17 July 2012

Cocktail

2012
Directed by: Homi Adajania

Cocktail had potential; while I wasn't overwhelmingly disappointed in the film there were a handful of things that distracted me from enjoying it completely. It's Dostana for Mean Girls and it kind of works but it loses it's fizz after the interval when one too many dramatic, and cliche, twists are put into the mix and then shaken, not stirred, (oooh!) into a toxic martini.

I think I went too far on the metaphor there.

Saif Ali Khan is way, way too old looking to be romancing 20-something ladies in a club. If you can get over his awkward uncle shuffling on the dance floor I want to give you a prize. He just looks clunky and, quite frankly, creepy. Oh, sure, he's cute and jovial enough but he was also wearing more makeup than the lovely ladies he was seducing. Saif's character, Gautam, is relentlessly depicted as a playboy with an unfailing libido. Almost 30 minutes are spent on showcasing just how slimy he is... only to have him fall into two back-to-back monogamous relationships. Inconsistency, much? You could make the argument (and goodness knows they try) that his relationship with Deepika's Veronica is "open" but it's not presented in that manner at all. I understand that he's supposed to be the poster child of a reforming NRI but it doesn't work in the way it's managed onscreen.

Deepika Padukone totally carries the film as the brash party girl. For the first time since Om Shanti Om I'm impressed with her performance. I'm upset that that is really all I have to say about her, then again you can ask the two men who I saw the film with for a play-by-play of her bikinis and short shorts. Since, you know, none of that bleeps on my radar. Apparently it made her performance top-notch! (Ok, I'll admit, girl's got legs!... And everything else).

Diana Penty is somewhat forgettable. I don't blame her but more her character, Meera, for that. She's exceptional at looking sad, morose and a little dead behind the eyes. What else can you want from someone playing the married-for-money-and-abandoned, wide-eyed, country girl? Not much, I guess. I'd like to see her in something with more depth, and maybe a bit more lively. I will say this, however; it was absolutely cruel to try to make her have a sexy eye competition with Deepika in the last song. Poor girl just couldn't keep up! You don't put the newbie in with the master!

I was a fan of the soundtrack from the first time I heard the whole playlist of songs but I felt they were used ineffectually in the film. They were mostly crammed into the already too long second half... as if we needed more timepass there. In context they work, but I don't think they lived up to their potential. Pity. Either way the OST is a good one. I wish they would have taken the more subtle route of adding the songs in as background music. Doing so would have sped up a lot of pacing lulls and made the music more integrated into the film.

Cocktail resurrects the age-old Traditional Indian Girl Trumps Westernized Party Girl trope. Gautam only realizes his all-consuming love for Meera after his mother visits and glorifies her withdrawn ways. Frankly, Veronica is probably better off without a man who won't even introduce her to his mother. Bakwaas.

While really pretty to look at, Cocktail isn't going to become a classic anytime soon. It has some moments of great humor but the deeper emotions fall flat and lifeless. Netflix it, pyaaris.



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