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Cast: Anil Kapoor (Kamal Mehra), Shefali Shah (Neelam Mehra), Priyanka Chopra (Ayesha Mehra), Ranveer Singh (Kabir Mehra), Anushka Sharma (Farah Ali), Farhan Akhtar (Sunny), Aamir Khan (find it yourself), Rahul Bose (Manav), Zarina Wahab (Manav’s mother), Parmeet Sethi (Noorie’s father), Ridhima (Noorie), Vikrant Massey (Rana)
Direction: Zoya Akhtar
Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Written by: Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar (Dialogue), Javed Akhtar (Dialogue)
Cinematography: Carlos Catalan
Edited by: Anand Subaya, Manan Mehta
Production Company: Junglee Pictures, Excel Entertainment
Distributed by: Eros International
Release Date: 5th June, 2015
Duration: 170 minutes
Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do is a family drama, which explores the shallowness of family relationships. Zoya started her journey as a Director with Luck by Chance, and her next work Zindagi na Milegi Dobara became a huge hit. While Luck by Chance focused on the metamorphosis of a struggler to a rising star & how the equation in his relationships changes in that process, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was all about celebrating life, friendships. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara brought lot of accolades to Zoya and it still stands apart as a superior piece of art from her. Dil Dhadakne Do is another good craft of hers which handles family relationships, lack of emotional connect very nicely. Although this movie projects the story of upper class society, but the reality is that such stories have become part of almost every household. Families stay under one roof, but lack togetherness. A couple seems to be in a state of perfect bliss, their relationship is ideal before the world, but the reality may be entirely different. One does pursue success, but on the path to success, ends up forgetting the very person / reason to pursue success. The relationship which begins on the foundation of love, forgets the same emotion of love, treads the path of getting mechanical day by day. Zoya also talks about respecting gender diversity. She emphasizes gender equality. On one hand, India as a country is getting more progressive, still, we are not ready to leave behind certain norms or rather not ready to change the norms. Even the educated, affluent, progressive families want their daughters to just get married, raise families, compromise with their dreams. They are expected to stay in marriage, however unhappy it turns out to be. Ah! Am I getting preachy? Zoya hasn’t tried to be preachy at all through Dil Dhadakne Do. Her message is loud and clear: Love, Live and Let Live.
The film begins with Pluto Mehra’s narration (Find it yourself that who is Pluto), introducing various characters of the film. Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) is a self-made businessman. He and his wife Neelam Mehra (Shefali Shah) is a perfect couple, source of envy for others, but the irony is they hardly communicate with one another. Ayesha Mehra (Priyanka Chopra), their daughter, is married and settled in Mumbai with her husband Manav (Rahul Bose) and mother-in-law (Zarina Wahab). Within a few days of her marriage, Ayesha went ahead, started her own online travel portal Musafir, established the same, became very successful and got featured in Forbes business magazine. Kabir Mehra (Ranveer) is the younger Mehra. He doesn’t understand business much, enjoys flying.
Ayesha and Kabir plan for a 10-day long Luxury Cruise Party to celebrate parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. Family and friends join the trip. Kamal and Neelam are keen for Kabir’s match with Lalit’s (Parmeet Sethi) daughter Noorie so as to save their company Ayka from its bankruptcy stage. The relationship status starts getting clearer to the viewers. People smile and hug, whereas in reality, they can’t stand one another. The female gang ends up gossiping. Kamal and Neelam raise a toast to celebrate the beginning of their 10-day long anniversary celebrations, but are so detached and indifferent to each other. Ayesha and Manav appear to be very understanding couple, but Manav’s domination and Ayesha’s suffocation in the relationship is also evident. Noorie (Ridhima) gets closer to Rana (Vikrant Massey) and Kabir to Farah Ali (Anushka Sharma). Sunny (Farhan Akhtar) enters into the scene just before the intermission point. He does add a lot to the storyline. New relationships form, some relationships get redefined, some residues see closure, and some others get to the reality. That is how, this cruise trip goes.
Dialogues (rather the narrator) play the magic in this movie. A few words of wisdom from Pluto Mehra about how human beings are definitely worth mention here. One of the major difference between human beings and animals is that the former one has Power of speech, still, human beings under-utilize the same. Communication can strike the right chord between people, whereas people end up not expressing love. People end up flipping the days, months and years in a calendar, but just forget to live their lives. If people boast of being self-made, why didn’t they make themselves a bit better.
If you ask me, what doesn’t work in the favour of the movie, it is the pace and the music. What works in the movie is the message which is being conveyed. Anil Kapoor is just brilliant. He has defined Kamal Mehra so wonderfully. He has played Kamal’s self-obsession, need to show off, manipulative at times so convincingly. One gets to see a different facet of Ranveer as Kabir, he is also very good. He has underplayed his energy and that is exactly how Kabir is, not sure of himself at times what he wants to achieve in life, at times inwardly perplexed and at times ready to help others. He is calm, witty, innocent. It is a delight to watch him. Sibling chemistry between Priyanka and Ranveer would make you long for more. Shefali as the depressed housewife portrays her role very nicely. There is a scene, where she is so upset, but deals with it by having chocolate pastries. Anushka and Farhan, have shorter screen time, but they add lot of value to the whole plot. Rahul Bose as Manav is also very good. Anushka and Ranveer have displayed wonderful chemistry together. They are at complete ease with one another. Both Anushka and Priyanka are looking so fit. Priyanka does wear some wonderful outfits. Rest of the cast add to the screenplay, though at times, I got lost in so many characters. Carlos’ work as cinematographer is just superb. Many shots especially that of the cruise is absolutely picturesque.
Dil Dhadakne Do would disappoint you, if you are in the lookout of lot of humour, melodrama, extravagant song/ dance sequences. It won’t disappoint you, if you are able to forgive its pace especially in the 1st half, but ready to go into the depth of the message which Zoya is trying to bring to us: Love, Live and Let Live.
Rating: 3/5 (Good)