I wasn't surprised to realise the point made in the summary, for one reason: this is a film that easterners may not have the capacity to digest. I'll tell you why this is the case and what I thought of the film.
First of all, this is co-written by Imtiaz Ali, the director who presented us with films like Jab we Met ('07), Love Aaj Kal('09) and Rockstar ('11). It is perhaps his touch that takes this film beyond the reach of those who prefer the typical 'masala' stuff, examples of which have been given above. For me, it is once again a pleasure to experience all that Imtiaz's writing brings to a film, not least in the situations created, dialogue, and humour evoking parts. New ground has been broken above and beyond Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Secondly, this film has been directed by Homi Adajania. He's the director who had the guts to attempt something like the almost perfectly executed 'Being Cyrus' on debut. With is name on the film, you have to anticipate that it will present something in a different manner. Once again, he has done a solid job. Though the second half could have benefited from a few changes, this is once again a solid effort.
Above I have provided an explanation of why this film won't be the cup of tea of many in India, but instead to Asians living in the west and fans of off-beat cinema. Now let's focus on the positives and negatives.
Of course, as with any review, it is necessary to provide an account of the performances of the cast. Saif Ali Khan is extraordinarily natural in this role. No other actor in India could have fulfilled this part to a level anywhere near his. The film marks a solid start to Diana Penty's career in Hindi films, who is consistent throughout. Deepika Padukone has given her best performance to date. She has been set the task of fulfilling a very difficult role and she throws absolutely everything at it. Kudos. Boman Irani is very good (and funny!) throughout. Special mention to Dimple Kapadia who is effortlessly entertaining as the Desi mum. She is part of of one of the most hilarious scenes in the film, shot on a beach in Cape Town, South Africa. Randeep Hooda gets an opportunity to shine with his brief appearances but he has once again grabbed it with both hands.
The film has been shot in London, New Delhi and Cape Town. As such, the cinematography, is amazing. Credit to the D.O.P, Anil Mehta, who has captured the beautiful views of Cape Town and the chaotic and unpredictable nature of life in London very successfully.
The soundtrack is one of the best of the year, and is entirely appropriate given the film's title. It's a rich mix of different flavours that packs a punch. The chart buster 'tumhi ho bandhu' is beautifully picturised. The other tracks are pretty amazing too.
A negative is the second half as previously mentioned, leading to the climax, which could have benefited from a greater insight into emotions. I suppose you could also argue that the climax itself is not quite sufficient for all that's gone before.
Overall, this is one of the best films of 2012 so far, regardless of the flaws. The main plus points are the performances, a great soundtrack,amazing cinematography and refreshing dialogues. This is a film for you if you, like me, encourage further exploration of genres new to Indian cinema, but also want to enjoy a film at the same time. Go for it!
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