Nov 14, 2008

Entertainment - The Dostana Review

Gaurav Malani

Dostana essentially employs the comedy of errors code, though not in terms of mistaken personalities but preferences. Karan Johar extends his legacy of kanta-ben humor as the crux of the story.

The setting is in Miami where Samir (Abhishek Bachchan) and Karan (John Abraham) almost turn homo in quest for a home. Together they pose as a gay couple to gain rental accommodation in a swanky apartment owned by Neha (Priyanka Chopra). Neha has no qualms about sharing her flat with the male duo thanks to their happy-and-gay ways. The trio team up to become the best of buddies.

Friendship expectedly ends up into love in Bollywood and, as anticipated, Samir and Karan are both besotted by their beautiful roommate. Since Saajan styled sacrifices are no more the order of the day, this love triangle evades the path followed by Amitabh and Shatrughan in Yash Johar’s 3-decade-old Dostana . Son Karan Johar prefers traversing the David Dhawan track of one-upmanship from films like Deewana Mastana and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi .

While each one attempts to outdo the other, their competition is only multiplied with Neha falling for her colleague Abhimanyu (Bobby Deol). As one thing leads to another the film reaches a wild climax.

Dostana would have ended up as a regular love-triangle if not for the intelligently-incorporated gay angle. Furthermore it survives significantly and skillfully throughout the film springing up smart surprises every now and then. Amongst the best of the gay gags is Kirron Kher’s scandalized outlook towards her son’s (Abhishek) gay relationship and subsequently coming to terms with his partner-preference. The cultural spoof that ensues is hilarious and the wacky conceptualization of the uproarious song ‘Maa-Da-Laadla’ deserves brownie points.

The actual story initiates in the second half and the screenplay adopts a multi-dimensional approach with sufficient twists and turns that steers away any monotony. It starts as a tug-of-war between Abhishek and John but soon the duo team up to outshine potential contender Bobby. This ensures cordial chemistry between the male leads. As the scene gets all emotional in the pre-climax, the film opts for a time-leap exactly like Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna . And while you foresee the end much before it actually arrives, the feral finish makes up for the predictability.

While Tarun Mansukhani proves his credentials as a competent writer and director, he also has a keen eye on exploiting the best from his cast. For all desi gals who have been drooling over Daniel’s derriere, John ‘flashes back’ with a hint of his butt cleavage. For a change a Hindi film heroine admits to her real age onscreen. That’s modesty! And Abhishek never ever gets off his shirt. That’s self-realization! However a Shilpa Shetty item number isn’t the best of ideas to kick-start a film, which you easily overlook as the story takes over.

High on technical proficiency, the cinematography by Ayananka Bose is menthol-cool and the casual clothing line by Aki Narula and Manish Malhotra complement the characters perfectly. Vishal Shekhar’s musical score is groovy though brutally techno at times. The background score comprising of ‘What the *uck’ sounds and also deriving from Jahan Teri Ye Nazar Hai (Kaalia) support the screen antics ably.

The screen chemistry between the Abhishek-Priyanka-John trio is palpably cozy. Priyanka Chopra looks gorgeous and is perfectly poised in her performance. She never under-acts or goes over-the-top. John has more to show-off than his chiseled physique. He is easygoing in his role of the dominant male. Abhishek Bachchan is splendid in his sissy act (in the initial reels) and even otherwise is impressive. Bobby Deol thankfully underplays his character. Boman Irani is accurate in his gay act though his petty portion was avoidable. Kirron Kher repeats the Om Shanti Om act with precision.

Dostana redefines the ‘ feel-gud’ genre and makes up for some ‘homo-genius’ entertainment.


Anonymous said...

It's not "Karan." It's "Kunal."

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