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In a country of modest means yet one of the largest number of millionaires, while the aspiration value of the lifestyle of the rich might be high, yet (or maybe hence) it is one of the easiest targets to make fun of. Hence a movie which deals with a dysfunctional family of a multi millionaire business tycoon runs on a very high risk of running into the caricature and shallow zone; and the best thing that can be said about this Zoya Akhtar spectacle is that steers away from those murky waters, and sails its own breezy and sunny course.
In her previous 2 outings, Ms Akhtar had displayed an uncanny flair in laying bare the turmoil that goes inside our hearts, and with the dreamy, feel-good poetic sense of belongingness created by some masterful poetry. Her movies have had us root for them. DDD, while not an exception, but certainly isn’t her finest work, or even upto the level set up by her. A dysfunctional family of a rich tycoon, the Mehras set off for a 10 day cruise trip with their social circle to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. How this journey brings them closer and helps them get rid of the issues that were brushed under the carpet forms the crux of the story. At close to 3 hours running time, the movie takes its own time to move, and make its point. The slow pace and lack of dramatic moments might restrict the movie to certain class of audience who like their movies subtle, where the conflicts are not between the hero and villain, but within self. Also, the major narrative tool used; the voiceover by the family dog Pluto voiced by Aamir Khan is probably the biggest weakness of the film. Aamir is surprisingly still in his PK mode, with continuous references to the ‘weird ways of these humans’. But the bigger question is why a director like Zoya who is known for her subtle and discreet sense of story-telling needed a spoon feeding tool like this to make its audience ‘understand’ the nuisances of the Mehra family. In an otherwise endearing film, this is probably the weakest part of the script.
These flaws withstanding, DDD is a fairly enjoyable work of cinema with its leisurely pace and a no-rush approach in heading towards its destination. Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah are perfect as the mother and father, and Ranveer and Priyanka display flashes of brilliance in their sibling chemistry. However, its Anushka and Ranveer’s romantic chemistry that has some of the most enjoyable moments of the film. Farhan Akhtar and Rahul Bose are their usual self in extended cameos. However, while ZNMD explored a new genre and was fresh and very different from her previous outing, (Luck By Chance, very underrated) DDD has strong hangover of ZNMD, which often doesn’t work in its favour. Even the music, while enjoyable isn’t at par with what you’d expect from a usual family drama multi starrer.
Despite all the flaws, Dil Dhadakne Do deserves a watch, because, well it has its heart in the right place. It makes you long for your family and think if you have been ‘connecting’ to them lately, and the realization that at the end, it’s all about loving your family.