Bollywood has witnessed a number of love triangles and quadrangles in the past. DIL MAANGE MORE follows the same path in a way.
Realistically treated with light moments aplenty, it could've been an ideal date movie. But it turns out to be a mediocre affair primarily because the stories get so messed up in the latter part that the impact of a strong first half gets diluted to a major extent.
DIL MAANGE MORE talks about the myriad phases of teenage romance, through the eyes of Nikhil [Shahid Kapoor], who spends most of his time playing football in Samarpur.
And when Nikhil is not indulging in his pet passion, he romances with Neha [Soha Ali Khan]. The two seem committed to each other, till Neha decides to leave for Mumbai, to train as an air-hostess, a dream that means more to her than everything else.
Nikhil follows her to Mumbai, where he stumbles on to Shagun [Ayesha Takia], who resides in his neighbouring flat.
Nikhil keeps pursuing Neha to come back but with no success. But the lover with a never-say-die attitude decides to stay put till his love relents. So Nikhil gets a job at a music shop.
While Neha in the midst of completing her air-hostess course, Nikhil meets Sara [Tulip Joshi], his colleague at his workplace. So, who is finally destined for Nikhil? Is it Neha, Sara or Shagun?
After trying his hand at a retro-musical in DIL VIL PYAR VYAR, which was more of an experiment, director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan takes a more commercial route in DIL MAANGE MORE, his second outing.
DIL MAANGE MORE is more of a light entertainer, but is shades different from the David Dhawan and Priyadarshan brand of movies. The situations are straight out of life, the light moments have some logic behind them, there's a reason for everything that happens in most parts of the film.
But the effort to pack so many love stories in just two hours tends to get cumbersome after a point. While the film starts off well and the initial portions are indeed captivating, the narrative starts running out of steam as the story moves forward.
You expect the narrative to gather momentum in the post-interval portions, but surprisingly, the film now starts moving in a predictable zone. It's easier to guess what's in store next. However, the biggest drawback is its finale. The conclusion could've been better thought of for sure. The end appears to be a major compromise from the writing point of view.
Director Ananath Narayan Mahadevan shows a marked improvement as a storyteller, but the story he chooses to narrate isn't that fanciful. To start with, a simple story has been stretched to such a degree that by the time it reaches the finale, it not only gets complicated, but also doesn't keep you involved in the goings-on. Yet, there's no denying that Mahadevan has handled the light moments with flourish.
Besides, for any love story to make a place in your heart, it ought to be embellished with two factors - tender moments and soulful music. Although the film has its share of moments, they aren't enough to pull your heart strings or make you pine for the lovers.
As for the songs, Himesh Reshammiya's tunes are a mixed bag. 'Gustakh Dil' and 'Aisa Deewana' are two tracks that can be termed as foot-tapping and gel well with the mood of the film. But the remaining tracks seem peppered into the narrative as mere props.
Javed Siddiqui's screenplay hardly convinces. There was immense scope to explore with so many characters on the scene, but a little more effort would've only yielded better results. Cinematography [Amit Roy] is of standard and the outdoor locales [Malaysia] add freshness to the proceedings.
In a role that fits him like a glove, Shahid Kapoor catches your attention instantaneously with his screen presence. He is, like we all know by now, superb in dances, but he does not need to be a clone of Shah Rukh Khan when it comes to acting. Shahid ought to be an original.
Ayesha Takia has the meatiest role of all female artistes and she doesn't let you down. Tulip Joshi doesn't have much to do. Debutante Soha Ali Khan might bear a striking resemblance to her legendary mother Sharmila Tagore, but as far as talent goes, she's yet to get the grammar of acting right. She appears completely blank at times.
Zarina Wahab and Kanwaljit Singh are competent enough. Gulshan Grover provides some interesting moments. Smita Jaykar is okay.
On the whole, DIL MAANGE MORE is an ordinary product that has its share of limitations. At the box-office, it may enjoy a few days of sunshine thanks to a solo release and also due to the vacation period, but a long run seems tough. However, the youth may patronize the film at metros.