Rating: 3.5/5 stars (Three-and-a-half)
What’s Good: The direction; the stories; Vikram’s excellent acting; the screenplay; the stunningly apt music.
What’s Bad: The climax of Neil’s story; Vinay’s story takes time to gather steam; the stories can get a tad confusing.
Loo break: Not in this movie.
Watch or Not?: Definitely. Don’t miss this funny, suave and entertaining film.
What’s similar to God and underwear? If this has you bemused or offended, David is that necessary kick-in-the-seat of your pants to remind you of what intelligent movies with style and substance look like.
Bejoy Nambiar’s David is the stories of three men, across three time periods and places who share little more than their first name.
Set in black-and-white in 1975 London, David (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is the dreaded gangster Ghani’s henchman. Loyal to Ghani since his father’s death, David protects Ghani with his life while his master holds him more precious than his own son. When Indian officials come to London to end Ghani, they realize that they can’t touch him with David in the way. Dirty secrets have a distinct way of persuasion that even threats don’t.
While this dreadlocked David (Vinay Virmani) spends most of his time strumming the guitar – giving lessons, playing gigs and buttering industry-people to give him a chance – his father (Nassar) is a pious man of the cloth. Though he can’t get enough of his tiffs with his father, David loves his sisters and dreams of getting them well-settled in life. But when the politician Malati Tai (Rohini Hattangadi) targets his father, David starts turning into something even he can’t recognize.
Sloshing his bottle, beating up people at the bar and going on eccentric bride hunts with his mother have made David’s (Chiyaan Vikram) life more than boring. Between talking to his father’s spirit (who possesses the bodies of innocent passers-by just to enjoy drink or two) and dawdling with his friend Peter (Nishan Nanaiah), David falls head-over-heels in love with the Roma (Isha Sharwani). While David loves her despite her “speaker and mike being (switched) off”, the problem is that she’s betrothed to Peter. Poor David only has his “spirited” father (Saurabh Shukla) and super-awesome friend Frenny (Tabu) to go to.
David Review: Script Analysis
Bejoy Nambiar and Natasha Sahgal take three not-so-ordinary stories and spin it into an excellent script. While Neil’s story is bleaker than the others, it is also the one that disappoints the most. It starts of stylishly and intriguingly, but gets a messy conclusion. The wedding of David’s love interest Noor (Monica Dogra) is not convincing. Vinay’s story gets a little tiring since it takes time to gather steam and even his “Mujhe jawaab chahiye!” is repetitive, but patience has its just rewards with a finely penned coming-of-age story. Vikram’s story is so lovingly penned that every character in it is worth falling in love with. Whether it’s Tabu with her parlour, the mother who prays for her son’s wedding or Vikram’s drunken antics, the story is just about flawless (Why the Satku Santa part?!).
The dialogues are good, but could have been better. The parts tying up in the end may be a little far-fetched for some, but it’s really enjoyable.
David Review: Star Performances
Neil Nitin Mukesh is mostly stone-faced as the henchman, but when he does get to act, he is very good. Monica Dogra is alright as Noor. Another flooring performance is by Vinay Virmani. He’s so adorable and vulnerable that your heart goes out for him. Even with little screen time, Lara Dutta does well as Neelam. Nasser delivers nothing less than what’s expected from a veteran like him. Rohini Hattangadi is malicious as Malati Tai.
Chiyaan Vikram nails it and gives you the stigmata to not forget it for quite a long time from now. He may be whacking people in drunken stupor or tying up his mother and threatening to kill himself, but he owns it like no one can. If there’s anyone who steals the thunder, it’s Tabu as Frenny. She’s such a catch that you wouldn’t mind if the romance angle went out of the window and just had to see David and Frenny hanging out. Isha Sharwani does well as the pretty Roma. Nishan Nanaiah and Saurabh Shukla are adorable as Peter and David’s father respectively.
David Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
Bejoy Nambiar, you wizard, you! He handles the multiple narrations, stories and timelines with class and style. The gangster intro of Neil reminds you of Guy Ritchie and you can’t get enough of his delicious slow-mo sequences. The music is fabulous: the Mast Kalandar burst of rock at the wedding will give you goosebumps, Prashant Pillai’s Rab Di is lovely and so is Remo’s Maria Pitache. Sreekar Prasad’s editing is fantastic.
David Review: The Last Word
David is a sleek, funny movie that sews together interesting stories with excellent performances and darn good music. Don’t give it a miss.
David released on 1st February, 2013.
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