The Shared Blanket Issue – A Review of Dil Dhadakne Do

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!

16 Comments

  • V.Subramanian wrote:

    Well Bhavin, a glaring miss in the list seems to be Tanu weds Manu Returns. For me top notch performances from Kangana makes it a must see movie. Some of the punchy oneliners though difficult to decipher, because of Haryanvi or Rajasthani slang, provide for Rip Roaring laughter. Every innocuous character in the film has given his or her full measure. One comes out with a fulfilled feeling.

  • laxman wrote:

    The movies released in the last 3 to 4 years have no morals or conveying values of life.It is all bullshit and cheap humour.But the changing mood of young or aged movie goers have also become senseless w/o understanding the purpose of such films.Even Big B has become cheap by acting with young heroes or heroines for cheap publicity and money or else what Pinku and Tanu weds Manu want to convey?
    Indian cinema-Hindi films have lost the track for sensible/humourous films.

  • Neel Tandon wrote:

    TWM RETURNS is worth a dekkho Excellent Histrionics superb screenplay and camera work keeps you engaged almost all the time the whole starcast deserves an applaud. Why don’t they make more of these. .

  • Shalini wrote:

    Dear Mr Laxman, Movies don’t have to always convey something. Some provide just entertainment. Although I love art/classic films, which give us food for thought, sometimes I don’t mind fun movies that don’t insult our intelligence, yet give relief from mundane routine.

  • A,K,VASUMATHI wrote:

    Very good review of DDD. Your comment about Farhan is right on target. Even in karthik vs karthik he had done an excellent job .

  • dr. rajesh parikh wrote:

    i agree with others that looking at the hype and expectations, tanu wed manu returns tops the list.

  • Mr.bhavin, im glad i can express my view about bombay
    velvet…i liked it so much…specially if u see with keen observation ranbir is SUPERB…MOVIE ON THE WHOLE IS DIFFERENT BUT UNIQUE …
    people cry for different kinds of movies…and wen it is made the attitude is’ ye kya hai kuch samaj me nahi aya’
    im sure 90% of regular movie goers loved bombay velvet…dont give up Anurag kashyap!!!

  • Great review Bbhavin ..

    This is another review of the film from a different point of view thought it would intrest you … This is by my close friend Rajgopal M ( Not a professional film critic but an ex IIT , GM at British gas, Mumbai )

    Dil Dhadakne Do- Am I sitting in a cinema hall and watching a movie or am still in my drawing room watching a Soap opera that is a cross of Khandaan of early 90s Doordarshan vintage and ‘Brothers and Sisters’ from recent American TV serial ? This was the question that rose in my mind as multiple characters got introduced over the early moments . The scene was set for a major surgery of debilitated dysfunctional, impaired relationships ( brother- sister, father-son, mother- daughter, husband- wife, relative-friend) within the Mehra family with many a fault lines ! The operation theatre is a luxury cruise off Turkey and duration is 10 days. Pluto the dog is the stand-in for the proverbial Sanjaya of Mahabaratha as the commentator for the war brewing amongst the family members with the finely modulated voice rendered by Amir Khan. With an ensemble casts of many a heavy weights actors it was always going to be a challenge to Zoya as the Director to do justice to all the characters . Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah ( ‘Waqt the race against time’ fame) as the Mehra family heads breeze through their role with elegance and ease. Ranveer Singh as the son shows streaks of comical element but lacks the depth and passion. Priyanka Chopra as the daughter, a successful business woman with a broken love affair and a failed marriage emotes her role very well with the poignancy deriving the deserved empathy of the audience. Anushka Sharma as the belle who entices Ranveer into the romantic world has not much to do other than dancing to rock-n-roll music. Rahul Bose as the hubby of Priyanka is wasted away while Farhan Akhtar as her ex-beau is Mr Dependable . There are many other roles who do add their bit to the painting of the collage . However the vastness of the picture on the canvas does not provide Zoya the space to build the profoundness and the required detailing within many a characters in the story . Fast paced music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy has some bright spots with some energetic group choreography. Some crisp dialogues with sharp one-liners by Farhan and Javed Akthar brings out succinctly the corrupted transactional relationship that defines the current day materialistic elitist urban living. While the movie could have done itself better without the dramatic climax at mid sea, I walked out of the cinema hall with a feeling that the director took bit too many of the characters and their relationship portrayal on to her plate than she could chew within the constrained couple of hours ( 3 hours movie is bit too long ) and the audience walk out of the hall with an indigestion i.e a compelling sense that this could have been more focused and done better !

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    Somehow can’t seem to agree with your friend. On the contrary, given the canvas, she actually did a great job in painting the roles quickly and with strong strokes.

  • Vimmi Subramanian wrote:

    Mr Bhavin,
    Just loved your review on DDD.Zoya has very effectively exposed the hollowness of relationships without making it very melodramatic.Top notch performances by the leads lendscredibility to the film.The first half of the pic was tortoise-paced as compared to the 2nd half which picked up momentum gradually.
    Nevertheless a watchable film….wonder if the front benchers have the patience to digest this!!!

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    I am sure they will as well Vimmi. Though Zoya’s films are more for back benchers.

  • Sandeep Kawlra wrote:

    I must see DDD now that you have recommended it. I must agree that despite the critics views I also loved Bombay Velvet. It has such a feel as a Martin Scorcese movie about gangsters, prohibition and developing empathy for a criminal who is madly in love with his moll. The characters in the movie all did great cameos- esp. Karan Johar. And the jazz inspired music was outstanding. Anurag Kashyap did a great job. The editing could have been a bit more crisp, but I really enjoyed the movie better than Piku. There’s a limit to toilet humor and Piku just crossed that crappy limit.

  • Bhavin Jankharia wrote:

    I didn’t mind Piku and at first look BV was also a disappointment. But the more I think of it, the more BV seems to be a film that needs to be seen at leisure.

  • Small time directors like Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Bannerjee who made Big films like BOMBAY VELVETand VYOMESH BAKSHI, tried their hand of Grand canvas and failed miserably, the climax of Vyomesh Bakshi fight scenes were just lift from Guy Rithchi style,Anuraag blew away Big studios money for his vanity to shoot and recreate period films.to give a very important task of editing to Thelma Schumacher was another blunder that “s why it went into multiple editing process the result nobody went on weekdays shows.Bro stick to small films that”s your funda and try to make meanigful films like Udaan.

  • Phiroze Lilaowala wrote:

    Dear Bhavin,
    Your review of Dil Dhadakne Do
    is highly disappointing.
    YOU make no mention about Ranveer’s love for Anoushka nor about Priyanka’s marriage to an unlikely man ! Ranveer’s love for flying ; the beautiful scenery around Istanbul and various other highlights of the film find no space in your review.
    Very disappointing ! This is not the way, a film review is written.
    Sorry, but this is my honest opinion.

    Phiroze Lilaowala

  • Indira Laul wrote:

    Bhavin, loved the whole blanket thing!

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