Finally! I said, "later this week," and then I moved and then I didn't have Internet (eek!) and then I had to get my house ready and then I upped my working hours and then I realized that you don't come to this blog to hear about my life, you come here to read about movies!
Okay. For realz this time. Dostana is completely the embodiment of the Subjective Ajnabi Dictionary definition of "timepass:" i.e. completely nutritionally worthless yet suitable for repeat consumption. It's colorful, it's lighthearted, and it's fun (for the most part); it doesn't rely upon stereotypical portrayals of certain segments of the community any more than an American sitcom would (in some cases, less). And, dude. Preeeeeeettyyyyyy Peeeeeeeopllllllllle. Lookie.
Abhishek! (disclaimer: Guys who smoke are Not As Hot, but that cigar has clearly never served any purpose other than as a chew toy.)(Side note: my husband told me I probably shouldn't show this movie to the younger single women in my friendship circle. Probably because it'll raise their standards to impossible levels. Also maybe because he's afraid they'll think he likes the movie for John Abraham.)
John Abraham from the neck up!
John Abraham from the neck up!
(That last part is a lie.)
Anyway, Kunal (John Abraham) is a Miami-based photographer for various fashion-focused publications. Sam (Abhishek) is a nurse, also in Miami. They meet by chance after each spends the night with one of two girls who happen to be roommates. Later, they meet again when competing for rooms-for-rent in a fabulous apartment that fashion magazine assistant editor Neha (Priyanka Chopra) could never have gotten a loan for. Or maybe she could have before 2008.
Because Neha would never! share an apartment with two single guys, the two decide to pose as a gay couple. The three become fast friends, but unfortunately it's all built on the lie of Sam and Kunal being devoted romantically to each other and not being attracted to Neha in the slightest. Their three-way relationship becomes twisted, badly, when Bobby Deol's single dad Abhimanyu shows up on the scene as Neha's new editor and love interest.
While we're going with stereotypes, she should've known they weren't really gay from the first time they danced.That's about it for the plot. But, like I said, it's cotton candy--sugar and air spun together into a sweet cloud that dissolves into nothing if examined too closely. So I won't. Examine it closely, that is. It's pointless--this isn't that sort of movie. And, yes, it does rely upon stereotypes--of gays, of Punjabi maas, of single young men in the city, of fashion editors... Basically, Abhimanyu, his son, and, to a lesser extent, Neha, are the only three-dimensional characters in the film. That's fine with me since I had zero expectations going in. Abhishek's awesome, funny as only he can be, and John and Priyanka do just fine--sometimes even better than okay.
However. There are a few messages that manage to get through, and since Karan Johar is behind this project it's impossible not to wonder how much of his own life experience and/or personal agenda shaped those messages. Things like, parents need to love their children and accept who they are (even if who they are is gay and in a commited relationship they've hidden for three years). The main thrust of the movie, however, is the Friendship for which it's named, and which becomes a defining part of the three protagonists' lives. Message there? Don't freakin' lie to your friends (and, if you do, be prepared to do ANYTHING to make it right).
Parts I liked: The KKHH and K3G homage moments, which were very cleverly played and utterly hilarious in the latter case (the long-suffering look on John's face, half touched and half resigned, totally made that scene for me). The songs, which relied a lot on Hinglish but were catchy and fun. Shilpa Shetty's item number in the opening credits particularly shines, and "Khabar Nahi" is really pretty (with great picturization too). The chemistry between John, Abhishek, and Priyanka is great (I like Priyanka best with Abhishek out of all her jodis).
The part I HATED: (mild spoiler involved) When Kunal and Sam attempt to eliminate Abhimanyu as romantic competition, they use his son as a tool in many despicable ways. This almost made me totally hate them by the end. In fact, I'm getting angry again just thinking about it! But, on the other hand, it's also true that some people, more often guys, (especially self-centered ones like Sam and Kunal) who don't have children in their lives don't really see them as people. So, it might be realistic and in character for the two. Still scummy, though.
In the end, though, I really enjoyed Dostana. It's nothing but fun, and that's fine with me. And! Preeeeettyyyyyy peeeeeeople! Miami! Ajnabi likes!