Dil Dhadakne Do : This heart beats too slow
Anyone who saw the title sequence of “Luck by Chance” was sure that there is something special about Zoya Akhtar. The film was good and did average business. Then “Zindagi Milengi na Dobara” happened and removed any doubts anyone had about Zoya’s capabilities. There’s a 4 years gap since ZNMD and the stories and promos of “Dil Dhadakne Do” created quite a buzz about the movie.
The movie is about “The Mehras”, who are high society family people. They pretend to be having the perfect life even when there are cracks every where in the relationships within the family. In such pretentious act, Mr. Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) and Mrs. Neelam Mehra (Shefali Shetty) plan a 15 day cruise tour with family and friends for their 30th anniversary. Their daughter Ayesha Mehra (Priyanka Chopra) plans and executes the whole event. And they all set to sail the roughs sea of their relationships.
Before that there are many backstories given for each of the character which continues its progression through the cruise journey. Like Mehra’s son Kabir (Ranveer Singh) is not very happy doing Papa’s business, Ayesha has some issues of her own. Kamal and Neelam also have some unresolved conflicts and so does few other characters. All these come forth due to some fortunate and unfortunate incidences which happened through the journey. What happen to these issues and conflicts is the story of the movie.
It is a coming of age kind of movie but instead of one or two characters, it is coming of age of the complete Mehra family. Story and screenplay is by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti. Most of the story tracks looks and feels made up. There is no big story as such. There is a basic conflict, few issues and mostly it is all about treatment. And that should not be the problem. Problem is when the treatment is also average.
Director Zoya Akhtar chose a very slow and leisurely pace for the movie. I am not sure that such slow pace represents slice of life films. Zoya’s earlier films were having the slice of life feel and still they were comfortably pacy. This one is so slow that we get disconnected from the on screen happenings. There is enough material to root for the characters, get emotionally connected with them but the pace kills it.
Many of the reasons, sequences, tracks feel unconvincing or made up. Many a times there is a disconnect. But the movie works in bits and pieces and it is good enough to make it a one time watch. Second half is much better than first half. But the climax is predictive and a big let down. Pre-climax events are much immersive than the climax.
I am not sure why they chose to tell the story from a Dog’s point of view. I did not felt there was any necessity of voice over narrative. Audience now a days are enough mature to understand the movie without a specific narrative. The movie is more on style than substance. It shows elite fashion more than elite art. In short, one of the weak work by Zoya. Better luck next time. Because it is a disappointment for audience also who like your work and then they wait for your film’s release and it does not work. As you, they are also attached with your movies.
Nandini Shrikent has arranged an impeccable cast. It is a huge cast and not everyone get enough time. Still they did their best in whatever small screen time they get. Rahul Bose seems a misfit in the film as his character is in Ayesha’s life. He is wasted like many other veterans who did not get enough meat in the writing to showcase their talent.
From the main leads, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shetty all did great job. Farhan Akhtar is credited for a special appearance but he has enough big role and he is able to make a good impact in it. Anushka Sharma again have a half sketched role and has nothing much to do. But she did best in whatever she can. Her role seem similar to that of Katrina in ZNMD.
But Ranveer Singh steals the show and so does Priyanka Chopra. Their chemistry as Brother-Sister is a delight to watch. Overall, good performances to watch out for.
Production design by Neil Patel, Costumes by Arjun Bhasin, Art Direction by Shekhar More, Cinematography by Carlos Catalan is excellent. They all provide the shine and dazzle required by the product to display the elite class, high society lifestyle. Music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is a big let down.
Overall, It is a good one time watch but disappoints if we go by the previous movies by the director.
(0.5 stars more for the performances by the lead actors)
Recommendation : It is a nice enough one time watch if you have patience to sit through a 170 min slow paced family saga. So I would say good enough for movie lovers and not for the ones who watch only the perfect movies.