Film: Dil Dhadakne Do;Director: Zoya Akhtar; Starring: Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra; Produced by: Excel Entertainment
If there is one director who believes in rejuvenation on a exotic canvas, it has to be Zoya Akhtar. If ZNMD ( Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) promoted bromance on a road trip in Spain, DDD ( Dil Dhadakne Do) capitalizes on a 10 day Mediterrian Cruise as a vehicle to resolve Family problems. And fortunately, Zoya succeeds in this ensemble extravaganza of rich families, emotions and mega stars. DDD cruises on the premise of a completely flawed and disoriented family, who reconnect themselves in the mid of their exotic journey on a ship. But this cruise is filled with turbulent waters though, with a shallow and stretched story coupled with a disappointing climax.
The film whirls around the Mehra family–a completely messed up unit who have absolutely no clue whats going on each other lives. Kamal Mehra ( Anil Kapoor), a self made and pompous business tycoon is on the verge of crumbling down under bankruptcy. His high class and highly pretentious wife Neelam ( Shefali Shah) , well aware of his hubby’s philandering ways but who conveniently overlooks it, schemes with Kamal and invites their uptown and bloated friends on a luxury trip to Mediterranean cruise to celebrate their 30th Wedding anniversary. Here they are joined by their children- a perplexed Kabir Mehra ( Ranveer Singh) and the ambitious and sulking Ayesha Mehra ( Priyanka Chopra). A motley of characters get on board – Ayesha’s abhorrent hubby Manav ( Rahul Bose) and his overdramatic mother ( Zarina Wahab), club dancer Farah ( Anushka Sharma), Ayesha’s ex flame Sunny ( Farhan ) and loads of venomous and overbearing buddies.! Its on the course of this trip that the Mehras recondition themselves when complications arise and reunify as a family to deal with them.
The biggest strength of DDD lies in its sensitive treatment of the core matter- Family issues. Zoya thrivingly entangles the web of crunch matters that thump the otherwise affluent indian family to the core–Male chauvinism, extramarital alliances, heavy handedness of parents. If Ayesha charters a successful course in her professional life, she is completely ignored by both her parents and chauvinistic husband and mother in law. Kabir’s heart lies in being a pilot, but is forced to crumble under his dominant father to shine in his business. Both Kamal and Neelam are surviving their marriage on the threshold of dishonesty and pretention. And all this is handled minus being preachy and moralizing, but with a cushion of breezy humor and class acts by the entire star cast. But turbulent waters are on the shore as well–a long stretched first half which tests your patience, and a completely superfluous climax, which chunks out the authenticity of the crescendo of emotions built up so nicely till the end.
But these loopholes you can ignore, because of the watertight and excellent performances of the entire ensemble cast. Senior Mehras are simply outstanding. Anil Kapoor, in his first greyed hair look in his career, pitches in a class act. He mixes his arrogance and tremulousness with absolute ease. Shefali Shah, as his flamboyant and brooding wife matches it up with a terrific portrayal . Worth mention is a scene where she binges erratically on chocolates and pastries to vent out her frustration when his flirtatious husband blatantly ignores her in public. Ranveer singh is an absolute revelation here, delivering a superlative performance. Whether he is silently supporting his sister Ayesha or incorrigibly flirting with Farah, he brings a bouyance and vulnerability to his character and nails it completely. Priyanka Chopra lends all her experience and dignity to Ayesha, and comes up as a winner. Both Farhan and Anushka, inspite of minimal scope to their characters, render credibility to their performances. Supportive starcast, including Rahul Bose and Zarina Wahab do justice to their roles. And of course, not to forget Pluto ( the Dog and the narrator), whose significance lies in his voice !!!!!
DDD is a notch below ZNMD, but its another feather in the cap of the skilled film maker Zoya Akhtar. Relaxing and entertaining, you will enjoy this mad cap cruise ride if you choose to ignore the choppy waters during the cruise.
P:S –Watch out for the sole and standout soundtrack ” Amritsar Churiyan” and the panoramic cinematography of the exotic locales..!
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