Review - Dostana: Mockery with pretentious style
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Mental check-list while walking in the theater to neutralize skepticism created by the promos - 10...9... It's Dharma productions - have a nagging feeling that they must have caught the violently contagious disease that's in the air these days called self-referencing. So make peace with Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai whenever they show up. 8...7...6... You'll be entering into the lives of super-happy, super-rich people - they even express anger with a smile. Don't be jealous of them. Breathe, don't fume. 5...4... Expect tasteless gay jokes - they exist to test your tolerance, this is what those meditation courses were meant for. 3...2...1... Don't complain about songs being random, it's on Miami beaches for goodness sake, try and understand, they need some excuse to show those beautiful ladies off... ...Boom... Not a moment wasted...some random song with digitally enhanced voices and extra blue skies. But it also has Shilpa Shetty literally all over both Abhishek Bachchan (Sam) and John Abraham (Kunal). Just so no one can complain. All the boys in the house need a gorgeous, barely-clad woman to drool over. And girls can take their pick - John 'Perfect V' Abraham just after a swim on the beach or the casually dressed Abhishek nodding his head in style.
Though most of the apprehensions mentioned above were appropriately done justice to, a lot of the mental preparation seemed to have worked. Because I was pleasantly surprised to hear myself laugh at regular intervals - Thanks to the situations created and some brilliant timing by Abhishek Bachchan. However, John is back to being a part of the furniture as far as acting goes.
Sure the jokes were intended to take advantage of the way the audience laughs at gay people. But, the situations they were places in made it funny. No credit to the dialogues though. Their only function was to remind us that they are cool enough to use the word 'gay' openly - every 10th minute. Anyway, like all good things, the laughter soon dried up too, largely due to repetition. And stop using the 'brother from another mother' line already!
It is amazing how a simple, sweet concept can be completely ruined by keeping the narrative absolutely flat. The superficial conflict is treated ever so lightly that you can't let the superfluous drama get you involved. Sam and Kunal both get annoyed, anxious, jealous, apologetic and turn into perfect arseholes (what else can people who use Taare Zameen Par to manipulate children be called?) at the exact same time. Was one character at conception stage split into two to give it the gay angle? And of course there's no necessity to show a single bonding moment between the males, they are after all so similar.
Neha (Priyanka Chopra) does have a shade more detailed character. But even those details seem to be just there as tokens rather than serving an arc. Yet, Priyanka sincerely expresses whatever Neha is going through. This is her fourth movie this year and yet she brings freshness to the screen. There's something superbly charming and warm about her and the way she carries herself. Can't blame her if Neha's feelings don't have a logical flow to them or if one moment all she cares about is her job and soon enough it barely matters.
Fluidity is in general lacking around here. I'm not talking about characters transforming by a preachy one-liner (remember the deep breathing exercises before the show?). It’s the absence of even that one-liner. I'll thank the climax for all the eye exercises it helped me with - so much eye-rolling I haven't done in a long long time.
The focus is on mockery here. Mockery of how the gay behave and of how they are perceived too. Mockery of how parents react when they know their child is homosexual and of how blinding love can really be. A movie on relationships and friendships, yeah right! Not this one.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: None
- Nudity & Sexual content: Loads of skin-show. And a lip-lock.
- Concept: Homosexuality; People shamelessly lying their way into situations and playing cute to find a way out.
- General Look and Feel: Peppy, bright - in the Karan Johar way.
Dostana - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Dharma Productions
- Producer: Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar
- Director: Tarun Mansukhani
- Lead Cast: John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan
- Supporting Cast: Kirron Kher, Bobby Deol, Boman Irani
- Story: Tarun Mansukhani
- Screenplay: Tarun Mansukhani
- Dialogues: Anvita Dutt Guptan, Anvita Dutt Guptan
- Cinematography: Ayananka Bose, Ayananka Bose
- Editor: Mannan Sagar
- Background Score: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
- Choreography: Vaibhavi Merchant, Farah Khan, Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant
- Music Director: Shekhar Ravjiani, Vishal Dadlani
- Lyrics: Anvita Dutt Guptan, Vishal Dadlani, Kumaar
- Costume Designer: Manish Malhotra , Aki Narula
- Art Direction: Amrita Mahal
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 160 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Comedy, Relationships