Movie Review: Dasvidania

Vinay Pathak is peeling off layer after layer to reveal the talent he is. Frankly, I expected a typecast performance from him but the man completely blew me away with his picture perfect characterisation of Amar Kaul. There’s not a flaw you can detect in this standout act, which deserves a standing ovation. Take a bow, Sir. In fact, every character in Dasvidaniya fits the script to the ‘T’. Be it the boss Saurabh Shukla, his mother Sarita Joshi, his brother Gaurav Gera, his guitar teacher Joy Fernandes, his best friend Rajat Kapoor, the car sales woman Purbi Joshi, or his first and only love Neha Dhupia. They all combine to lend meaning to this movie, which has a story that will connect with every human being.

It’s a marvelous movie, which takes you on a journey of self. A roller-coaster of emotions! Every moment matches the mood. The office décor, the house where he lives, with its middleclass look, Rajat’s posh bungalow in Russia or even Neha’s stylish home. The detailing is in sync. Music by Kailash Kher leaves a lasting impression. Check out ‘Alvida’ and ‘Meri Maa’

What’s more important, much after the movie is over; you play some parts in your head and then realise that director Shashant Shah has smartly linked some scenes, which, when you see at first, have no meaning. But when seen in retrospect, you marvel at the genius of Shah. Take the first scene for instance, where Rajat is handing over a parcel to a Russian girl or the scene where Amar comes across a fuming customer when he is buying a car. Their eyes lock, recognition flickers but it’s only later you learn who the person actually was.

Amar is leading a mundane life. He is dutifully taking care of his mother who has a hearing problem and topmost is his ‘to do’ list which he faithfully fills every morning. A timid fellow, he accepts without murmur whatever life offers. He is not able to voice his feelings or opinions and hence is bullied by his boss. But life deals him a severe blow when he learns he is dying of cancer and has only three months to live.

Jolted into now living life, he decides to live it up. He now has another ‘to do’ list. Top most among the list is to own a car and learn to play the guitar besides meeting his sweetheart Neha and buddy, Rajat who he has not seen in 12 years, and who lives in Russia.

Watch out for the scene when he buys the car and offers the sales woman (Purbi Joshi) a ride. Check out the emotions when he learns she is meeting her boyfriend. Purbi gives off a powerful performance. Also watch out for the scene when he meets Neha and she takes him home and out runs her little daughter. Catch the moment when he goes back to tell her that he loves her. A poignant moment delivered with finesse. Shah calls “cut’ at the right moment and how you wish he hadn’t, because you want the two to embrace. Neha’s is a small role but she packs in a punch. The actor has evolved.

The scene where he reminds his brother that he too has to take care of his mother is outstanding. And when he learns that his best friend’s wife Suchitra Pillai actually thinks he has come all the way to Russia to use his friend is overwhelming and heart wrenching. Rajat underplays his part to give it a natural feel, another super performer. The scenes with his guitar teacher are a riot

Actually, I’m running out of adjectives. I could go on an on about the actors and their performances and the handling of situations by the director. But I’ll stop here and just say one more thing: Please watch Dasvidaniya. It’s a memorable experience, one that will leave you richer. Amar does not set out on a journey of self-pity when he learns that he is dying; he sets out to set things right with self and in doing so impacts the lives of those nearest to him in a way you cannot imagine.

The Bheja Fry team gets back again, this time to for another Box Office surprise. Content, execution, performance and presentation are top class. The makers will have to increase the shows because I’m afraid, word-of-mouth will have the cinemas looking at this movie with a little more respect.

Rating: 4 / 5

Martin D’Souza

This first appeared on on November 15, 2008


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