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Movie Reviews – Dostaana & Dasvidaniya

Posted by RB Kollannur on November 18, 2008

Dostaana brings together Abhishek Bachchan (Sam) and John Abraham (Kunal), in a literal sense, to don the role of a “gay couple” in order to gain an apartment. Rope in the sexy Priyanka Chopra (Neha) and you are bound to see some hormones flare. Sam and Kunal are hunting for an apartment and find the perfect apartment. The only problem – Neha, the landlady’s niece, who is living there. So, Sam and Kunal convince the landlady that they are a gay couple. Soon, Sam and Kunal both fall for Neha and try to make a play for her, while Neha, unbeknownst of her friends’ heterosexuality is on the lookout for her Mr. Prefect.

The entire movie is set in a light hearted manner, so there is no point in going over the political correctness of each and every remark in the movie. The story is not exceedingly remarkable since most of the script is written purely to make the movie funny. And it is a fun movie as well. It is filled with comical references of gay stereotypes and innuendoes. It is surprising to see two people who pulled off such a weak performance in Drona, come back and perform exceedingly well in Dostaana. John Abraham holds up well as well, pun intended. Boman Irani plays a nice cameo as Neha’s boss, a gay designer (What is with Bollywood and gay designers?) while the much hammed role of Kirron Kher as Sam’s mom, who is downcast after finding out of her son’s “homosexuality” is hilarious. Halfway through, it seemed that the movie was about to lose its zing, when Abhimanyu (Bobby Deol credited with a cameo performance for some strange reason) appears as a possible love interest for Neha. Fortunately, the movie does not digress into “rona, dona” and keeps its funny bone. An entertaining comedy for the weekend.

Dasvidaniya attempts to touch an emotional chord with the audience bringing Amar Kaul, an accountant whose by the book life goes into a complete disarray when he finds out that he is dying with cancer. Egged on by a freewheeling Jagtap (Ranvir Shorey) and his own conscience (Dressed like Jagtap) wanting to break out, Amar sets out to do things he had always wanted to do, but didn’t, out of his own inhibitions.

Reminiscent of The Bucket List? The similarity dies there. Amar’s “ten Things To Do before I die” list is hardly the sort adventurers would die to have in their resume. Instead, he chooses to hold on to his emotional side; professing his love to his childhood crush and only love, meeting his old best friend who had drifted apart over the years, healing his relationship with an estranged brother and so on. As the movie progresses, it adopts the simplistic character of Amar Kaul, revealing his good natured but limited life and unachieved ambitions. The audience cannot help but feel sorry for the character’s helplessness in life.

Vinay Pathak performs extremely well as Amar Kaul. The supporting cast gels well, though their screen time (except for Amar’s mom and his guitar teacher) is limited to the part of his bucket list with relation to them. The movie retains its own comical touch as well, with the ever eating boss, Dasgupta (Saurabh Shukla) referenced as Hari Sadoo (Remember the naukri ad) and a guitar scene in the end reminiscent of Jab We Me when Shahid Kapoor plays his guitar with his employees gather around him. Many of Amar’s interactions with his crush, guitar master and others are shown in a lighter vein. An affair in a foreign country with a gorgeous Russian way beyond his league was probably a tad too much, but I guess it was added to introduce the movie name (Dasvidaniya being Russian, in case you didn’t realize Amar sets out to do “Das” tasks). The movie comes off well as an emotional experiment.

All in all, Dostaana’s laughter and Dasvidaniya’s sadness forms a nice combination of opposites. On a curious note, Dasvidaniya had attempted to get its feet wet in social media with a facebook app and all, although I heard about it on twitter rather than on facebook. So, I am not sure how successful it was, but it is a welcome attempt for a movie to attempt to bond with its audience. However, its wiki page and IMDb  profile leaves a lot to be desired.


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