Movie Review: ‘Cocktail’

Saif-Deepika-Diana in 'Cocktail'
Saif-Deepika-Diana in 'Cocktail'

Known for hits like ��Jab We Met�۪ (2007), ��Love Aaj Kal�۪ (2009) and most recently ��Rockstar�۪(2011), it�۪s no wonder��that Imtiaz Ali�۪s latest offering ��Cocktail�۪ (2012) was so eagerly awaited by the audience. Ali�۪s fresh take on love and relationships has meant that his films don�۪t necessary reinvent the wheel but he does turn them in his own unique way. Deepika Padukone was so sold by the script that she was on board with the film even before the director of the film was decided. When the trailer featuring song Tumhi Ho Bandhu went onto YouTube, it got one million views in three days and Twitter was buzzing with fans desperate for the theatrical trailer. For Diana Penty, this film means a lot more. The model-turned-actress is in her very first role in ‘Cocktail’, playing Meera.��Penty told DNA India, ���I did modelling for five years, then I felt I wanted to do something different and challenging. That is when I started meeting people and Imtiaz Ali (writer of��Cocktail) was one of them. Soon the role of Meera came, it was like destiny. I was meant to be Meera and play her.�۝

The film is set mainly in London where Veronica D�۪Souza (Padukone) is a rich wild child and a strict believer in sex, drugs and rock and roll. She bumps into Meera (Penty) during a night out and takes her in after she realises Meera has nowhere to go. Meera is the stereotypical Indian girl who has been married off by her family and sent to London to live in wedded bliss but when landing in the city finds out that her British husband has married her for money. Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) is the flirt who knows exactly what to say to a girl to get exactly what he wants. When Gautam and Veronica meet in a club, sparks fly and they embark on a sex only relationship. Meera abhors Gautam, who in return flirts with her to get her to like him. Enter Gautam�۪s mother, Kavita (Dimple Kapadia) who is dead set on getting her prodigal son married. In order to save himself a lot of hassle of explaining his no strings attached relationship with Veronica, he turns Meera into his perfect Indian bride-to-be. As Meera and Gautam start to grow closer, their hate turns to love leaving Veronica out of the equation and that is when the turmoil commences.

As films go, this is one of the most realistic portrayals of British characters��one��will��ever see. Some would be quick to judge, but Veronica, Gautam and Meera are the young adults of today who do like to have fun and not take life so seriously all the time. ��As people they are shades of grey and even if they behave a certain way, it doesn�۪t necessarily make them good or evil. However where there are realisms, there are some clich̩s. The good girl getting the guy, the bad girl earning her chance for redemption and the flirt turned devoted lover to the one girl who will keep him happy for the rest of his life are just some of these stereotypes.

The first half of this film really is a good laugh to watch. The chemistry between the three characters is red hot, with the girls balancing each other in personality. ��There are some fantastic scenes with Gautam flirting with Meera to cheer her up and Veronica interrupting Gautam�۪s business meeting to embarrass him using a fake pregnancy. The second half is where the film does flounder a bit but you see the transformation of the characters as they realise that during the fun and games, some serious issues will change their lives forever. The unexpected twist in the second half does leave you feeling a little disappointed as the film does make a real effort to challenge the British Asian stereotypes which exist out there.

The casting for this film is perfect. ��Khan is great as Gautam and really does lighten the scene with his rather cheesy chat-up lines and mini stand-up performances. As maiden roles go, Penty has excelled playing Meera who can be coy and na�ve one minute and sexy and outgoing the next. However, the real heart of this film has to be Padukone�۪s portrayal of Veronica who is just as wild as she is sweet and frankly just lost. Padukone steals the scene every time she enters it and her portrayal of wild-child-turned-mean is faultless. Her energy filled mannerisms are charming and she does make the audience fall in love with her. Kapadia and Boman Irani have a great few scenes too as Gautam�۪s mum and misguided uncle but they really are in the film for comic appeal more than anything else.

Director Homi Adajania has filmed this in the most realistic way he can. London and Cape Town look gorgeous on camera with some great wide angle shots which make you feel as though you are indeed there on location with the characters. It has to be said��that the music to this film does help energise the storyline with tracks like Tumhi Ho Bandhu and Daaru Desi among many which slide into the film seamlessly but are memorable too.

This film��is definitely��one of the must-see movies for this summer. It may be raining outside but you really will leave the cinema happy and satisfied.

BizAsia Showbiz rating: 4/5

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