Review: Dil Dosti Etc etc etc

1 October, 2007


This is what happens when you watch two movies back-to-back in a cinema hall: your ears go numb, you become oblivious to the giggling couples around you, you get ravenously hungry (even thought you’d have had hummus and pita bread), and you immediately want to go to sleep as soon as you sink into those comfortable seats at IMAX. Two things stopped me from sinking into a slumber while watching Manish Tiwary's Dil Dosti Etc: I wanted to see how Jr. Shah fares as a fair shag, and the obscene smooching sounds coming from the people sitting behind.

Frankly, I am quite indifferent after watching the movie. The movie starts of well, maintains a steady tempo, and just ends. Not that I was hoping an earth shattering, miraculous, and breathtaking ending, but then there are certain rules about how to make good cinema, keep the viewers interest, and give it a nice, satisfying end. I hate inconclusive ends, period.

So here are the lead characters:

Apoorva (Imaad Shad): The boy can act. I say ‘boy’ because he does look like a boy -16, 17 years, tops. Hell, he IS a boy! Apoorva is the son of a big businessman with lots of money, who wanted to send his son to Yale or Harvard, but the son chose to stay back home because ‘he likes it here’.

Sanjay Mishra (Shreyas Talpade): Pretty good, but doesn’t create the same magic he did in Dor. Sanjay is the college ‘neta’ who wants to become top dog one day.

Kintu (Ishita Sharma): Very pretty, very petite, and somewhat believable, is a promiscuous schoolgirl who is waiting for the right guy to ‘do it’ with.

Vaishali (Smriti Mishra): Vaishali is an ageing prostitute (looks the part, sadly) who has seen it all, and done it all, and is waiting for her retirement.

Prerana (Nikita Anand): Looks like she has a chocolate or something stuck in her lower jaw, is the daughter of a stinking rich guy. Prerana aspires to become a supermodel (not just a model, mind you.)

Apoorva is a weird character who has no real attachment for anyone and maintains that love is a four-letter word. He lives comfortably (thanks to papa’s money) in the hostel, rides a bike, and can talk to any girl effortlessly. The last part struck me as highly irregular. At the verge of sounding mean, the guy looks like a young mushroom (and not the edible kind too), is sickly thin, and walks like he has the weight of this world on is shoulders. And the campus we are talking about here is Delhi University. Correct me if I am wrong, I DO know that girls go for nerdy guys. Delhi girls definitely do not (or maybe, times changed drastically). He just looks like somebody barely out of school with bad masturbation habits (budding pimples and lack of facial hair).

His scrawny butt is saved by Sanjay, since Sanjay is a senior in college and one of the notorious ones, and they bond instantly. In his search for ‘love’, Apoorva visits the G.B.Road brothels fairly regularly, and chances upon Vaishali, a prostitute past her upper thirties. He starts liking her since she smokes bidis and asks for money before the ‘act’ (that’s what I think). Sanjay comes to know of this, and is deeply disapproving, since he has a lot of moral fiber and rants about ‘mere aadarsh’ and ‘mere usool’ whenever he gets a chance, to whoever is listening.

Enter Prerana, the sexy (?) rich bombshell, with off-shoulder dresses, and a perpetual pout. She occasionally models fashionable clothes at home for her father, who openly tells her she has a beautiful body and asks her what will happen when she finally has to model for lingerie (almost bordering incest, egad!). She witnesses Sanjay fighting his rivals, and is completely taken by him. Thus starts a love affair.

Meanwhile, Apoorva chances upon Kintu (who the hell names their child like that? Oh wait, the same people who name their child Sulabh.) Kintu is a schoolgirl who broke off with her boyfriend because she can ‘feel him’ every time he comes close. She is a horny one, nevertheless. Thus starts yet another love story, though Apoorva is not really interested in love.

To cut the really long story short, the university elections are nearing, and Sanjay is a major contender. He is also having trouble keeping Prerana off him, because of that moral fiber problem. He is also not very happy about Apoorva spending his nights at the prostitute’s house, since he is aware of Apoorva’s ongoing romance with Kintu. Anyway, just for kicks, he makes a bet with Apoorva – to bed three different women, by the time the election results are out. Apoorva, being very confident, accepts. In the meanwhile, he has started visiting Kintu’s house, for tuitions, under the watchful eye of her mother.

The first shag is easy, since it’s a paid one. That is the time when Apoorva bids goodbye to Vaishali (unofficially, but we know we’ll never see her again), and rides away on his bike in the dirty by lanes of Old Delhi. The second shag happens when Kintu’s mother is out (though he has to leave hurriedly after the act, since she suspects something and come back). I shall say no more about the third shag, since it is supposedly crucial to the plot (Not that I am imploring you to go see the movie.)

I was disappointed. Actually, I didn’t know what to feel, when the movie was finally over. Director Manish Tiwary (with a Y) started off well enough, but lost it in the first fifteen minutes of the movie. After that, the movie just becomes a documented tour of Delhi (Hauz Khas, Humayun’s Tomb, Khan market, Old Delhi, Connaught Place, Delhi University campus). I really could not fathom what the director wanted to tell. Misguided youth? Hardly. Sex in the times of computers? No. I am completely lost here.

Also, the premise of a budding politician, who will otherwise use every means to get the votes he is looking for, but is still so ‘aadashvadi’ that he gets pissed when his girlfriend models for him in a two piece in his hostel room. I mean, DUDE, be realistic for god’s sake! The girl wants you, she has the HOTS for you, she tried to shag you in her house when no one was around, and all you can come up with is “mere aadarsh”?! GET A LIFE!! And frankly, if these are the slices of life from Mr. Prakash Jha’s life (Jha is the producer of the flick) I have two words for him: OH PLEASE!!

I am not saying this is a bad movie. I am only saying that if I was still in my first year of college, I could maybe identify with some things there (hostellers RULE, as a thumb rule), though I still did connect to some of them (Delhi, for one). But since they have claimed it to be a youth movie, there has to be a message, right? (Remember RDB? I am not taking that movie as a reference point, and in my opinion it wasn’t such a great movie, but it DID move people, killing or no killing) There is no such message here. The movie keeps shuttling between adolescent sex lives, and college politics, and ends up doing nothing to you. Plus, it becomes repetitive after the first twenty minutes or so. Yes, this could have been a much better movie, provided it had a better script. They had the right actors in place; I’ll give them that. But I came out of the cinema hall with an empty, cheated feeling.

‘nuff said.




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