Dil Dhadakne Do

The wait is finally over. For weeks, the publicity for Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD) was at it’s peak. With it’s release of each character one by one, to its teaser song, the entire world was waiting with bated breath for the release of DDD. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, expectations were sky high.

Plot: (Spoilers Ahead)

We meet Kamal Khan (Anil Kapoor), a self-made magnate Punjabi, with a very disgruntled wife Neelam (Shefali Shah). Theirs is a marriage that holds up a perfect facade, behind which lurks a loveless and romance-less matrimonial bond. They have two children, daughter Ayesha, who herself is a self-made woman running one of the best online travel portal (and also in the Forbes top ten richest entrepreneurs), and a son Kabir, who is simply passionate about flying his own private aircraft, but is instead stuck in his dad’s business. In short, this family of four are super wealthy family from a very high social background, all with personal problems that they won’t share with each other.

They are also a very dysfunctional family who don’t really sit down and communicate with one another. Ayesha is married to Manav (Rahul Bose) and is seeking to get a divorce because she doesn’t love him. Kabir is looking to get out of an arrange married to Noorie, whose parents are keen to merge the business together with the Mehras. Celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary, Kamal and Neelum invite their close family friends on a Mediterranean cruise to Turkey. On board, relationships are tested, old friends show up, new friends are made, some break, some move on, some move back and at the end of it all, everyone finds their true path in life because they let their hearts beat and followed their hearts.
All of the above is funnily narrated to us by Pluto Mehra, the family dog (voiced by Aamir Khan) who tells us that animals are simply passing their time in this world, but it’s the human beings, who are the complicated creatures. We get to witness the problems of the rich class people (I can’t drink tea because I have arthritis so I can’t hold the cup!).

Anil Kapoor is a gem to watch. One doesn’t get tired of him. His grey hair really suited him well and for once he was actually likeable. He is perfectly complemented by Shefali Shah, who holds her own right in the plethora of characters. Check out her acting when she asks her husband to not embarrass her in front of others on their wedding anniversary.Silence speaks a thousand words.

Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra are brilliant actors. Ranveer, with his high octane energy plays the role of a rich son to the tee. His comedic timing is perfect, his emotions are restrained, his dancing skills are amazing. Check out his scene at hospital scene when he has an outburst and shouts at his family why no one ever talks to one another. Priyanka is true star in the movie. She is truly superb emoting with her face. Two standout moments: one when she confesses to her husband she doesn’t love him (she manages to tug your heartstrings pretty deep) and secondly, in the above mentioned hospital room scene as Ranveer has an outburst, she just watches silently, moving between her brother and her parents. Sheer brilliance.

On the plus side, Anushka Sharma, as Farah plays her part extremely well as Ranveer’s new girlfriend. A short role, but an effective one. I love the chemistry she shares with Ranveer.

The introduction of so many other characters, with the subplots of bickering and gossiping aunties, young couples falling in love, tomboyish daughter being lectured to be a lady are all somewhat a hindrance to the narrative. They act as short roadblocks and you don’t really care about them.

There is a lot of inconsistency in the characters attitudes and behavior. Priyanka’s husband and her old friend have a tiff about women’s equality and yet they themselves are treating women like second class citizens. Priyanka is supposed to be a smart cookie, making it to Forbes Top Ten, yet acts immaturely at times.

Some interesting points/ observations are made about divorce, marrying for love, romance and relationships. The main crux of the movie begins when Priyanka shares she wants a divorce. Family meetings are held and even though the Mehras are a super duper rich family, they still worry about what others will think of their daughter’s divorce.

The music fits in well with the movie but they don’t necessarily move the plot along or give you a relief. However, I loved one song Pehli Baar. The super high energy and the dance sequences, along with the intense chemistry just did it for me. It didn’t really fit in the movie too well, but on it’s own, i love it!

This is a movie about communicating with one another, about not holding back what we want our hearts to say and to follow our hearts wherever they may lead us. Too bad for us as we feel suffocated on the ship after a while. We may be laughing at the jokes here and there, but at the end of it all, we wish there were substance and quality in the family drama. Most of the talk takes place inside their rooms, which adds on to the claustrophobic atmosphere, signifying the  hidden tension and anxiety in everyone. Once all this comes out to the open does the action shifts outside of these rooms and in the ocean!

The end, let me not go there as it completely ruins the 2.5 hours that preceded it. It’s a pity really because with so much awesome acting all around, set on a beautiful cruise liner, with gorgeous locations like Turkey (we visit the hammam, Hagia Sophia, Taksim Square etc), the script and narrative lets everyone down.

Verdict: A movie that began amazingly well was beginning to sink faster than Titanic very quickly post interval. This movie does not do for cruise liners what Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara did for Spain.

2.5 out of 5

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