Set somewhere in London, three unlikely roomies have great fun irrespective of their different personalities. But the fun dampens as the love factor inevitably enters. Soon, it’s time for a series of clichés.
The plot: Veronica (Deepika Padukone), a self-proclaimed ‘rich-bitch’, needs no reason to party hard and thrives on booze and casual flings. She bumps into wide-eyed, generous-lipped Meera (Diana Penty), a desi who has flown in to be with her husband Kunal (Randeep Hooda) only to be thrown out by him. Veronica plays Good Samaritan and insists that Meera live with her until she can find her feet in London. Poles apart, they hit it off well. Enter Gautam (Saif Ali Khan), the desperate, not-so-young, not-so-charming Casanova, who seems to work in a cheese factory with the amount of cheesy lines gushing out every time he hits on a girl. Gautam and Veronica shack up and it’s soon a threesome sharing the apartment. But while it’s all casual, no commitment with Veronica, feelings start running deep and true for Meera, the homely next-door type. Three’s no longer company but a crowd and one must go. Meera votes herself out, too virtuous to come between Veronica and Gautam. But you know where this is all headed.
The good: ‘Tumne is makaan ko ghar banaya hai…’ a cliché most times, draws a chuckle when it comes from spirited Veronica to sedate Meera. The girls are thick as thieves and that’s fresh since very few films have attempted female bonding which is generally considered an oxymoron. The story cannot figure on the check list here, coming as it does from a familiar factory of love stories ie Imtiaz Ali as well as Sajid Ali. However, as the trailers promised, Cocktail the film generously gives moments of effortless fun but they last only till the lights go on for popcorn at half-time.
The film looks slick and good with director Homi Adajania at the helm, his wife Anaita Shroff handling the styling and cinematographer Anil Mehta behind the lens. There’s fun music too by Pritam which makes it all a blend that can give a temporary high to young adults.
There are some worthy performances strewn around, chiefly from the flamboyant Veronica played effortlessly by Deepika. Even if he doesn’t look young enough to be on the Punjabi marriage market, Saif mercifully doesn’t look too old to hang out with the pretty ladies. He pulls off the playful cheeky act breezily. Diana Penty in her debut looks durable in her dainty frame; given something better and tougher she’ll soon get it right.
The bad: The story and the characters seem like an unkempt amalgamation of Imtiaz Ali’s previous love stories. There’s tonnes of the Imtiaz Ali directed Love Aaj Kal visible with the Deepika-Saif camaraderie carrying whiffs of their previous outing together. Be it the end where Gautam comes to Delhi to propose to his ladylove or the way he talks to maamu Boman Irani which reminds one of the way he spoke to Rishi Kapoor in LAK, the hangover is too strong to be wished away. The story, predictable from the trailers itself, unfortunately remains that way till the very end. One gets to know the entire route this train is going to take right at the start and the journey takes over 2 hrs and 20 mins to reach the predicted destination. There is nothing unique in the triangle whether it is the stereotypical characters or the overdose of drama that infects the second half.
Overall: A very average love triangle with no sharp edges. It’s the kind that’s available in every corner of the neighbourhood college canteen or office cubicle.
– Pooja Thakkar