Cocktail – Movie Review
Posted by Vivek on July 13, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Dinesh Vijan, Saif Ali Khan, Sunil A Lulla, Andrew Heffernan
DIRECTOR – Homi Adajania
WRITER – Imtiaz Ali
CAST – Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia
MUSIC – Pritam
The good old triangle sees a rebirth in Homi Adajania’s second directorial venture. After the niche thriller Being Cyrus, Adajania expands his canvas to explore new millennium love relationships between the trio Gautam, Veronica and Meera. Set in London, the film starts on a yuppie note but with a slightly serious undertone that tells us there is more to the characters than a breezy rom-com would have us believe. Trust Imtiaz Ali, the film’s writer to give us that.
The film begins with a flirty Gautam (Saif Aali Khan) on a flight to London cosying up to the air-hostess. Soon we know what makes the guy tick, girls and more girls. He has chummy uncle (Boman Irani) with sort of similar passions to keep him company and it is their relationship that sets the first tone of the fun film. Soon we meet Meera (Diana Penty), a simple girl with rooted Indian values set foot in London to join her husband (Randeep Hooda) who has no intentions of staying married to her. Distraught Meera meets Veronica (Deepika Padukone), a sassy party animal seemingly without a care in the world who takes her in. The two become joined at the hip friends even after Veronica and Gautam hook up in a live-in, no-commitments relationship. Rounds of partying and a loud Punjabi mummy (Dimple Kapadia) later, the triangle surfaces and the cosy world of the three faces the verge of fatal break-up. But in la la land does the guy ever not get the girl?
Imtiaz Ali and Homi Adajania keep this journey towards friendship and love balanced with an equal amount of froth and seriousness that convinces us to ride the story with faith. They do not shy away from drama or investing in twisted character motivations, exposing their insecurities, values and personalities. The film does not go any untraveled route in doing so but does it with enough heart and conviction for us to buy the emotions we are called to invest in the trio. We smile at their frolic and laugh at their follies as much as we feel for their heart-breaks, as much as we can in commercial candy cinema. The peppy music and some catchy lyrics by Irshad Kamil and Amitabh Bhattacharya capture the spirit of the film well.
Imtiaz Ali is celebrated for his intuitive understanding of characters and his manner of showing us the various facets of love. Unfortunately, in Cocktail he is unable to tell us anything new or untouched. It is the director’s baton that commands a consistently watchable and fun film that emphasizes quirks, pauses at emotion and goes wild with general yuppie-ness. There is no dearth of colour or fast frames and it puts an energetic charm over the film. But this energy is largely due to the performances of the lead that emerge fresh and likeable in surroundings that are pretty much cliché. Deepika Padukone exudes a stunning confidence and screen presence as the emotionally broken girl taking solace in a fast-paced, superficial party life. Diana Penty has a charming personality and performs with a sobriety and control that lifts up her character beyond dull. Saif Ali Khan looks a little aged for the yuppie 32-yr old he plays but the never-too-old sparkle in his smile and his knack of making the incredulous believable puts the film in the right gear. But by far the sequences between the talented Dimple Kapadia and (for once not caricatured) Boman Irani steals the show.
There isn’t much in Cocktail for us to take home except the feeling of having watched a pleasant and warm love story that does not take our sensibilities for granted nor overdoes the gloss as a compensation for real romance.