Friday, April 17, 2009

Dostana, or, Eff-ed Up Friendship

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.


John Abraham from the rear!

Shilpa Shetty!

John Abraham from the neck down!

Abhishek! (disclaimer: Guys who smoke are Not As Hot, but that cigar has clearly never served any purpose other than as a chew toy.)

John Abraham from the neck up!

(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.)

(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).

Gah. LOVE.

Oh, and Bobby Deol! I couldn't love Abhimanyu more. He's a man who gives the women in his workplace heavy responsibilities! Who acknowledges team members in public! Who places his son first! No wonder Neha falls for him. I love him with hearts and flowers and garland or two. Boman Irani has a minor role as Neha's boss, and of course is hilarious though completely overblown, and Kirron Kher rocks the house as Sam's maa.

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!


  1. lol i think i felt EXACTLY the same way you did about this movie. fun movie but really no substance. shes kind of dumb if she coudnt figure out they weren't gay.
    also, unfortunately your husbands right..watching these guys does raise our standards for guys. but then again it has for them too. we all gotta look like priyanka/shilpa now ;\

  2. I liked this movie as well but their fussiness to kiss and the fake kiss at the end really annoyed me a bit, i felt it was unintentionally homophobic.

  3. Glad you loved this as a shallow, but funny one. And yeah, so colorful it is. Loved every bit of it. And the KKHH and K3G homages are my favorites too..

  4. Oops forgot to mention abt Fangirl Foto Foolishness. Loved all caps.

  5. Ugh, Bobby Deol actually dropped this film down a couple of notches, in my opinion. But I hate Bobby Deol, so I guess my opinion doesn't count. =P

    John Abraham is DEFINITELY an impossible standard! There's a reason why he's often compared to Krishna. ;)

  6. I was about to say, "go ahead, compare with John, but let's also consider..." (sentence left unfinished due to JJC's foresight; she's basically completed it :) Although I think it's fair enough to raise standards, as long as it works both ways. I'm *so* glad I lived in Miami for college =) Also, ladies, you might find this interesting :)

  7. Really good screencaps! But why so little of Priyanka!? :D Dostana is idiotic but very addictive..I'm gonna watch it again this week. It's too much fun! LOL!

  8. Yah!!! I think I have to re-watch it. Plus I'm going to Miami in a few months. I want to say, hey, Dostana was filmed here. :D

  9. I LOVE Miami!!! I can't WAIT to go back!:)

    Welcome back, Ajnabi--We missed you! Who do you think you are disappearing like that, Madhuri Dixit? jk!

    As for Dostana, agree 100%--fun without meaning--and that's what fun is all about! Great review, well worth the wait.

  10. p.s. How you and Nicki get your screenshots so clear? Please tell!

  11. Thanks for reading, and for your comments everyone!

    JJC--You're right, Neha seemed excessively oblivious. Then again, I think she was supposed to be pretty naive... but still. :-) And I'm quite glad hardly anyone in my real life knows who Priyanka is so I can't lose out in the comparison! LOL

    bollywooddewaana: I agree that their fussiness was a bit much, but it did give Kunal a chance to prove he really meant what he said since he was the one who took charge when Sam chickened out. ;-)

    Darshit: Thanks for the compliment on the photos! Photobucket just started offering that code and I can't resist new toys. ;-) And, yeah, Dostana is soooo colorful, especially Khabar Nahi which was gorgeous in lots of ways.

    Nae: You hate Bobby Deol? Well, you're definitely not alone, I think me and Filmi Girl are the only two who like him. Oh, and maybe Nicki? LOL Anyways, I didn't know about John Abraham being compared to Krishna, but I'd say he lives up to the standard. :-D

    TheBollywoodFan: I personally think comparisons are invidious, and my own standards are quite different from the one set by John, but I don't think others are as immune. ;-) Thanks for the link--I'll go check it out once I'm done here.

    Bhargav--oh my goodness, I didn't realize I hadn't loaded up my Priyanka screencap till you pointed it out! I fixed it now... I like Piggy Chops so don't want to discriminate against her. I have to admit, I'm with you on the re-watching of the goofy movies... When it comes to things like 'Dil Se' there's only so much heartbreak a girl can take!

    Nicki: Have you ever been to Miami before? My husband used to live in the Florida Keys so when I stayed with him we'd go up pretty often. It's fun! Remember when Monsoon Marigold posted about meeting John while he was shooting for Dostana? "John, I forgive you for No Smoking." LOLOL

    Nida: Meeee too! And thanks for the welcome back--I missed everyone too! As for the screencaps, I can't claim any special expertise. Nicki has a great program she uses; I just pause the movie and do frame-by-frame advance in Windows Media Player, then do Print Screen and paste into Photo Impact Pro. Then I clean up the focus a bit if needed and save as a .gif file. Yours are always gorgeous so I don't think you need my pathetic pointers--we need Nicki or Andromache to give us a tutorial! LOL

  12. Fluffy fun, thats Dostana! I really enjoyed it, too. And I thought it did a good job of poking fun at gay stereotypes in movies, as well! But I wish they'd had some other actor play Abhimanyu - I dont hate Bobby Deol by any means, but I still wish she'd fall for someone I could fall for (like Abhishek, for e.g.) as well! ;-) lol

  13. Oh, but I do agree with you, Ajnabi! Except that as a fan of Juhi + Madhubala + Tabu + Nandita, it's pretty easy to figure out what influences my benchmarks. For a while, I was worried age was one of them, ROTFL.

  14. Hey girl. Nope. I've never been to Miami and can't wait!

    And yes, I like Bobby Deol too.

    Honestly, I like almost everyone in Bollywood.

  15. Ref: Your task of taking screencaps. You are taking lot pain of print screen and all. Why not Powerdvd? Just hit the screencap button and that's it. Alternatively you can view your movies in VLC player. There too, is an option of capturing frame directly into jpg format.

  16. I love this film! I rewatched it recently and still love it. It has repeat value despite not being anything too serious, although I do think it touches some nice areas of friendship; I also love when Priyanka talked about being a single, professionally-unsatisfied 27 year old. That is so real for a lot of people I know. Good review! I had reviewed it close to opening weekend, since I went to see it, but you can probably find it if you scroll back a bit.

  17. I thought this was a pretty cool movie and one where i had some fun. Can't wait to read more reviews as you really did a great job especially with the screen caps. Can't wait to see what is the next review as I like to read reviews the way you write them than just the storyline


Spam, trolling, and messages in non-Roman characters will be deleted. Otherwise, have at it!