Dil Dhadakne Do - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick 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

Parental Guidance:

  • 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.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2.5
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 3
  • Screenplay: 2
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2

Dil Dhadakne Do - Movie Details

Dil Dhadakne Do - Trailer

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Comments (34)

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Fan:

Well, if you are going to let your 11 year old daughter watch this one, then you are not adhering to your rating of "even the keen wait for the DVD"

;-)

Just kidding, don't take it seriously. Dil Dhadakne Do.

meetu:

@Fan I didn't say I'll let her watch it in the theater :P Not to mention that not all readers go by my ratings - even if I gave birth to them. :D :D :D

Fan:

:-)

If she is keen on theater then let her watch it on big screen. I always believe that if a movie has to be seen, then it is best enjoyed on big screen. Yes, expensive affair compared to DVD - but much richer (in abstrac sense) experience.

meetu:

Yes sir/ma'am!

TimELiebe:

Given Priyanka Chopra's the Celebrity Spokeperson/Chairperson of Girl Up!, a UN organization empowering young women, maybe she did this to show how even successful women can get pushed around by men, as a sort of "teaching moment"? (That was kind of great for us in the US who knew who she was, and saw an Indian actress/model chosen for a feminist NGO over the usual American or British one.) Admittedly, now that she's starring on an American television series, Quantico, I guess fewer people over here will ask "Who's Pri-YANK-a Chopra, anyway...?"

Anuj:

Yet another rich film shot in exotic locations with a wafer thin story line and humor that mainly caters to the elitist diaspora. Yeah, it will make its profits just as ZNMD did thanks to the "Gold Class" audiences. But frankly, Hindi cinema needs a lot more of Baby's, Badlapur's, Piku's and Tanu Weds Manu's than these sugar coated piles of trash!

Fan:

@Anuj : changing your stance from this movie will be a flop to this movie will make money like ZNMD?

Fan:

The theatre where I watched it had 100% occupancy. Majority of crowd were youngsters. And they were constantly in splits, though i personally found only a few genuinely funny scenes.

Let me break this "rich" and "dysfunctional" tag. They are as average a family as any family. Such relations and such generational or other gaps happen in every family, case in hand Tanu and her family. I have yet to find a guy anywhere in the world who doesn't have issues with his dad.

Performance wise: superlative from Shefali, guaranteed nominations for the best supporting actress. Very ably supported by Anil Kapoor as the loud millionaire Punjabi, Ranveer as the brat and Priyanka as the sibling. Full marks to all of them. Rahul Bose is top notch too making us hate him as much as his on screen wife hates him.

Meetu's question about being unable to comprehend why a modern and commercially successful Priyanka is shown cowering in front of the family is a valid question. Even Farhan says it so at one point that how could a smart girl like you be so idiotic (or something similar)?

Verdict? Surely a hit with metro and multiplex crowd. Movie is made for that target audience and it delivers on the expectations.

Where is it in reference to ZNMD? For me ZNMD is still better than D3.

Enjoy. Don't curb your instinct, Dil Dhadakne Do.

Anuj:

@Fan : ZNMD in itself was barely a partial hit and just about saved its ass courtesy the sons and daughters of rich urban Indians who're fantasizing about the American and European dream. It was a movie with a wafer thin plot and just a few genuinely funny gags to make it a reasonable watch. As for DDD, the mediocre film-maker that she is, Zoya's desperate attempt at portraying a bankrupt family in order to get rich of the "rich" factor in the film will not change the fact that this is yet another silly film about silly urban middle class Indians with firang ambitions and lollypops in their mouth. DDD for all its fan following among dumb college goers whose idea of entertainment is watching a noobish couple sleep around with multiple partners before they realize that their "tastes" are suitable only for one another, will at best be an Average to Above Average affair at the box office. If an average film-maker like Zoya alongside her high on dope pal Reema Kagti really want genuine inspiration on making urban family entertainers, they need to take a cue out of films like Piku or even Farhan's very own DCH. Else make mass entertainers like TWMR which are adored by single screens and multiplexes alike. Purposeless movies like DDD are neither here nor there, just like the entire cast and crew of the film starting with the extinguished star Anil Kapoor whose worst nightmare in life is that he's soon gonna be a senior citizen.

rajesh:

I fully agree with Anuj. Although i have not watched D3, i found ZNMD too sugary & fake.

