Dil Dhadakne Do - Review
A few laugh out loud moments, a smile through and through. A few real problems looked at superficially. Some #FirstWorldProblem you smile a cynical smile at. Unfortunately, a little shallow, a little too flaky and preachy too.
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The Mehras are taking friends and family out on a 10-day cruise to Turkey and Greece to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. As a side note, they are also almost bankrupt. And they don't really like the people they are taking along – the society they belong to. This is served to you in the first few minutes of the film. Almost as if to get the shock of how rich and how flaky they are out of the way. To set the mood. To make you believe this is not your world, but is the real world of some people out there. This helps you to enjoy their world and feel for them, even if from the outside. However, you can constantly see through the superficial coverage of how fake that real world is.
As a positive, Dil Dhadakne Do is very aware that it isn't digging too deep. Making a judgment call that the glimpse is enough to give the audience an idea of what life is like if you are in the top 1% of the population – financially. It's wears its cynical take on its sleeve by making you laugh a hearty laugh in some really dark situations – a bit of a surprise from a film posing as a “feel good” one.
The laughter is as much an outcome from the situation as it is from the timing of the pauses. Ranveer Singh, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Shefali Chhaya, Rahul Bose all crack you up while they make you sad for their situation and/or personalities. Anushka Sharma looks like she started off from where she left in her previous film, Bombay Velvet. While each one did as great a job as the next one, I felt like slapping Rahul Bose and I felt for a confident, successful Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra) cowering to the men of her life (fine, with a few crores less). Jobs well done for sure.
While the rest of the character artists – and there are loads of them – do come across as real people too, there is a blanket judgement on the entire group. All aunties are focussed on getting their daughters married? Almost all uncles are politicians masquerading around as businessmen? All seniors are outward looking and shallow. All youngsters are inward looking enough to poke fun at their branded footwear but will wear them nevertheless.
This is where the film looks like it got a little too selective about the face of this world it wants to show. Priyanka Chopra and Shefaly Chhaya belong to this world in real-life, right? So does director, Zoya Akhtar. I can't imagine one of them taking the flak from men in the real world. Then, how come there is not one woman in Dil Dhadakne Do who defies that without the support of a man – be it a brother or a beau.
The superficiality creates deeper fissures as it deals with “social issues”. It is too in the face. For example, while it starts out showing a character's fake liberalism subtly by a casual remark he makes. An entire scene is created, quite literally, to explain how the liberalism is fake - no room for benefit of doubt to the audience's intelligence. At other times, a brilliant and necessary point is made and then underlined, italicized and emboldened by none other than a dog's voiceover.
While I have a problem of “telling not showing” with voiceovers in general, this one just takes it too far. Except for one line, that maybe couldn't have been made without the animal-human analogy, I couldn't see the reason for the dog as a character in the film at all. His inclusion felt like it was done when the writers realized the film lacked punch. Then, it doesn't matter if it is dialogue written by Javed Akhtar. A sermon is a sermon. Oh well, maybe that's what we should expect given the voice in the voiceover.
Not to mention it made the film longer. Every minute over the 120 mark counts, and this one runs over by all of 50!
Then come the personality transitions. I've always had a problem with one situation/dialogue changing a personality around in films. But Dil Dhadakne Do made me wonder. Are flaky people really the more aware ones? Deep down do they know very well that they have chosen their masks? All they are waiting for is something/someone to call their bluff and they will straighten out. Writers Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti make this happen quiet convincingly. Until they go overboard (pun intended). The climax is rubbish and it is out of place and it is so not what we saw in their previous outing with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara - a film with one of the best climaxes. Same can be said about the music and crisp dialogue.
So, my 11-year old daughter has been desperately waiting for me to come back from the film because she wants to know if she can watch it. While watching the film, I wondered if she should be exposed to conniving parenting, lest she believe like the film wants you to, that all parents manipulate their kids. On the other hand, she might come out believing that how lucky she got with her parents. Yeah, maybe I will let her watch the film. See what I did there? evil grin
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None
- Language: Clean
- Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of liplocks. Sex is suggested. Pre-marital sex, casual sex, extra marital sex referred to. One scene with a woman taking off her top. No other sexual content shown explicitly.
- Concept: Problems of an urban Indian family.
- General Look and Feel: Rich.
Dil Dhadakne Do - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Excel Entertainment, Junglee Pictures, Mirchi Movies Limited
- Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
- Director: Zoya Akhtar
- Lead Cast: Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Shefali Chhaya Shah
- Supporting Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Anushka Sharma, Ridhima Sud, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, Parmeet Sethi, Vikrant Massey, Manoj Pahwa
- Story: Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti
- Cinematography: Carlos Catalan
- Editor: Manan Mehta, Anand Subaya
- Choreography: Bosco Martis, Ceasar Gonsalves
- Music Director: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa
- Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
- Costume Designer: Arjun Bhasin
- Art Direction: Cagil Bay, Shekhar More, Anna Pujol Tauler
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 170 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Family, Relationships, Romance, Social
Dil Dhadakne Do - Trailer
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