Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Maybe I’m on an overcritical trip here but I didn’t find Dostana funny! First of all, it seemed like a watered down KJo film, with Tarun Mansukhani borrowing heavily from all the previous KJo films, with more of KHNH, and KANK (somebody pronounced this latter to rhyme with junk, by the way). Dude, go find your own thing! But I hasten to add that KJo’s films have their own share of “korny” moments.

The Saif-SRK act in Kal Ho Na Ho was saucy and irreverent, and was accepted delightedly by audiences. So much so, that when they did a take-off on that at the Filmfare awards ceremony that year, they brought the house down. In Dostana, the humour was not very original; there were the same one-liners, e.g., “Bahu ki jagah daamaad mil gaya”.

Come to think of it, Saif would have been better as the suave boss, rather than Bobby Deol, though the latter was adequate. And if chest hair was the criterion, why not Anil Kapoor? Aah, of course, Anil K wouldn’t consent to getting it waxed!

In one scene, Abhishek is wearing a blue two toned tie-and-dye dupatta (okay, okay, scarf? Stole?) Baby, it sure was stole----Jackie Shroff wears a tie-and-dye chunni---red-yellow-green at that, and manages to look verrry macho in “Tridev”!

Was that a pink Cadillac Abhishek was driving? I thought so.

Why, when such supposedly ‘bold’ subjects are dealt with, is the location out of India? KANK, about adultery was in New York. “Salaam Namaste’, about live-in relationships and unwed motherhood was in Australia. And now ‘Dostana’ is set in Miami. Maybe it is because the filmmaker’s aim is not to deal with problems arising out of that situation per se, but to just tell a story with said situation as a backdrop only. On the other hand, something like “Fire” was very much set in India. But again, “Sorry Bhai” is set in Mauritius.

In the late 70’s, there was a film called “Karm” with Rajesh Khanna, Vidya Sinha and Shabana Azmi, in which Rajesh K and V.S live together because a prophesy says that RK will die if he marries VS. Though the basic ingredient was melodrama, the film did show how the neighbours are hostile to the couple, and how Vidya Sinha feels insecure when she sees that Shabana is attracted to RK.

If the situation is transplanted to ‘phoren’ shores, the only problems are the usual ego ones, and about ‘finding oneself’. Then how is the special situation of the film different?

There was a time when “gay” just meant “merry”. Now the word “dostana” is heading towards that connotation, if what I hear from teenagers is any indication. Incidentally, the movie seemed to have been mainly liked by teenagers and young adults. Maybe for them it is boldly funny.

To give it due credit, it was pure eye candy, all the perfect bodies and the blue sea and sky. There is one shot of the sea horizon seen from under the arched back of Shilpa Shetty lying on a bike. That looked really good.

In parts, it was like a Dada Kondke film—though I’ve never seen one, they were infamous enough to merit column space in magazines back then. The double entendres, the suggestive gestures---shudder! Which brings me to:

When ordinary mortals do it (any loud / ”audacious” stuff) it is tacky, but if Karan Johar or Farah Khan do it, it is “kitsch”/ retro/ nostalgia.