After dabbling with a series of ‘K’ films, Karan Johar has finally hit the nail on the wall with Dostana. And surprisingly the omission of his lucky ‘K’ has actually proved lucky for him. Dostana is a coming of age film for a director who boasts of nothing more than lavish sets of predictable mushy-mushy candy floss romance.
Almost in sync with Hollywood’s Something About Mary, the film is about unadulterated fun. His humourous touch to the ‘gay’ issue is actually funny. Maybe because it’s a topic very close to his heart, what with numerous rumours about his supposedly ‘close links’ with SRK and also his famous last film Kal Ho Na Ho, which jumped the popularity charts because of SRK and Saif’s mistaken gay link! In fact, the infamous scenes were so popular that it was repeatedly enacted at almost all film award ceremonies, until it stopped being funny any more. And this could probably be why Karan, very sensibly, decided to omit the two Khans from playing the lead roles in Dostana.
After handing over the directorial reins to debutant directors for his last film, Karan follows the trend this time around as well. The new kid on the block, Tarun Mansukhani, does an impressionable first film.
It might sound weird, but I am actually convinced this is SRK and Karan’s take on the world for pointing fingers at them. Somehow I felt the joke was on US! It seemed the most apt way of getting back at the world for categorizing them as gay. Whatever the case, this film is an absolute winner. It does have its weak moments, when you cringe in your seat, but that’s forgivable, considering it’s Karan Johar. I mean, if it weren’t for those scenes I would have seriously suspected that someone else had ghost-written the script for him.
Yes, the film is full of obvious, we’ve-heard-that-before-a-million-time gay jokes, but it still works. And this film will definitely place John and Abhishek as the best reel-life couple ever in Hindi cinema. They complement each other throughout the film, with brilliant comic timing. It’s easy to go over-board with such roles, but they play it just right. They play it subtle at times and then hit the havoc button just when it’s absolutely right. And in a way, that’s what makes this film work.
Dostana is about Kunal (John), a fashion photographer, and Sam(eer) (Abhishek), a nurse, who pretend to be gays so that they can rent an apartment with the landlady’s savvy niece Neha (Priyanka Chopra). The boys instantly strike a good friendship with the girl, but this friendship takes a twist when they find out she’s smitten by her new boss (Bobby Deol). The film is about this mad race to win Neha’s heart. I wouldn’t give the end away and spoil the fun. But this I have to say, Karan’s handled it maturely and for the first time ends it in style!
On performances, this is an outright Abhishek Bachchan film. He’s got brilliant comic timing and gives his all to each and every scene. John, on the other hand, gives in once in a while but quickly bounces back. Must say, it’s a huge improvement from his earlier stone-faced performances. Priyanka does very little to her role. She plays it safe and giggles her way through. Bomen and Kiran Kher are the icing on the cake. They effortlessly push us off our seats (rippling with laughter) with their funny moments. Bobby Doel is the only sore point. How could an actor, who claims to have good acting lineage, ruin such a simple role. All he had to do was to look smart and sexy, but even that he can’t do without making us want to hit him! Forget comic timing, this man couldn’t even wipe the dumb look on his face. They didn’t even him in flesh and blood, all they had to do was scan his picture, make paper masks and paste it on some dummy and complete the shoot!
It’s true that Karan’s characters have no real dum but for a fun film like this it’s pardonable. In fact it’s appropriate. And he doesn’t confuse his audience with a large bunch of supporting actors with no real story to say.
The songs are an interesting mix with all the spunk necessary. And what’s a Karan Johar film without his lucky mascots – SRK, Rani and Kajol. Unlike Kal Ho Na Ho and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, he doesn’t picture them in a song, but cleverly introduces them through his earlier film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,. Watch it to get the twist.
On the whole, this is truly a mindless, entertaining fun film. Karan has finally learnt the art of adding just the right ingredients to make his film just right.