Film Review: Dil Dhadakne Do
Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producers: Ritesh Sidhwani/ Farhan Akhtar
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranvir Singh, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar (special appearance, Rahul Bose, Parmeet Sethi, Zarina Wahab, Ridhima Sud
Rating: Three and half stars
Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do boasts of super star cast and introduces us to the dysfunctional Mehra family, Kamal the self made man,wife Neelam sarcastic but unhappy,daughter Ayesha super successful career woman but caught in a gloomy marriage and Kabir, the happy-go-lucky son, fascinated by his plane. Director Zoya Akhtar’s movies are like a true-to-life diary, echoing human realities and exploring relationships in a deft manner. This time, Zoya throws a honest glance on the life of an elite family, who is dysfunctional but put a pretense mask of being happy and perfect. My verdict: The film throws a lid on the hypocritical society with true to life and believable characters, shot on a cruise, and the director shows her finesse in pulling out a sublime movie.
It’s about love, relationships, compromises and the whole business called marriage and family. Though DDD is by far what one would call a master stroke owing to the fact that it lacks the Zoya touch that characterized her earlier Zindagi Na Milega Dobara, she pulls a delectable film through the performances, script, screenplay, dialogues that leaves a powerful impact on the audience.
The real surprise in DDD is Ranveer Singh, who shines in his carefree and laid back character and explodes in the scenes, whether the conflicts with parents and sibling bonding with Priyanka Chopra. The actor is at his natural best and performs in an effortless, competent and endearing manner that will earn him more fans. It’s the new Ranveer Singh and his best act so far. Anil Kapoor is effortless as the successful business honcho, philandering husband who shows streak of arrogance. The role fits his persona as the arrogant Kamal Mehra and he is simply sublime when he shouts at his daughter Ayesha (Priyanka) when she tells that all that she wants is a divorce.
Priyanka downplays herself as Ayesha, giving a new shade to her otherwise fiesty character, showcasing a repressed and unhappy woman. Full credit to her for experimenting in this new shade. Shefali Shah as Neelam is effortless and her eyes expression is enough is silence the ghosts. An actor of her calibre shows her mettle and is not lost in this multi-star cast, matching at every steps her contemporaries and proves that she is arguably one of the best artists in the industry. Sadly, Shefali does very few films and she is someone whose talent I respect a lot and she is simply magnificent in her body language, eyes expression and demeanor.
Farhan Akhtar as Sunny comes in the second half and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that he delivers a simple act that steals the scenes right under the nose of the main characters. Anushka as Farha is endearing, stylish and super charming while Parmeet Sethi, Zarina Wahab and Rahul Bose are competent.
What works in favor of DDD are the scenes and dialogues that leaves an impact on the audience and stunningly etched that one should bow down to Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar for pulling such a stunning screenplay. Farhan Akhtar debating with Rahul Bose on the role of women in society where the former tells the latter, ‘In your dictionary a woman needs your permission’ or Ranveer shouting at his parents and tells them the facts on their face and before leaving tells that he loves Farha, a dancer and Muslim woman. Shefali crying in the party and munching on chocolate cake is a scene to die for and she leaves you speechless. Such a gem as an actor. The movie’s forte is not just dialogues but the bonding and palpable chemistry between the actors whether the sibling love, romance between Ranveer and Anushka or Shefali telling Anil, ‘You don’t need to put an act.’ Moreover, I love the climax where the whole family bonds on the life boat which makes a perfect kodak moment. It’s all about happiness, the underlying message of DDD.
However, DDD has its low moments. The film gets tedious at times and caught in repetition where some scenes doesn’t make sense at all, Rahul Bose crying to his Mom or everyone trying to pull the life boat. Such scenes could have been avoided. One can sense the movie chugging at a slow pace at times. The length shows and plays against the flow of the movie at some point.
Stunning cinematography, awe-inspiring visual, clear cut editing and amazing performances cum magnificent direction by Zoya Akhtar makes the film a winner. The movie is weaved in a super intelligent manner and it’s something that reverberates in one’s aesthetic sense that can only be felt. DDD is targeted at a niche audience that would relate to the complexity of human relationships, emotions and family. DDD is a clear winner and a fresh cum mature take on relationships. I love Amir Khan voice over throughout the movie for the dog. The song Gallan Godiyan is catchy and picturized in a vibrant and energetic fashion, another high point.