Anuj:

In the middle of all this, Aamir's/Raju Hirani's all time blockbuster PKcontinues to smash records left right and center, the latest one being the $20 million first week collection in China. It has crossed INR 700 cr worldwide and shows no signs of stopping. With multiples markets left to be explored over the next year or so, and considering the fact that its being loved, adored and appreciated the world over, this might be the first Indian movie to clock 1000 cr worldwide. 2 minutes silence for those who gave it a thumbs down :P

Gokul:

@Anuj Dude why the hate???Zoya's target audience are the urban youngsters and they are liking it.Bhai makes movies for people who like to watch him on the screen and Zoya makes movies for people who like good looking people having a fun time in picturesque locations.

Anuj:

@Gokul : Yes. And another similarity between bhai and Zoya is that both of disappoint on most occasions with the only exceptions being Wanted/Dabangg and Luck By Chance (Zoya's most grounded movie thus far)

Anuj:

@Gokul : Did u just put Anil Kapoor, Rahul Bose & Ranveer Singh in the category of "good looking people"? :D

Suman:

Direction: 2
Story: 1.5
Lead Actors: 3
Character Artists: 2

Dialogues: 2.5
Screenplay: 1.5
Music Director: 1
Lyrics: 0.5

Murtaza Ali:

My thoughts on the movie...

Dil Dhadakne Do is essentially about rich people, their extravagant lives, scandalous affairs, and the problems that surround them. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar must have had the Indian diaspora in their minds while devising the movie’s script. Many major production houses are still sticking to the time-tested formula of making films that cater to the Anglophonic tastes of the ever expanding urban middleclass. Dil Dhadakne Do too is targeted towards the very class of audience.

Dil Dhadakne Do brings to the fore the issue of marital incompatibility between partners. It’s a topic that’s seldom been touched upon in Hindi films. Even the modern Indian families haven’t yet fully come to terms with the important issue of gender equality. Yes, the women certainly have greater liberty but they still don’t enjoy the equality that’s associated with the fairer sex in the western societies. For all important matters (like marriage, family planning, work, etc.) the females must seek permission from their fathers/husbands. And then there’s this childish fascination for a male heir to take forward the family legacy.

Dil Dhadakne Do comes across as a breath of fresh air with a rainbow of touching performances. But, the movie could have been much more than a clichéd melodramatic family affair had the makers given greater importance to storytelling than merely trying to accommodate a stellar ensemble cast in the screenplay. The movie can be watched for the performances and the scenic locations (although the movie proves to quite underwhelming even in this department, especially when compared to Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara). Dil Dhadakne Do certainly lacks a universal appeal, and while it will best be appreciated by the Anglophone urban audience, anyway who is not particularly uninterested in rich people's problems can afford to give it a try.

The full review can be read here:

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/2015/06/dil-dhadakne-do-2015-zoya-akhtars.html

Anuj:

Okay so how many times have we heard of rich pot bellied Punjabi businessmen for whom every relationship is a 'deal'? How many times have we heard of brooding wives of these rich businessmen who have no work in life except kitty partying and bitching behind backs? How many times have we heard of a smart, intellectual & intelligent woman with brilliant business acumen being forced to live a submissive life and dancing to her hubby's tunes? How many times have we seen a dominating and detestable husband for whom the definition of a wife is one whose a baby producing machine? (The most frustrating part is to watch actors such as Priyanka & Rahul Bose play such characters). How many times have we seen a lazy good for nothing son of a wealthy businessman falling for a cabaret dancer well below the economic strata of his family?

DDD reinstates every damn stereotype in the most boring, detestable and hypocritical way u can ever imagine. This one's a turkey even by Zoya and Kagti's mediocre standards!

Anuj:

Here's my review :

http://thesimplemoviereviewer.blogspot.in/2015/06/dil-dhadakne-do-reinstating-stereotypes.html

Ivo dhyan:

Theres a nice flow to your review. Agree with the telling not showing problem in the movie. Movies tend to be enjoyable when they show. But they went the honeymoon travels way.
Another issue i felt was that the characters take time to react to each other, which need not be the case. Also some scenes drag on a bit. Could be a reason for slight increase in length.

I liked watching anil kapoors sincere performance and do think a much better script - with well thought out lead characters- went a bit astray during execution.

Fan:

"Its gonna be rejected by even the plex audiences for whom it is targeted."

This one's anything but rejected by the plex audience.

For once even Anuj got it entirely wrong. That is the danger of predicting a film's fate even before it is released.

