Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty
Directed by: Homi Adajania
Duration 146 mins
Director Homi Adajania’s debut effort Being Cyrus was a wonderful film that emphasised on important aspects of filmmaking. After a hiatus, he is back with a standard Bollywood film that has most of the ingredients most directors long for – big budget, foreign locations and a decent star cast. Please note that a good story is not a part of that list.
Cocktail looks like a desi version of Vicky Cristina Barcelona or those umpteen romcoms on television. Co-written by Imtiaz Ali of Jab We met and Love Aaj kal fame, this is the good old Bollywood love triangle, which is deadlier than the Bermuda triangle. A man’s love interest keeps oscillating to a point where you don’t care. Actually, you didn’t care about it to start with.
Saif Ali Khan plays Gautam, who can woo a girl in such a way that it would put Casanova to shame. His tricks though don’t work with the typical Indian girl Meera (Diana Penty) who he bumps into at the London airport. They work just fine with the wild brat, the night-club-going Veronica (Deepika Padukone), who incidentally also offers shelter to Meera since her husband is an Idi Amin reborn.
Gautam and Veronica have a one night stand, he moves in her house where Meera is already camping. When his mom (Dimple Kapadia) insists on him getting a bahu quickly, he pretends that Meera is his girl and not Veronica. No prizes for guessing that he actually falls for Meera leaving Veronica as ignored as the Jan Lokpal bill.
But she fights back and complications ensue. Since they are all cardboard characters, you couldn’t care less as to what happens to whom. Actually, you would want a Mexican standoff between the three to wrap up matters quickly.
While the first half is relatively breezy, it’s the latter that goes downhill. Since most of the film is shot abroad the visuals look nice and glossy but you expect much more from a film than just that. A couple of songs are also well picturised, but again it’s the story here that is insipid. Imtiaz Ali’s own film Socha Na Tha was also about one such character who couldn’t make up his mind as to which girl he loves, and why.
Another evidence of the lazy writing lies in the fact that they all go on a holiday to Cape Town. I mean why on earth would anyone like to take a nagging mother, uncle and two girls on a holiday, which is not really needed in the first place?
Sreekar Prasad’s editing is fine for most parts but takes a back seat in the second half. Of the cast, at 43, Saif Ali Khan plays a 32-year-old with reasonable conviction. Deepika as the wild girl and the more demure Diana Penty are impressive. But on the whole, this cocktail lacks fizz and teetotaller or otherwise, it can give you a hangover.
Film: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Duration: 105 mins
Rating: * * 1 / 2
Vampire hunting is the last thing that you would associate with the 16thpresident of the United States of America. Yet, this film based on a fictional novel by Seth Grahame-Smith seems to suggest that good old Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter to begin with and later went on become the president.
While the basic premise of this film will take some time to digest, the execution is not all that convincing either. We are told that when Lincoln was a kid his mother was killed by one of those vampires. As a grown up, he seeks revenge and becomes friends with Harry (Dominic Cooper), who is an expert of sorts at slaying vampires.
Instead of using the traditional silver bullet method, Lincoln relies on his silver coated axe to kill them. While he is chasing down vampires, he also gives inspiring speeches and becomes a politician. The vampires are apparently feeding of the blood of the black slaves and slavery is something that Lincoln wants to end making the blood seekers very angry. The film picks up some pace once he gets married and becomes a president. A war is on the cards and Lincoln has to prove his worth.
There are a couple of action sequences that stand out, one involving running horses and the other on a train. In terms of a story, you are better off not expecting much from this flick. Wonder what the sequel will be – George Bush: The terrorist seeker?