Zoya Akhtar is may be one of the most talented directors in India, and she may have hits to prove her mettle but when it comes to storytelling, she is nowhere like her talented father (Javed Akhtar) or her mother (Honey Irani). Yes she has inherited the art of making characters memorable but that’s mainly due to brother Farhan Akhtar’s inclusion in her latest project Dil Dhadakne Do. DDD reminds you of Subhash Ghai’s Yaaden where there were three kinds of people – rich, richer and richest. Like all rich people, they have their share of problems and by the time the film ends, its back to being a happy family!
The story revolves around a dysfunctional Indian Punjabi family – the Mehras – who are rich than most people we know. For the world, Kamal and Neelam are the perfect family (Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah respectively) but deep down, they have issues. Despite financial problems, they arrange for a cruise over the Mediterranean on their 30th anniversary and when on the cruise, they just enjoy their lives as if there is no tomorrow. They don’t care whether her daughter Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra) is happy or unhappy in marriage or whether their son Kabir (Ranveer Singh) is fit or unfit to take over the family business; all they care about is their status and ways of getting their family out of the financial crunch by hook or by crook.
And then there is the Titanic connection – where Mehra Junior falls in love with a dancer-on-the-ship Farrah Ali (Anushka Sharma) and they begin a romantic relationship that goes both up and down during the flick. The entry of Sunny (Farhan Akhtar) also makes things interesting as he clashes with Manav (Rahul Bose) who is now married to her ex-best friend Ayesha… interesting! The situations created through these confusions bring smiles on the face of the cinegoers and is the essence of the film. There is also a dog Pluto who narrates the story and trust me, you can’t get a better actor to do a voice over for a dog than the one the director used. Watch the film or search the internet for that… I ain’t telling.
For the first time in his career, Anil Kapoor played his age and came out gracefully. He may not have grey hair in reality but it suited him well. As the patriarch of the Mehra family, he manages to outshine all – be it the talented Shefali Shah who played his wife or Ranveer Singh who played his son. Priyanka Chopra, his on-screen daughter, must be commended for portraying a successful working woman in the movie and it will boost the morale of many women out there who have started their business but second guess themselves all the time. And yes, there is a question. In what universe can Priyanka and Ranveer be siblings?
The things that make the film interesting are the innovative ideas that the director incorporates in the narrative. The song Gallan Goodiyan was shot in a single-take (not new for Pakistan, considering Ali Zafar’s music video Chal Dil Mere was single-take long time back). Be it the picturesque top shots of the ship, the travelogue-inspired view of Greece and Turkey as well as the décor of wherever the rich people went, it all proved to be an eye candy for the viewers. Had she been more inclined towards the editing (the film is 170 minutes long) the pace could have been faster. Overall, the film wasn’t all that bad as it had its moments but it seemed drag in the middle which, trust me, isn’t something the rich people are used to in India or anywhere around the world. •