Friday, 14 November 2008


Sexy though not without some smears...

After bumping into each other by accident Kunal (John Abraham), a photographer, and Sameer (Abhishek Bachchan), a nurse, end up wanting to rent the exact same apartment. Due to the limitations that no men are allowed to rent out the apartment, Sameer comes up with an idea that both Kunal and himself pretend to be a gay couple. However while this plan allows them to get the apartment, it proves to be a problem as they both men become interested in their other roommate, Neha (Priyanka Chopra), a gorgeous and intelligent woman who works for a fashion magazine.

The story for Dostana is a combination of unique and unoriginal. While the gay couple idea is not commonplace for Bollywood films, it does share some similarities with a recent Hollywood film. But beyond two guys pretending to be gay, Dostana does very little to differentiate itself from the flock of romance films, and this has to be attributed to post-Interval which is slightly disappointing. The second half of the film is not bad by any means, but the humour, vigour and originality which makes the first half of the film an absolutely wonder to watch becomes dampened somewhat due to the strange change of the leads becoming somewhat childish. Thankfully the musical score, acting and choreography never falter, so the film does have a strong structure throughout.

The characters themselves are very well detailed and the writers have done a good job to distance the characters of Kunal and Sameer while giving them common ground. Where Kunal is immensely handsome with a built body, Sameer's charisma helps him attract the women. This is deepened as the film progresses with both have separate forms of interaction which are easily acknowledged from their specific personalities. Neha is a bit more stereotypical and not quite as complex as would have been hoped. In fact, this could be the films one flaw: a lot of the depth is merely skin deep.

The film begins with a musical segment and a very upbeat one at that. As mentioned, the level of music and choreography never wanes and remains a welcome addition whenever a segment does appear. Dostana also bases itself in humour and a lot of it to boot. While the level of humour dies out in the second half, the quality does not. The majority of the humour is based around the gay relationship and what makes it work so well is the acting. In one scene where both Sameer and Kunal devise a story on how they met, their attempts at acting gay are not exaggerated so as to mock, but done so because of how both Sameer and Kunal think gay people act. Another aspect which makes the humour so much fun is the constancy at which is portrayed.

The acting quality is high as well with excellent performance from the entire cast. Abraham showcases why he is a highly capable actor though there is the rare occasion where he does not feel quite up to par with either Abhishek or Chopra, who are more easily able to gel given their recent pairing in Drona. Abhishek continues to find his peak acting ability when he needs its most and Chopra's continues her wonderful form from Fashion and nears the end of the year on a high note after a few mediocre efforts in Love Story 2050 and God Tussi Great Ho. The supporting cast of Boman Irani, Kiron Kher and Booby Deol compliment the leads with some genuinely good acting, with Irani and Kher adding to the intense humour of the film.

No violence or nudity though sex is a thematic element to the film. Language is minimal in scatological form.

Dostana is a film which wants to break away from the norm but ultimately cannot, and as such the latter arc of the story is a slight disappointment. The story turns into a typical romance after it promised such a unique premise, and the second half lacks the overall strength of the first. Nonetheless, Dostana is a brilliant film which infectious humour and sex appeal, though lacks the ability to truly target its core message.


Screen date: 14 November 2008
Release date: 14 November 2008

Available on Channel24

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