by Taran Aadarsh | Posted Sep 28, 2007
Delhi University campus. Four youngsters. One prostitute. University politics. Love. Friendship. Sex... Really, given the topics amassed on the plate, one could explore so much in those 2 hours. But in DIL DOSTI ETC., the story only moves in the penultimate 15/20 minutes. Neither is the University politics depicted with grit that's associated with it, nor is the bonding amongst friends or the various relationships depicted makes your heart go dhak dhak.
Debutante director Manish Tiwary could've explored so much given the choice of subject he has opted for his debut vehicle, but he's letdown -- and terribly at that -- by the script. What the viewer eventually carries home are a few poignant moments, besides a superlative performance by Shreyas Talpade. But that's not enough!
DIL DOSTI ETC. is set around students in Delhi University, mainly two university hostellers, Apurv [Imaad Shah], a rich, cosmopolitan guy and Sanjay Mishra [Shreyas Talpade], an old-fashioned guy hailing from Bihar.
Sanjay is an ambitious and focused student-politician in Delhi. On the other hand, Apurv's life is directionless. With the abundance of time and money in hand, he searches for meaning in life through amorous escapades with various girls.
The three female leads -- a prostitute [Smriti Mishra], a school girl Kintu [Ishitta Sharma] and a rich model Prerna [Nikita Anand] -- provide a myriad of social and emotional backdrops to the film.
The prostitute claims never to get emotionally attached to her customers, the school girl Kintu remains non-committal to Apurv's flirtations and plays hard to get and the model aspires to become an international model and yet finds herself attracted to the earthy and charismatic student-politician Sanjay.
The problem with DIL DOSTI ETC. begins soon after the characters and their diverse characteristics are introduced and the viewer has just one question in mind -- What next? And the question continues to haunt you till three-fourths of the narrative.
All you get to witness is Shreyas and his opponents contesting the elections [but the aggression is missing] and Imaad eyeing everyone in skirts. Actually, one is confused, is Imaad in love with Smriti Mishra? And is the relationship with Ishitta based on lust, not love? The penultimate 15 odd minutes are interesting because it's at this juncture that there's some movement in the tale. But it's too late by then. The viewer is exasperated by now!
Arvind K.'s cinematography is alright. Dialogues are well penned. As for the music, just one song makes an impression -- 'Dum Laga'. The production values are below par. The film bears an impoverished look at most times.
Shreyas Talpade enacts his part with gusto. His outburst in the end is electrifying. Imaad Shah is cool, but it's a clear case of miscasting. He doesn't look like a Casanova who wears his heart on his sleeve. Smriti Mishra's role should've had meat. Ishitta looks cute and carries her role well. Nikita Anand has the trappings of a fine actress.
On the whole, DIL DOSTI ETC. lacks the power to keep you glued to the screen. Disappointing!
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