Remember the diabetically sweet family in a Rajshree film which brimmed with motherly, fatherly, brotherly, sisterly, inlawsly (outlawsly) TRUE love. And even the dog has extra sensory powers? Dil Dhadakne Do is THE OPPOSITE. It's all about hating your parents - kabhi sad kabhi glum - sab kuch locha hai... You get the drift? It's a mildly humorous tale of a family that has put image above feelings.
Meet the Mehras - family of four, where the parents - Kamal and Neelam (Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah( hide their marital displeasure behind make up . Their kids ayesha and kabir (Priyanka and Ranveer) are mostly playing their part in facade that their parents have constructed - one lie at a time. While one parent hides an eating disorder the other must pop anti anxiety pills to live through parties and meetings alike. This is one dysfunctional rich family - the business empire is collapsing, the daughter wants a divorce, the son doesn't know what he wants and the dog has no extra sensory powers! Shame.
As fakely successful marriage reaches its 40 year milestone and the filthy rich family invites close family and friends and prospective investors (read prospective samdhis) to a 10 day cruise. An all expenses paid fake celebration. A shallow party where no one is a true friend. Where only the siblings trust each other in the middle of the sea - stuck in a cruise where they must Co exist and confront their issues.
The film is a mockery of the upper middle class - who underneath their branded clothes and page 3 air kisses, are a regressive bunch of insecure men and women. A son is the obvious successor for the family business even if the daughter is more capable. It is easy to disown a daughter if she utters the idea of divorce, but a sons empty threats can change your mind.
Yes there is too much evil on board this cruise. But there's also love - first time lovers, ex lovers, lovers Who's families are rivals. Its a hotchpotch of urban characters constantly hiding their real emotions while harbouring deep passions within. Love is in the sea and the cruise is a melting pot of many a plots..
To its credit, it must be said that the nearly 3 hour family drama does not feel as lengthy. It's an easy watch with not much shor sharaba. There is plenty of subtle humour and good acting that keeps the ship afloat. But in the end, that is really it on the plus side.. This is not a refined thorough entertainer or a deeply moving story or a Romedy and you can't help but wonder if you're watching a daily soap on the big screen. The climax is so bizarre and over the top that suddenly you wonder if the genre was comedy.
In terms of Performance, Shefali and Anil Kapoor get the most well written parts and carry it off with expert finish. Shefali we've missed you on the big screen - welcome back. And then there is Ranveer and Priyanka who shine in their parts. Priyanka especially rocks with her body language in scenes where she doesn't even have lines. Farhan and Anushka are thanklessly adequate in their roles which are, well, thankless.
The other major undoing for this Zoya Akhtar movie is its music. Very average. Very non soul. It is a crime to compare but the movie is terrible follow up on the director's previous outing - the timeless Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and even Luck by chance. It is a sorry realisation that a great cast, and a dream team could only deliver a barely average ride at the movies.. :(
Chuck dil dhadakne do, paise Bachne do.