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quick review:

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.

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Director: Bejoy Nambiar
Running time: 135 minutes
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David (Hindi, Tamil) - Preview

Even though I didn't particularly like Bijoy Nambiar's debut Shaitan, I am looking forward to his next one, David. With Shaitaan I got this distinct feeling that he wanted to put in everything he had ever wanted to put in his films in terms of style and coolness. I hope he has gotten over it.

Anyway, it will be a treat to watch Tabu on big screen again. Other than wanting to see her give a performance I can be in awe of, I'd like to wipe out memories of her participating in a project called Toh Baat Pakki.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to an engaging story that will join the dots between three men separated by decades, the superficial connection being that they are namesakes. The trailer is exciting with the various themes it seems to touch upon.

Not to mention the music has been getting good reviews from all over. So, keeping in mind my take on Shaitan, I should be able to manage a plain slate while walking into David.

Music Reviews:
Milliblog - "But where it loses out lyrically, it makes up in audacity and sheer diversity, delivering a vibrant pastiche!"
Music Aloud - "8/10"
Bollywood Hungama - "3.5/5"
Bollyspice - "4.5/5"
koimoi - "4.5/5"
IBN Live - "3.5/5"
Firstpost - "Not the usual Bollywood song-and-dance"
MTV - "Out of Control: This song makes you believe in the future of Hinglish; think about it, if you have Hinglish lyrics with the classical voice of Preeti Pillai to sing the chorus. "

- meeta, a part of the audience

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.

- meeta, a part of the audience

38 reviewers(?) - 10 yays 18 so-so 10 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Charu A Mahesh, Buzz in Town : ...eil Nitin Mukesh who plays a man of few words wins your heart with his power packed performance.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhil Arora, Desi Martini : ...For me, this film is all about the climax. If the film had ended any other way, I would have probably disliked the film in its entirety.... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha (IANS), DNA : ...the characters seem to inhabit places where their mind, heart and body are intrinsically at home.... full review

Thumbs up, by Divya Solgama, Gomolo.in : ... Milind Soman might remind you of Kiran Kumar from Angaar. Ajinkya Dave, Nikhil Chinappa, Sarika does good special appearance... full review

Thumbs up, by Roshni Devi, koimoi : ...Another flooring performance is by Vinay Virmani. He’s so adorable and vulnerable that your heart goes out for him... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ... Bejoy Nambiar's 'triple treat' is definitely worth a watch... full review

Thumbs up, by Aakash Barvalia, MoviezADDA : ...Both the halves are equally entertaining and engaging enough to hold down the viewers throughout the film. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...With a run time of 155 minutes, David tends to be a tad flabby at times. In other words, its pace is anything but consistent. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Subha J Rao, The Hindu : ...This is one film where all the actors have given their best — Nasser, Tabu, Rohini Hattangadi and John Vijay.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gayatri Sankar, Zee News : ...Raw talent Vinay Virmani is impressive and looks promising as an actor. ... full review

So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Monica Dogra and Isha as the love interests make an impact along with Rohini Hattangadi as the politician and Nasser as the targeted Father spreading Christianity.... full review

So-So, by Renuka Vembu, Bollywood Life : ...At almost three hours, Bejoy tries to serve a plate which is full, but just not delicious. We didn’t savour this experience.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Good performances all round, but no surprises.... full review

So-So, by Smita, Desi Martini : ...His combination of music and scene is completely strange and unexpected and yet always feels fantastically right.... full review

So-So, by Vivek Bhatia, Filmfare : ...David suffers due to a hackneyed screenplay which lacks sub-text which is most important in stories like these. ... full review

So-So, by Ravina Rawal, FirstPost : ...But something comes in the way of it being a riveting, emotionally engaging, gritty masterpiece—something we were hoping we could safely call Nambiar’s signature style after Shaitaan. ... full review

So-So, by Ravi Kandala, fullhyd.com : ...The music of the film is good, and the background score is even better... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...David makes a subtle but well-taken point about the building communal and religious tension of its times, and leaves you pondering your stand on morality and redemption... full review

So-So, by Swati Deogire, In.com : ...‘David’ is best enjoyed as three short films, because it never quite comes together as one.... full review

So-So, by Vivek, India Entertainment : ...At best, the film is an orgasmic explosion of passionately detailed cinematography by R. Rathnavelu, Sanu John Varughese and P.S. Vinod. ... full review

So-So, by Joginder Tuteja, Indicine : ...a jerky narrative that doesn’t manage to hold this 150 minutes long film consistently is what pulls it back.... full review

So-So, by Janhavi Samant, MiD DAY : ...Prima facie, all stories seem interesting but apart from parts of the London track, none of them are even remotely engaging... full review

So-So, Mumbai Mirror : ...Still, David is infused with energy and where it lacks in substance, it makes up in style and original thought.... full review

So-So, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...Once again Bejoy stupendously blends the many songs from the album into the film to give an elevated cinematic experience. ... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...This bouncing back and forth between characters and scenarios is always a risky deal and tests an individual’s capacity to refocus and reconnect. ... full review

So-So, by Narendra Gupta, Star Blockbuster : ...The experimentation with the concept and its execution in terms of cinematography and styling gets the thumbs-up!... full review

So-So, by Swati Rohatgi, STARDUST : ...Vikram’s infectious smile and Bejoy Nambiar’s cinematic expertise in capturing the backdrop of Goa bring life to his plot and make in endearingly engaging for the audience.... full review

So-So, by Madhureeta Mukherjee, Times of India : ...Yes, the Devil's in the detail. But maybe David needed more 'D' of 'Depth' in the story to make this more 'Delightful'.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna Vetticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...The film’s problems begin right at the beginning with the tiresome inter-weaving of 3 tales and the constant, confusing back-and-forth between 3 decades. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...DAVID appeals in bits and spurts, although the film begins on a promising note.... full review

Thumbs down, Daily Bhaskar : ...To give credit to the script’s narration thereafter still, the filmmakers managed to rope in quite an ensemble cast with some well-known names agreeing to do really odd, short walk-on parts: Sarika for a song, Milind Soman to stare, Nikhil Chinappa to fight, Lara Dutta to play the guitar....... full review

Thumbs down, by Deepa Deosthalee, Film Impressions : ...Monica Dogra who can’t act but looks very pretty... full review

Thumbs down, Free Press Journal : ...There exists a certain engaging tension but it’s not fraught with suspense or intrigue. The surprises also raise more questions than answer the riddles in the script. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...what was the need of three Davids when the London sector was red hot? I mean, if Nambiar had concentrated on just Neil Nitin Mukesh, he would have definitely gotten somewhere with this film. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Vinayak Chakravorty, india today : ...Worse, Bejoy reveals no intention at sustaining interest and the actors overall are at best mediocre.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...'David' speaks of a new kind of Bollywood which doesn't want to be slavish to stars or formulae. But it also speaks of a filmmaking which isn't quite as accomplished as it would like to be, or should be.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjukta Sharma, Live Mint : ...Vikram and Tabu, actors of great calibre, seem wasted.... full review

Thumbs down, by The ThirdMan, Upper Stall : ...Technically, again the London saga is treated with more care and stands out even from the camera point of view, which one has to say is not bad in the other two segments also, the music, good enough for a standalone sound-track,... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots of violence. And some brutal too.
  • Language: A few abuses
  • Nudity & Sexual content: One making out scene.
  • Concept: The struggle between right and wrong and the paths different people choose.
  • General Look and Feel: Slick and classy.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Comments (2)

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Liked Shaitan, will probably end up watching this one when it is out on DVD.

Good call, @Rahul

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