I write what you read, you read what I write. We are all connected by the cosmic energy in between. Call it fate, or call it God's will.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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