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Bollywood Movie Review: @Daniel_Pillai Takes on ‘Cocktail’

This past Friday saw the release of one of Bollywood‘s most anticipated films, Cocktail. The film stars none other than Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and new beauty on the block Diana Penty. What starts off as a hilarious comedy leaning on the romantic side, really just ends up being a story about friendship more than love.

Refreshing!

Seeing that Bollywood is known for churning out love stories by the dozen, to see this film take a turn and focus on friendship is wonderful.

Cocktail is about three friends, Gautam Khanna (Khan), Veronica D’Costa (Padukone) and Meera Gupta (Penty), the latter two meeting unexpectedly. The characters celebrate their friendship through careless nights of fun, and a lot of laughs. As friends, they always experience taxing situations where they all at some point develop feelings for one another. Who ends up being with who is what Cocktail is essentially about. Yet the answer to that question is friendship! Watch the film to find out what I mean.

The film opens with a bang with Saif Ali Khan’s numerous scenes where we see him flirting with various women. In fact, these flirtatious sets the tone for the entire film. It’s meant to be a light hearted look at love, friendship and relationships. Even when the topics get serious, the tone and the treatment of the subject is lighthearted and casual and this is where the film scores BIG points. Homi Adajania‘s direction is fun and casual – keeping the nature of the story and youthful vibe in mind during each shot, Adajania is able to infuse the plot with a sense of realism that most Bollywood fairy tales forget to include. The end result is that the viewers can relate to the characters, find the situations believable and at times even emote similarly. When a film engages and relates with the viewers, it succeeds. Cocktail is one such film.

The music of Cocktail is foot tapping, but its not the best. The songs generally unfold as the story does and meshes beautifully with the situations that the characters are experiencing. The song that has the masses buzzing and swooning to its beats is Second Hand Jawaani and sadly it plays during the end credits – it has the Indian vibe, the attitude and the colourful visuals that Bollywood is known for. Yet, the fact that it was left out of the main narrative of Cocktail is a master stroke. Had Adajania included the song in the film, he would have disrupted the flow and realism that he worked so hard to portray. Kudos…a tough decision it must have been!

Let’s get to the performances. I feel like I have seen Khan in this role before. I cannot pinpoint whether it was in Kal Ho Naa Ho or his character in Love Aaj Kal, but I’ve seen it. Besides that, Saif Ali Khan does a wonderful job as Gautam and makes us wonder if he could in fact be partially like his character. Padukone sinks her teeth into her role – now, while this phrase has been used to refer to serious roles, Deepika’s is fun and frilly, but she plays it with such ease. Penty makes a memorable first impression; however she does need to brush up on her dancing skills and “filmy” presence, but practice makes perfect.

Overall, the film was a joy to watch and definitely one I could relate to! I recommend it to everyone young at heart!