My Take on Cocktail (Naveed)
Many were of the opinion that Imtiaz Ali’s new offering seemed similar to his Love Aaj Kal but here Imtiaz Ali has only lent his services as a writer. The writing and the performances of all three protagonists are the ONLY highlight of this rather ‘aimless’ film which really does towards its conclusion tests one’s resolve in remaining in their seat.
I watched the film last night with three friends and to be honest none of us were expecting much infact I had zero expectations as I have not followed the film (as I do with other films namely Salman films) except the first trailer and the popular Tum Hi Bandhu song. The film can easily pass of as a love triangle, or be termed as a rom com but I think the makers of the film want to ask us the audience a question, ‘can a boy and a girl ever be friends??
The film starts off with Gautam Kapoor (Saif Ali Khan) on a flight to London. Here we have Gautam flirting with the air hostess using the cheesiest of lines that it would put all the rude boys in Hackney to shame. The air hostess then lets us all know that this is the first time she has ever behaved ‘unprofessionally’ yeah we believe you love. This chain of events repeats itself another hundred times proving to us that Gautam can bag any girl within seconds and forget getting a date their ready to jump in the sack with him. Forget Love Guru from Partner this Dude from Cocktail IS THE MAN. We all have to start somewhere to be good in anything in life and the same rules also apply to Gautam so welcome Mr Boman Irani. He plays the uncle of Saif in the film and can I just say that whenever both were on screen they provided great laughs especially in the first half. Boman is the OAP version of the senior Saif who jokingly reminds Saif on the way to the airport that he must never reveal his secrets of straying and playing away.
To cut the story short Saif’s eyes fall on Meera (Diana Penty) and our hero Saif tries to woo her with the a line which I have memorised to use next time am on the pull. It’s so bad it’s actually hilarious and these were the moments which the audience laughed to. Meera is searching for her husband (Randeep Hooda) who wants absolutely nothing to do with her so here we have a desi girl in a world unknown to her. Veronica (Deepika Padukone) then arrives with a bang and she is poles apart from Diana Penty as clearly shown in the trailers. She is a carefree girl who loves to drink and party and lives life to the max not caring about tomorrow. The film is a love triangle with elements of Love Aaj Kal, KKHH, HDJPK and dozens of other films with a slight ‘modern’ touch.
The first 20 mins is the introduction of all three characters and from then onwards all the way to the interval point is the highlight of the film. It will make you laugh and the film doesn’t take itself too seriously and there seems to be a sense of purpose to all characters especially Meera’s. Sadly, the second half is so poor that it left me confused that I am still unable to express my thoughts almost a day later.
- Saif dancing to Sheila Ki Jawani
- Saif and Boman talking to Dimple Kapadia over the phone
- Saif kissing Deepika and when Dimple catches them he convinces his mother that he was merely giving her mouth to mouth as she had gone for a swim
- Witty one liners
- Tum Hi Bandhu
- The song (can someone tell me the name) played in the club when all three characters are partying
- Performances (mentioned below)
- the writing loses focus in the second half and by the end of it ruins the film
- the pace in the first half was light and breezy but in the second half drags and drags and drags
- some of the dialogues especially given to Deepika were completely embarrassing. I mean twice or was it three times she refers to herself as a bitch and then says to Saif, ‘you screwed me and now you want to screw my friend’ I mean really… and she suggests to Meera that all three can have an ‘awesome threesome’ LOL all man’s dream but still…
- film was far too long and could easily have been trimmed by 20 mins
- too many songs (no I’m not joking)
1) Meera is a simple girl and no I’m not suggesting for a single moment that girls from back home can’t speak English infact this is far from the truth. However, here in Cocktail not only does she speak better English than Deepika but her pronunciation and choice of words suggest that she has lived all her life in England.
2) Meera came to look for her husband and at the start of the film we see her struggling to use a phone box and then as soon as she is settled she is working as a graphics designer. I found it remarkable how easy things worked out for and that too in a very tough profession. I mean I know people who are dentists, pharmacists and teachers etc who have to gain experience before they can start such jobs.
3) Veronica is an outgoing girl and has no inhibitions in having one night stands. There are many such guys and girls who love to experiment sexually but here Veronica is exposing her legs and may I add sexy legs to Boman Irani and then laying down in front of both Boman and Dimple. In my experience even the most wild of people will maintain some decency infront of elders. I know it’s not cool to be ‘fake’ but sometimes the situation demands such behaviour.
1) Saif Ali Khan – Such roles as enacted by Saif in Cocktail have been considered his bread and butter. I mean when one thinks of the suave, stylish and charming hero wooing his lady love Saif is one the first heroes who comes to mind. Many were sceptical about the age difference of Saif and the two lovely ladies but to be frankly honest Saif pulls it off and delivers a fine performance.
2) Deepika Padukone – I was surprised to hear her say that she has never done such a role like Veronica before as I think Veronica had shades of many of her other characters namely in Break Ke Baad, Housefull you get my drift. However, she has matured as a performer and does have tremendous screen presence. Special praise when she is in the club and can see her world falling apart and begs Saif to help her and take her home. The girl is definitely moving in the right direction.
3) Diana Penty – considering this was her debut no let me start with – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LOOKING WOMAN. WOW. Yeah considering this was her debut and she was opposite a veteran actor and sharing screen space with Deepika who has been around for quite a few years now she does a commendable job. Yes her Hindi at times seems poorly rehearsed but she cried well in the film so that’s something naa. No but seriously she plays the shy and timid girl well and in the more intense and fiery moment’s matches upto the others.
Boman Irani is brilliant and reliable as always and Randeep Hooda does a fine job in special appearance. Unfortunately Dimple Kapadia is annoying and she seemed to be just going through the motions and wanting to take her cheque home. Her Punjabi was pretty dreadful.
Many have been raving about the music and it’s not wrong to say that Tum Hi Bandhu is a certified chartbuster. Other tracks have also been appreciated like Daaru Desi and Yaariyan but I personally liked Second hand Jawani which sadly arrives when one wants to find the exit door. Pritam has also taken the famous Jugni from Arif Lohar and the smash hit Angreji Beat from the young and upcoming Yo Yo Honey Singh. The background music is in sync with the feel of the film and Salim-Sulemain do a competent job.
The audience occupancy was around 60-70% which isn’t bad for a late night show and the girls came out to watch the film bringing their partners along. Most seem to laugh whenever Saif or Boman said something funny. However, one could feel the audience get restless after an hour or so and many were even going for breaks during several songs in the second half. When the end credits started rolling and Second hand Jawani started blaring half the audience left and I’d say these were the people who a) disliked it b) found it decent and nothing more. The ones who remained behind were probably those who a) liked the film b) wanted to listen to the song or c) couldn’t get out as were seated at the back like yours truly