David Review by Indicine critic Joginder Tuteja.
Aaah, now this one is a film which could have been so much better! Reason being that there are quite a few striking moments that make one truly believe that this is a film coming from Bejoy Nambiar who has been inspired by Mani Ratnam in ways more than one. It is just that the excess factor of one episode turns out to be a little too much that results in David being bogged down by an erratic narrative.
The culprit here is the episode that tells the tale of Vikram and Isha Sharvani. Let the fact be stated, both actors are good in their respective parts, especially former who gets very good screen time for himself. However the episode doesn’t hold good due to two factors. First and foremost it just doesn’t connect with the overall scheme of things (more about that later) and more importantly, it is not just bizarre but even boring at quite a few places. Thankfully, there are episodes featuring Neil Nitin Mukesh and Vinay Virmani that do keep the film going.
The connection factor
While it is a known fact that each of the three principal characters is named David in the film while being placed in different place and time, there has been constant speculation around whether they end up meeting or their stories are connected in any ways. Well, 30 minutes into the film and you know that each of the stories is following it’s own track. While you do adjust to that while wondering how the culmination would be (which is interesting to some extent), it is portions that follow that make you a little impatient, more so since this is two and a half hours affair.
These two Davids still keep it going…
Thankfully Neil’s story keeps the momentum on track from start till the finish of the movie, with the conclusion too being utmost satisfying. As a right hand man of a gangster, he breaks the stereotype that has been shown in quite a few Bollywood flicks. Though his love story with Monica Dogra is okay, the passive aggression that his character carries right through the narrative is impressive. As an actor too, Neil comes out with flying colours and one has to admit that this performance would count amongst his best ever.
Vinay’s story about a musician whose life goes through a period of turmoil due to religious intolerance around him is ordinary to begin with (Lara Dutta angle could have been fleshed better) but starts picking up pace around the interval point. In fact some of the most exciting scenes in the second half (watch out for the sequences where he reaches out to the local goons as well as the politician who wronged his family) are courtesy his episode. However the culmination to his story in the climax too seems rather forced. One film old Vinay is good in the part that allows him to participate in dramatic, emotional as well as action sequences and one looks forward to how he builds his Bollywood innings from here.
But this one doesn’t…
What is forced in entirety though is Vikram’s episode. It starts off unconvincingly (fight in the bar is so long drawn that one wonders if the editor had gone on vacation), starts getting monotonous (with Tabu) and is way too extended. However what totally turns you away (instead of amusing you) is Saurabh Shukla’ angle. Really, to have such gifted actors like Vikram, Tabu and Shukla and still not getting the right effect on screen is rare indeed. That doesn’t mean that there are no smiles at all. However in this track which is meant to be light hearted and heart warming, those touching moments are far and few.
What happens to the experimentation…
This is the reason why one comes out of this rather experimental movie with mixed emotions. While the sheer thought behind the film, the experiment that takes it forward, the technique which compliments it, as well as the background score that keeps the momentum going are all worthy enough to be complimented, a jerky narrative that doesn’t manage to hold this 150 minutes long film consistently is what pulls it back.
Now it’s the audience call
Box office: Commercially, the film could well be patronised by those looking at some truly different films that doesn’t confirm to Bollywood rules at all. However its prospects for a larger chunk of junta looks a little dicey. Its low cost as well as the fact that it would also earn moolah from it’s regional releases (in Tamil and Telugu) should prove to be some respite.
Joginder Tuteja tweets @tutejajoginder
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