Dil Kabaddi takes a look at the urban relationships in the most casual manner and more or less represents the present-day youth couples prone to instability in marital life.
Samit (Irrfan Khan) and Mita (Soha Ali Khan), married for a couple of years, are mutually hitting towards separation. Desperate for some sexual gratification, Samit shifts with his yoga instructor Kaya (Payal Rohatgi) and his experimentation includes everything from wearing sports bra to g-strings.
Rishi (Rahul Bose) and Simi (Konkona Sen Sharma) are a contented couple but still each one is lured to look outside their relationship. Rishi is infatuated with his student Raga (Saba Azad). Simi introduces Mita to a common friend Veer (Rahul Khanna) but subsequently herself falls for him. As each person exhibits the inherent tendency to go beyond their permissible relationship zone, things get intricate and intertwined.
The adulterous acts are redolent of Anurag Basu’s Life in a Metro though the treatment over here is more humorous and light-hearted. Rahul Bose’ close encounter with his student is evocative (though not inspired) of the Shilpa Shetty – Shiny Ahuja intimacy from the original. However, thematically the film is more reminiscent of the less-known offbeat film Kabhi Socha Bhi Na Tha that released earlier this year. Even the talking-to-camera approach of storytelling is common to both.
Director Anil Senior sketches the central characters very convincingly and rather plays with their psyche to spice up the screenplay. The treacherous temptation on each ones mind is credibly conveyed. It’s amusing how Simi tries to draw parallels and find flaws in her own marriage on learning about the Samit-Mita split.
The comic timing of the script is impeccable. Some adult humour is smartly incorporated without making it sound vulgar. The scene where Irrfan Khan goes bra-shopping is hilarious and the ‘Sweety Bopara’ gag is too funny. The peppy background score adds to the amusement. The narration branches into frequent flashbacks in different time zones.
Sadly the graph falls down considerably in the second half. The story somehow strays to subplots, beats around the bush, becomes repetitive and even drags at instances. Payal Rohatgi’s deafening act after the party scene is utterly irritating and absolutely avoidable. Moreover the director attempts to be deliberately different in the climax by trying to unite the less compatible couple and separating the more stable pair. This synthetic variation acts more as disbelief than surprise.
Other than the witty writing, the humour in the film should be credited to the efficient performances of the cast. Konkona Sen Sharma capably highlights the traits of her typical female character who carries mental baggage, constantly compares life with other couples, is easily provoked and is on a constant bickering mode. Soha Ali Khan is one grossly underrated actress and its high time she got due recognition for her confident act. Irrfan Khan continues to portray his character with an informal approach and casual comic timing. Rahul Bose is in elements after a long time and is especially expressive with his reactions to the silly situation he lands into. Saba Azad appears calm and confident. Payal Rohatgi should quit acting.
Dil Kabaddi takes a sporty look at the game of hearts. Watch it for some ‘hearty’ laughs.