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Dosti Movie Review


Right from DOSTI to DOST to YAARANA to SHOLAY to DIL CHAHTA HAI, male bonding has been explored time and again in Hindi films. Suneel Darshan's DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER treads a similar path. Armed with an attractive star cast and dollops of emotions, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER could've been an old wine packaged in a new bottle. Thankfully, it is not!

Although DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER may seem like a film that has been attempted time and again, what makes it special is the twist in the story fifteen minutes before the intermission. From then on, things only get better.

However, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER tends to follow a predictable path at times. It gets into the ANAND / KAL HO NAA HO mould in the second hour and that's why the narrative seems repetitive. But Suneel Darshan's soaked-in-Indian emotions camouflage the defects.

To sum up, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER isn't a classic or path-breaking cinema by any standard, but here's a film that delivers what it promises: Unadulterated Bollywood entertainment.

They had nothing in common. Karan [Bobby Deol] was wealthy and a mansion was his habitat. Raj [Akshay Kumar], an orphan, had empty pockets and the sky was his roof.

Karan's jet ensured that he could fly if he wanted. Raj could only depend on his two feet. Karan had a family [Kiran Kumar, Lilette Dubey] and yet craved for love. Raj had love to share, but craved for a family.

Karan was the eternal casanova. Raj was the proverbial one-woman man. Karan had it all, and yet felt empty. Raj had nothing, but his heart was full.

They were two people as different as can be. Yet they found a common ground. One that led to the glorious road of friendship. Their bond was unshakable.

If Karan gave Raj a home and all the material comforts, Raj gave Karan a shoulder and all the emotional security. If Karan supported Raj at every step, Raj covered up for all of Karan's misdoings. They laughed together, lied together, loved together and fought the odds together all in the name of friendship.

Their blind faith in each other was the envy of the world. But it was this very world that never let them forget that their's was not a relationship of equals. And how long could an unequal relationship sustain?

Karan and Raj defied conventions proving that true friendship was above all such trivialities. But like a bolt out of the blue came a raging storm that threatened to sink the ship that housed the sentiments of the two friends.

DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER boasts of a story that moviegoers may have witnessed since time immemorial. The rich guy-poor guy dosti is beaten to death in Bollywood. The stories could be the same, but their interpretation is what makes the difference. That's precisely why DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER works.

Suneel Darshan opens the cards at the very outset. The dosti is established in the first ten minutes itself. Thereafter, the bachpan ke dost grow up and sing, dance, laugh and lie together… everything is explained in the most predictable fashion. Frankly, there's not much novelty in the first half-an-hour of the enterprise.

Romance, fun n frolic and mandatory songs is what you get to see till something drastic happens fifteen minutes before the intermission. The viewer, who is now watching the goings-on without much interest, suddenly straightens his position to see the dramatic change of events.

The twist in the tale -- Shakti Kapoor arriving at Mahesh Thakur's [Kareena's brother] residence and what follows is a heated confrontation, after which Akshay slaps Mahesh Thakur -- is a terrific moment in the story. From the writing as well as execution point of view, it is this sequence that proves to be a good turning point.

The post-interval portions have more to offer. The sequence at the airport -- when Akshay and Bobby are about to part ways and Bobby notices something -- is another twist that catches you by surprise. A few minutes later, Kareena's marriage to someone else is another shocker that only enhances your opinion about the film.

The pace drops intermittently. The song on Bobby and Lara after their patch up can easily be deleted since it only acts as a speed breaker. Even otherwise, the song is very thanda and sets in boredom, so why not come to the point straightaway? Also, Akshay trying to smoothen things, first with Bobby's mother and then Lara, then Bobby saving his errant sister in a night club, then Akshay bumping into Kareena in a café shop… well, they are all been-there-seen-that kind of situations that dilute the impact. The writers could've been more imaginative here!

Nevertheless, the film picks up again as Bobby weds Lara. The drama in the song, which continues right till the end, is quite engaging. The climax is emotional and would strike a chord with the families for sure.

Director Suneel Darshan may've opted for an age-old story, but his handling of the emotional and dramatic moments in the film deserves to be lauded. In fact, the confrontation between Akshay and Mahesh Thakur first and between Akshay and Bobby thereafter proves that Suneel knows the pulse of Indian family audiences.

Nadeem-Shravan's music is in sync with the mood of the film. 'Dulhaniya', 'Boogie Woogie' and 'Aisa Koi Zindagi Mein Aaye' are the best of the lot. 'Ishq Na Ishq Ho Kisi Se' [reminds you of 'Dulhe Ka Sehra Suhana Lagta Hain'] is a lyrical gem and the drama in the song is fascinating. Cinematography [W.B. Rao] is eye-catching. The screenplay [Robin Bhatt, Shyam Goel] is full of pleasant surprises in the form of twists and turns, while the dialogues [Rumi Jaffrey, K.K. Singh] are wonderful.

Akshay Kumar is sure to walk away with laurels yet again. The actor has a serious role this time, but he handles it like a complete veteran. His contribution to the film, in the second hour especially, is noteworthy. Bobby Deol is first-rate, delivering a dependable performance yet again. Only thing, he needs to keep a check on is his styling and appearance.

The leading ladies don't have much to do in the enterprise, yet Kareena Kapoor excels in the two sequences that give her ample scope to display histrionics. Lara Dutta is only there to add to the glamour quotient. Juhi Chawla is appealing in a brief role. Kiran Kumar is as usual. Lilette Dubey is incredible. Karishma Tanna and Mona Chopra are passable. Mahesh Thakur is efficient. Shakti Kapoor and Aman Verma get no scope.

On the whole, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER is a well made film that has some powerful emotional sequences as its ace. At the box-office, the combo of an attractive face-value and rich emotional appeal, besides popular music, will appeal to the family audiences mainly..


 

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