ApunKaChoice : Bollywood


Dostana - Movie Review

By Aparajita Ghosh     14th Nov 2008     23.00 IST    

Dostana 'Dostana' rocks when it's funny. But it shocks when you see a nicely developed plot lose its substance and become just a bland and emotionless tale of friendship and love in the second half.

You have to have a slightly cheeky sense of humour to like a film like Dostana , which is packed with over-the-top gay gags and ample gloss to glaze your eyes. There's Shilpa Shetty in half-covered bikinis, Priyanka Chopra in beachwear and John Abraham in pulled-down (not all the way) underwear. If that doesn't interest you (which I doubt), the humour in 'Dostana' would entertain you enough to sit through the length of the film without much bum adjustment.

The problem is that all the bonhomie and hilarity in 'Dostana' fail to culminate into a story that touches you.

Sam ( Abhishek Bachchan ) and Kunal ( John Abraham ) are young bachelors in Miami who keep running into each other coincidentally. Both are out to look for a house when they come across a lushly decorated apartment in a Miami high-rise. The only hitch is that a girl named Neha (Priyanka Chopra) already lives in a room there and her aunt won't rent the apartment to guys for obvious reasons. To be able to rent the place, Sam and Kunal invent a lie that they are a gay couple and, therefore, Neha has nothing to fear from them.

After Sam and Kunal move into the apartment, they have to pretend to be a gay couple all the time. This leads to a series of humourous situations where the duo are confronted with Neha's gay boss ( Boman Irani ) and Sam's conservative Punjabi mother ( Kiron Kher ).

Trouble begins when Sam and Kunal fall in love with Neha but she is blissfully unaware of their feelings, because she is convinced they are gays. She rather loves her new boss ( Bobby Deol ).

'Dostana' is a full-on fun film that doesn't trouble itself with authentic depiction of gay love. The men-in-love are shown predictably effeminate and pansy (their brawny bods notwithstanding) and a viewer doesn't feel that the gays are being mocked because it's all in good fun and banter. After all, the lead pair doesn't play gays, but only straight men pretending as gays. Only one character is gay in the film and that's brilliantly portrayed by Boman Irani.

Abhishek Bachchan is the driving force of 'Dostana'. The actor plays his over-the-top character with such ease and conviction that you don't mind one bit even when he ends up making faces to make you laugh. John Abraham's performance is restricted to a few expressions, the most repeated of which is a frozen, fixated look that he often gives to the other actors in the frame. 'Dostana' proves yet again that John - no matter how hot or cool he looks - is yet to become an actor.

Priyanka Chopra looks superhot and acts well. Kiron Kher overperforms in a scene or two, while Bobby Deol appears uptight and restrained.

The movie's production values and the styling of the characters are topnotch. The music, though not impressive, blends sweetly into the narrative. But more outstanding is the background score, which actually adds an extra punch to the humour.

'Dostana' might have been a roller-coaster joyride had the director ( Tarun Mansukhani ) known where to take the story in the second half. The plot merely skims through the three romantic tracks (between Abhi, John, Priyanka and Bobby) without making you feel for a single one of them. So even though the film entertains you, it doesn't touch your heart the way it could have.

Rating: ***

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Tarun Mansukhani

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