There is a scene in the film Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD), when Ms. Shefali Shah and Mr. Anil Kapoor are in bed on board a cruise ship. Their relationship is one of contempt for each other, and if they were living in the US, they would have been divorced ages ago. They are both under a common blanket, which given the state of their relationship, makes no sense. In most homes, even with double beds, we usually use individual separate blankets. It is only when we go to hotels that we tend to share a common blanket in a double bed, which works only if both partners share the blanket equally. If you however are like me, then whether single or double, the entire blanket soon becomes “mine”, because of which these days we make it a point to ask for individual blankets. And if your relationship with your partner were to be rocky and you were somehow forced to use a double bed as in the film, you would always ask for individual blankets.
DDD however is great fun. The first half takes its time to establish the characters and their relationships as the story keeps moving along. Mr. Kapoor and Ms. Shah are terrific, Ms. Shah fitting very well into her role as a “hot” late 40s, early 50s Mom, who though slightly overweight, goes to extreme pains to take care of herself. Ms. Priyanka Chopra and Mr. Ranveer Singh do a convincing job as their children, who are almost always there for each other, Ms. Chopra a power-woman who runs a successful travel start-up and Mr. Singh, with a passion for flying, trying to find his way forward in life. The narrator is their dog, Pluto, voiced by Mr. Aamir Khan.
There is a terrific ensemble cast and the one-liners and sit-com like laughs come fast and furious in the first-half. The film becomes a little more sober in the second half, but that is when Ms. Zoya Akhtar produces her trump card, Mr. Farhan Akhtar.
Mr. Akhtar, when he does these “I am a cool regular guy, speaking normally” roles, lights up the screen, as he did in Zindaga Naa Mile Dobara and Rock On. Here too, his entry lifts up the second half and keeps it even paced and interesting. Mr. Akhtar should continue to do these kind of roles, but sparingly and stay away from biopics like Milkha that are completely alien to his persona. Some actors like him, should just be, and not experiment too much.
The last few weeks have been good as far as Hindi films are concerned. Piku, centered around toilet humor was great tun. Bombay Velvet, though considered a flop, promises to be a cult film and I can’t wait for the DVD to go through each scene and check out the shop names and other tit-bits that Mr. Anurag Kashyap has thrown in. Let’s see what the rest of the year has in store!