Dostana : A Fresh Comedy

After the debacle of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Karan Johar bounces back with his brilliant Dostana. When I entered the hall, I was wary of what the movie would be like. After all, offbeat topic like homosexuality plus Bollywood is seldom equal to mature treatment. My suspicions were proved to be true, but in a very convoluted way. The movie does not handle the issue of being gay very maturely, but then it makes no pretence of doing so anyway. From the word go the film screams out to its viewers to kindly not take anything literally. I felt all of us were expected to just shut off our brains and take the jokes seriously without analyzing anything that was happening.

The movie revolves around three characters, Kunal (delectable John Abraham), Sameer (awesome Abhishek Bachchan) and Neha (gorgeous Priyanka Chopra). As has been made obvious already, the three of them shine in their roles. The two men pretend to be gay so that they can get a place to live in. Abraham and Bachchan have a nice onscreen chemistry. After dealing with orthodox mothers, gay bosses and other embarrassments, they have to deal with their own demons. While Neha thinks they are gay, they are both in love with Neha and Neha is in love with her new boss Abhimanyu who reciprocates her love. They must cope with the situation together and what we get is insane slapstick comedy. Believe it or not, Abraham actually acts well here. Priyanka Chopra looks really pretty throughout the film, though it would be great if she wore actual clothes, not bits of cloth all the time. While the plot and the ending of the movie is rather obvious, it is infused with totally unexpected twists and fresh jokes which makes it worth a watch. Funniest is the story of how Sam and Kunal fall in love in the streets of Venice. Do notice John’s jazzy neckpieces. Kirron Kher delights as the melodramatic mother who gets to hear about her son’s official change of sexual preference through mail. Boman Irani has a small role but he does full justice to it. The boss Bobby Deol is as full of expressions as a dead rat, but it is okay because other characters and the script make up for him.

Shot in beautiful locales, Dostana keeps you glued to the screen throughout. The last bit is typically Karan Johar and could have been trimmed a bit. The movie caters to a younger crowd. It is a movie to watch with friends, rather than family. And for god’s sake, kids below 14 shouldn’t see the movie unless they have a little understanding about homosexuality. My 8 year old cousin asked me with perplexed eyes, “If they are both boys, how are they kissing??”

Karan Johar’s cynical attitude towards love comes out in the movie, and that is what also makes it so refreshingly different. Unlike a few “comedies” which came out this year, Dostana is not crass and cheap. Give yourself the luxury of having high expectations. You won’t come out of the hall disappointed.

Shravya Jain

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