Anuj:

@Fan : 36 cr in 3 days. BIG DEAL!! This one will not even hit 100. Even the collections are concentrated towards just 3-4 metropolitan cities. Its got a cost which is twice that of TWM-2 (which is gonna run close to 150) and will be an Above Average grosser at best. So much for the breath of fresh air (read rich air) called Zoya Akhtar.

Anuj:

Even ZNMD had a modest beginning but did reasonably well in the final tally thanks to its fantastic word of mouth. Unfortunately, neither is DDD as funny nor as deep as ZNMD (which in itself was just an above average movie at best). DDD is just a wealthy man's solidified waste coupled with some wine. Zoya needs to watch PIKU a few times before attempting a realistic meaningful movie on urban family relationships the next time around.

meetu:

Thank you @Ivo.

Anuj:

"I liked watching anil kapoors sincere performance and do think a much better script - with well thought out lead characters- went a bit astray during execution." ~ perfectly summarized. Unfortunately, script and plot is something we rarely witness in Akhtar sibling productions (with DCH, Lakshya & Luck By chance being the only exceptions).

@Meeta : What do u think of my review for this movie? :P

meetu:

@Anuj Well, I didn't read it.

Anuj:

56 cr in week 1. 80-90 cr lifetime collections. Verdict - AVERAGE. Fail !

Ajay Jindal:

As a layman what do you expect from a movie. One that gives you something to laugh about, basic cleanliness in terms of skin show, better than average acting and if possible some message. If yes then the movie surely has all of this. In fact the most disappointing factor is music.
Shefali's performance for me was by far the best and Ranvir followed brilliantly. Anil Kapoor must have done some effort to look old as he is simply a GEM.
All in all the movie deserves one time watch. Some cinematic liberty has to be given or else a real life and movie will resemble just too much.
Good work.

ehinome okojie:

This film's first weekeng in the US is greater than Jai Ho's lifetime.

Anuj:

When you make a film with as limited a target audience as ZNMD or DDD, its important for the film to have a 70%+ word of mouth among that limited target audience for it to perform well at the box office & have a good theatrical run. Both ZNMD and DDD are mainly catering to the audiences frequenting the high end premium multiplexes of metropolitan & semi-metropolitan cities. ZNMD had an 80%+ word of mouth among the multiplex audiences of metros and hence ran for weeks together in the high end multiplexes of metropolitan cities thereby collecting 90cr+ in 2011 (would be around 130cr in today’s times if adjusted for ticket prices) and thereby became a HIT. DDD unfortunately has carried just a 50% word of mouth among the audiences of these very multiplexes and hence will end up with just about an 80cr lifetime figure thereby just about saving itself from becoming a FLOP. Its evident that this formula of mushy films shot in exotic locations and portraying the lives of ultra rich urban Indians is well past its sell by date.

Fan:

"portraying the lives of ultra rich urban Indians is well past its sell by date."

There are very few films that come to mind over the past 5 years that portray the lives of ultra rich Indians. Yes ZNMD is one of them. But beyond that I really have to scratch my head to think of some other names.

So with 2 movies we could not say that the sell by date has been passed.

The genre of films for which the sell by date has really passed are the Singham type of films. Whereas Singham (coincidentally released just a week after ZNMD)was something new - its success saw so many similar films that now they don't entertain at all. Unless they are of a calibre par excellence.

Anuj:

@Fan : Please explain the disastrous second week collections of DDD and its near empty audi's even in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Bangalore that too in only its second week! Contrast this with Queen last year or Kahaani in 2012 or ZNMD in 2011 which ran housefull in multiplexes even in their 3rd/4th and 5th weeks.

Fan:

Anuj : there are many reasons for a film's performance. All i am saying is that with 2 movies in past 5 years on the ultra rich class, of which one is a certified hit, it's premature to come to the conclusion that the formula has run its course.

meetu:

@Fan Agree. Even I can't think of too many films about the urban class. Maybe aristocracy is addressed and even the fashion/film industry, or some times even businessmen. But that's not the same, right?

Anuj:

Most of this so-called parallel cinema that mediocrity like Ranveer Shorey,Rahul Bose,Rajat Kapoor etc have been dishing out for over a decade now is nothing but "rich man's cinema" or if I may say, "intellectual's cinema" which the likes of Akhtar siblings and Reema Kagti have made on a more elaborate scale. Neither is the audience interested in watching the former, nor the latter. If at all we get parallel cinema, we need more of Wednesday and Jolly LLB which all sections of the audiences can relate to on a regular basis.

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