Farhan and Zoya Akhtar make films about First World Problems.
Dil Chahta Hai dealt with three overgrown college-goers dealing with life. Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara dealt with three rich Mumbai kids discovering their true calling through a trip to Spain. Rock On! dealt with a bunch of guys whose problem in life is that their rock band couldn’t click.
Not that I have a problem with it. I have made peace with the fact that a filmmaker will mostly derive from his/her own upbringing in life.
Which is why the Akhtars make films about South Bombay dudes and Anurag Kashyap makes films about factories, slaughter-houses, and gangsters in Bihar. Which leads me to think – if I ever make a film, it’ll probably be about cats and masturbation.
But getting back to the topic at hand, I don’t really have a problem with first world problem films. The Akhtars have always ensured that their scripts are tightly written. The screenplay exploits the conflict through sharp lines, beautiful locations, and music accompanied to Javed Akhtar’s lofty, if slightly dopey, lyrics.
Sadly, with Dil Dhadakne Do, there is a feeling of Been There, Done That. A multi-starrer depends heavily on its characters, and unfortunately, the characters in Dil Dhadakne Do seem jaded, un-fresh.
Ranveer Singh plays a soft, rich youngster. Now, Ranveer Singh essentially has two voices. One – the loud Gunday voice, the second the raspy, soft Lootera voice. He uses the Lootera voice, and yet slips every now and then.
Priyanka Chopra and Anushka Sharma play feisty independent characters, both of whom we have seen in umpteen movies. And frankly, after you see Sharma bashing goons with an iron rod, this is going to seem a bit tepid.
Farhan Akhtar, of course, plays what he always plays. The urban, non-conformist, liberal cool dude.
It’s like yesterday’s gajar halwa that was kept in the fridge overnight. It’s still gajar halwa, but there’s something amiss.
Interestingly, it’s the seniors of the film who salvage the movie.
Parmeet Sethi and Manoj Pahwa, saddled with bit-roles, put in their best.
Anil Kapoor, who seems to have let down his narcissistic guard after all these years, shines in every single frame. But the star of the show is Shefali Shah, playing Anil Kapoor’s wife. Watch her in the scene where she stuffs herself with cake, and you feel a yearning for what the film could have been.
Sadly, Dil Dhadakne Do never manages to cruise over its troubled, haphazard script. It’s just another First World Problem film that Farhan Akhtar stars in.
But that’s ok, because he’ll grow a moustache and play Veerappan, and win awards for it.