It all started off in the year 2001, when two likeminded people, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, came under one roof to give shape to a dream called 'Excel Entertainment'. Later, it went onto helm films of diverse genres like DIL CHAHTA HAI, LAKSHYA, DON, ROCK ON, KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK etc. Much like Zoya Akhtar's last release ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBAARA, this week's release DIL DHADAKNE DO too has an ensemble cast. Will this film manage to increase the 'heartbeat' of the box-office or will it give a 'heart attack', let's analyze.
The film starts off with the introduction of the dysfunctional family of the Mehras which consists of Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) who is not just a self made successful businessman, but also a self proclaimed one at that! His wife is Neelam Mehra (Shefali Shah) whose life is all about wicked, sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek one-liners. Despite having a million differences with each other, they pretend to the world that they are the 'best couple', only because their whole world revolves around the worry of 'log kya kahengey'. The Mehras have a daughter Ayesha Mehra (Priyanka Chopra), who is not just the 'inheritor' of acute business acumen, but also is a successful entrepreneur and the owner of an extremely successful online travel portal. Her success can be gauged by the acknowledgement given to her by the 'Forbes' magazine. Then there is the 25 year old carefree dude Kabir Mehra (Ranveer Singh), who is in charge of spearheading the once-successful-now-struggling AYKA industries. But the fact of the matter is that, while his heart lies in flying (he owns a private plane), he was thrusted the family business by his 'strategically planning' parents. The Mehra family will be totally incomplete without the mention of their family dog cum family member named Pluto Mehra (voiceover by Aamir Khan). Bitter reality strikes the Mehra family when they get to know that their company AYKA is not just running into losses, but also is losing its credentials and integrity from the market. Around the same time, a big celebration is being planned in the lavish 'Pullmantur Sovereign Valleta' cruise liner for Kamal and Neelam Mehra in lieu of their 30th wedding anniversary. Being firm opportunists, Kamal and Neelam grab this opportunity with both their hands and convert this event into a matchmaking event between Kabir Mehra and Noori Sood (Ridhima Sud), the only daughter of Lalit Sood (Parmeet Sethi). The Mehras firmly believe that if their 'plan' works out, then, AYKA can be easily bailed out of financial losses by the 'Mr. Moneybags' Lalit. But, what happens on the cruise is out of anyone's imagination. While Kabir falls madly in love with the London based 'Muslim' artiste Farah Ali (Anushka Sharma), Ayesha realizes that she cannot pretend to love her dominating and egoistic husband Manav (Rahul Bose) because she finds her true love in the journalist Sunny Gill (Farhan Akhtar). Besides this, there are many other dirty linens that gets washed in public. Do the Mehras become successful in their plan of saving AYKA by marrying off their son to the rich Soods, does Kabir marry Farah Ali or Sood's only daughter Noorie, does Ayesha come out of the unsuccessful marriage and what 'role' does Pluto Mehra play in the whole family drama is what forms the rest of the film.
First things first. Zoya Akhtar needs to be applauded totally for having pulled off such a magnificent film with such utmost ease. Zoya has redefined and redesigned the term 'slice of life' with this film. Full points to her for having chosen (read 'handpicked') such a vibrant cast who make the audiences believe that all the onscreen characters that they portray are totally relatable. Only when you have an able director at the helm of things will it be possible for each actor to get into the skin of their respective character. Zoya Akhtar and her sharp directorial vision does exactly just that with DIL DHADAKNE DO. In addition to that, the exceptionally taut screenplay (Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar) serves as a topping in the already delicious dessert called DIL DHADAKNE DO. Despite the fact that this film definitely qualifies to be a hallmark of a great writer in terms of story-screenplay, it does have its share of drawbacks in the form of its excessive length playing the spoilsport in the film. DIL DHADAKNE DO is all about delving into relationships, love and compromises, besides throwing light and giving a deep insight into the thought process of business families. While the first half of the film is neat and believable, proceedings in the second half moves at such a snail's pace that it actually starts testing your patience! The film's climax is totally dramatic (it almost takes the steam out of the full film in a jiffy).However there are a few sequences which stand out. For example, the first meeting between Rahul Bose and Farhan Akhtar and also between the Mehra family and the Sangha family.
Of the star cast, there is no one actor who single handedly 'captains' the ship as every main lead in the film is definitely worth his / her salt in the film. Anil Kapoor not just rocks the show, but also stuns you with his effortless performance. He is superlative by all means. The salt and pepper hair that he sports only adds elegance and style to his character. Lending him able support is his (onscreen) better half Shefali Shah, who comes up with a stunning performance. Her delivery of wicked and tongue-in-cheek humour is something that needs to be seen in order to be believed. Of the younger lot, Ranveer Singh has definitely taken a giant leap from all of his previous performances and delivers a crisp act here. He holds the film strongly on his shoulders and also prevents it from sinking. The same applies for the multi-talented Priyanka Chopra, who, besides looking stunning and stealing the show with her superior acting abilities, has also sung the title track in the film. This film will definitely be one of the films that will shine in her bio data. On the other hand, Anushka Sharma, whose last film BOMBAY VELVET met with negative reactions, has proved with DIL DHADAKNE DO as to why she is always a safe bet. Despite not having a lengthy role, she is definitely on a roll with this film and delivers one of the 'watch out for' performances in the film. Farhan Akhtar, on the other hand, is as versatile as ever. He too comes up with an astounding performance. Rahul Bose and Zarina Wahab do total and utmost justice to their respective roles. Last, but not the least, a special word of mention to the dog's voiceover by Aamir Khan, without whom, the film will be nothing but a silent drama.
As far as the film's music is concerned, it is decent and goes with the pace of the film. The film does have its share of melody under the sun in the form of some really soothing music (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy). Despite the fact that the songs like 'Gallan Goodiyaan', 'Dil Dhadakne Do', 'Girls Like To Swing' stand out amongst the rest of the album, one would still rue the absence of a chartbuster. A deserving special mention to the film's cinematography (Carlos Catalan) for having presented some of the breath taking and amazing visuals in the film. The film's editing (Manan Mehta, Anand Subaya) gives the film its pace with which the film sails smoothly.
DIL DHADAKNE DO is a film that is targeted primarily to the multiplex audience and would resonate well with today's youth. On the other hand, the single screen audiences might find it difficult to comprehend the film's proceedings.
On the whole, if you want to understand the nitty-gritty's (read 'the do's and don'ts) of a complex family relationship, then, do yourself and your family a favour by taking them to meet the Mehras this weekend. In simple words, DIL DHADAKNE DO makes for a decent watch.