Saturday, July 14, 2012


Three's a Crowd

It’s an old-fashioned love triangle, this Cocktail directed by Homi Adajania, co-written by Imtiaz Ali and co-produced by Saif Ali Khan, shot in London and Cape Town.  Big budget, attractive stars, designer togs in place, but hell, the story and mindset comes from 1950 or thereabouts, even if the attempt is to rip off Vicky Christina
Barcelona. The aim was to get a hit, and the first-day-first show was full of chattering teens (who ended up groaning), so Cocktail might just hit the spot.

Since any movie regular would know how the film will end even before it begins,  here’s the plot in one line... habitual flirt Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) has a no-strings affair with wild gal Veronica (Deepika Padukone), but falls for her behenji-type roommate Meera (Diana Penty).  Who will get the guy? Is that even a valid question?

So that’s out of the way, let’s see what the film, actually says.

A guy (in his thirties, mind you) can hit on any girl he sees, even a potential employer with the creepiest lines like “Do you believe in love at first sight or shall I walk past again?” and he is seen as charming, plus desirable enough for two women to be fighting over. And it’s okay for him to slime up to girls, but when a girl politely asks
him for a drink, he is rude and insulting.

The same guy is so petrified of letting his loud Dilli mom (Dimple Kapadia) know that he is sharing a toothbrush with the chronically under-dressed, drinking-partying-drug-taking-man-eating girl, that he points to the behenji type as his girlfriend.

The wild girl is the way she is because her parents just send her a fat cheque every month, but otherwise don’t care (boo hoo), but the guy’s cheap behaviour has nothing to do with his upbringing? (There is an uncle on the scene (Boman Irani) who is a regretful rake, married to a white woman.)

Veronica would have been the most interesting character to be seen in contemporary Bollywood cinema, but girls like her are not allowed to exist. A short encounter with the loud Dilli mummyji and she wants to start cooking lamb biryani for her man and craving the whole Indian family thing.

The man may share a bed and toothbrush with a Veronica, but he will always marry a submissive Meera he can take home to mummyji.   If the film was half as cool as it pretended to be, the girls would have demanded and gotten a better deal. A Gautam type deserved to be parcelled back to Dilli.

So anything to take back from Cocktail, apart from the sour olive? The cheery first half, catchy music, glossy look, eye candy Deepika Padukone and a new actress, Diana Penty, with potential.


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