Review - Dil Kabaddi: <em>Kabhi alvida na kehna</em> with slightly more depth.

wogma rating: The keen should rent; else TV (?)
quick review:

Variety is the spice of life, of married life, of sex out of married life. Ignoring the other aspects of relationships, sexuality in mid-life crises is explored via some good performances. Wish other aspects were acknowledged too.

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Each life has a story – boring as it may be but there’s a story. Dil Kabaddi chooses 2 couples going through the 2/4-year itch (7 y\ears is way too long) to display the one issue that causes it – boredom. The basic disinterest in what the other finds interesting leads to this boredom. And underneath the boredom, you might chance upon layers of confusion about what one wants from life. All these complexities in a relationship are explored only through the lens of sexuality.

Sexuality is addressed so directly that there’s no room for innuendos. It’s so direct that it is refreshing considering how the topic is taboo in Indian society. And yet it does not shock. You begin discussing your relationship in your head, just as the couple on screen discusses its own when their friends have a fight.

The situations seem very close to urban relationships in real life – simple but complicated because of the need for complications, so satisfied that each one needs its own mix of masala to keep it alive. Or maybe the simplicity and satisfaction are just an illusion behind which the characters have found cozy corners. The movie does get out of a generic Hindi movie’s comfort zone by given each of its women characters an identity of their own and men displaying their insecurity.

Over the period of the two hours, we are fully aware of each character’s sexual needs but don’t get much of a peek into their emotional ones. Their need for companionship, compatible companionship is a given. Something that supposed doesn’t require any explaining. And this is where I was left thirsty. I wanted to know them better, the gray characters that they were. But, I was denied that.

And this despite wonderful portrayal of confusion, frustration, and indecisiveness by all – Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma. Together they help maintain the light vein in which the seriousness is handled. Case in example would be Soha Ali Khan thinking of paint colors for her room while in bed with her husband as if she was in an ad with her real-life brother.

The light-heartedness is equally attributed to the background music. Just like the music composer seems to be in love with his ensemble and what he can do with it, I fell in love with the music. As if it were flirting with the mood of the characters without once getting overbearing.

My biggest complaint is the sense of discontent that I leave the theater with. Of course, I’m not asking for back-story, thank goodness they didn’t give any of the characters any. I’m asking to know a little more about the characters – their aspirations not just sexual fantasies, their need for company not just lust. And there was enough room for this since each scene seemed to be stretched to exaggerate the situaion, the camera lingering around a little longer than need be for me to grasp the situation. Even if it is something as interesting as cheating on a spouse.

Extra-marital relationships seem like the flavor of the season. Dil Kabaddi has focused on one aspect of any romantically-inclined relationship, picked 3-4 types of characters of each gender, and mixed them up in different permutations to make perfect soap-opera. Yep, I managed to squeeze all the juice out of various interesting angles that the above medley can have. Now, what if I tell you, the ‘one’ aspect of relationships chosen is ‘sex’? The juice is back, right? Not entirely but enough to make you sit through. Because, it’s interesting to see people make the most of their mundane lives.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A steamy kiss, hints of people attempting to start making love.
  • Concept: Complexities of adult relationships, almost all revolving around sex. Extra-marital flirtations, attractions, and affairs. Certainly off limits for kids.

Dil Kabaddi - Movie Details

Dil Kabaddi - Trailer

Comments (2)

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meetu:

Ashwini, I actually enjoyed all the performances.

MovieBhakt, really? Movies like these need to be watched just out of curiosity, if nothing else. :)

Ram:

Irrfan Khan just swept us all away. He overshadowed all the other actors and was miles away.

Though it's a copy of "Husbands and Wives", it's really a well done movie.

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