Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dostana - Review

Before we start I must confess that there's something money can't buy, but a 'feel and look factor 'is definitely not one of those rarities. Have the plushest of Miami, Florida apartments as a backdrop, throw in the most ravishing looking Priyanka Chopra you have ever seen and an equally toned John Abraham (who is showing pulling up his D & G undies) plus a fat, shaggy but natural Abhishek Bachchan in a nice, comfortable 185 INR seat you have paid for 3 hours, and things start feeling good.

But then there's only so much that good looks, bright colours, a skimpily clad Priyanka and lack of worldly worries can get you.

I entered the theatre expecting the crassest of gay jokes and Karan Johar's puppet director, Tarun Mansukhani (I actually had to do an IMDB search for the director's name less than 3 hours after I left the theatre) didn't bother to prove me wrong. Gays have been shown throughout the movie in the exact same stereotypical manner as we have seen in Kal Ho Na Ho (another of Karan's ex-minion directed it), Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and parts of Fashion and Page 3. The problem is these movies depict gays/homosexuals as sex maniacs, because the way they are shown to get attracted to the same sex characters is a mockery. We never see a hero or a heroine lusting like a fool for a girl or a guy (resepctively) as the gay characters are shown in our movies.

The story is based on the wafer thin plot of two men (straight) Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are looking for an apartment in Miami and they both like only one particular apartment where Priyanka Chopra is staying. Priyanka's aunt Sushmita Mukherjee will not let men stay there and so they decided to act as gays. The rest of the story is a predictable chain of gay jokes and some situational comedies, which I will again confess did give me a few good laughs, intermittently. Then the jokes became an overload, and the 'best friends' fell in love with the same girl. What would have been an otherwise normal love triangle ended up being even more confused with the infusion of the most wooden character ever award winner, Bobby Deol. He played the part of Priyanka Chopra's boss and lover to perfect imperfection. The rest you can see for yourselves.

As mentioned earlier Priyanka Chopra was sizzling hot, the best that comes to my mind in a long long time. John Abraham without a doubt was the male counterpart of Ms. Chopra and sure had the girls drooling over him, but he had the weakest role cut out for him and he took his revenge by showing no emotion at all, throughout the movie. Abhishek Bachchan looked conspicuously unattractive in contrast to his other two co-stars, but was a notch above his male lead as far as performance goes. He tickled your funny bone now and then, and gave the impression he was thoroughly enjoying himself. Actors like Boman Irani and Kiron Kher were as usual wasted for 10 minute slapstick roles, but even in that timespan both of them managed to hold your attention.

Vishal-Shekahr's music no doubt is catchy and the 'Desi Girl' and and 'Jaane Kyun' tracks will linger for longer than most songs that release these days. Otherwise the editing department could have worked a bit harder in the second half and cut some repetitive gay jokes. No questions raised about the sets and background, KJo wanted colours, glamour and a lavish background and it was present in every frame.

On the whole it's a movie which doesn't manage to touch any of your heartstrings, and perhaps was not even meant to. One which deals with a subject like homosexuality in the same old insensitive and ridiculous manner as has many movies before it. But does manage to stop you from stepping out midway through the screening.

Overall rating: 5.5/10
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