Film: De Taali
Director: E Niwas
Producer: Ravi Walia
Banner: Rising Star Entertainment, Sahara One Motion Pictures
Cast: Aftab Shivdasani, Ritesh Deshmukh, Ayesha Takia, Rimi Sen, Satish Shah, Saurabh Shukla, Anupam Kher, Neha Dhupia, Pawan Malhotra, Mukul Dev, Hrishita Bhatt, Anjana Sukhani, Sanjay Narvekar, Rasika Joshi
Finally, a breath of fresh air among stale roses. After half a year of dismal fare at the BO here comes De Taali, a light-hearted fun venture of a comic-romantic mix, enough to take your mind off that hectic life for at least two and a half hours.
A story of three friends not looking for love but finding it in unexpected places, De Taali is a film set in Bangkok. The three friends Abhishek (Aftab), Amrita (Ayesha) and Paglu (Riteish) are childhood friends whose circle of friendship is unbreakable. Until, Kartika (Rimii Sen) enters their lives. Worse, Amrita has begun to fall in love with Abhishek, the chronic lover, while Kartika is happy to become his 33rd girlfriend for his wealth. Feigning goodwill, Kartika soon becomes Amrita’s rival and a tug-of-war ensues between them that makes for some hilarious as well as endearing moments.
A romantic comedy, the film is successful because it makes us connect to the lead characters. And it connects because of the inherent chemistry between the three friends. Aftab, Ayesha and Riteish have us rooting for their friendship right from the fun and frolic song that the movie begins with. Cut to the club-house and one definitely wants to watch more.
And more one gets, but sadly not of the easy camaraderie of the three but the love angle, the main track, which is thrown in a bit too early. The film shifts gears too fast and before we know Amrita is in love with Abhishek and one gets sceptical about the pace of the film. But what salvages the film is the pace itself. The mayhem that follows justifies the pace and in fact makes it look even rather than rapid. Screenplay, one of the strong points of the films gives us entertaining and justifiable moments, turning points that make De Taali, a sit-back-and-enjoy film.
Coming to the performances, they are nothing but winning. After a long time Aftab comes up with a show that’s as cute as his dimples. He might not have made waves in the recent film history but fits the role of the gullible-cute-sensitive-rich chronic love-addict like a snug glove. Ayesha Takia has always been much more than just a cute face. She adds that warmth, down-to-earth-ness and girl-next-door-ish appeal without making her character pedestrian. She might play a responsible, gentle and straight girl but boring she is not. Her cute-ness is as much part of her character as is her depth, joviality and well, chubbiness. Riteish adds the third fun element in the trio with his smarter-than-thou-bumpkin act, something that he has become famous for playing on-screen. Right through Masti, Bluffmaster, Heyy Babyy and now De Taali. Riteish is endearing to watch and in fact quite paisa vasool.
The fourth angle to this triangle is Rimii. She is a sassy, wicked, confident gold-digger playing it upto Abhishek to marry him for his wealth. There are umpteen justifications for her wickedness, something that tries to bring in an element of humane-ness in her character. While trying to do that, the director see-saws from one end to the other never really making us believe or connect to her reality. But maybe, that’s ok. It’s just a fun film after all.
Having said that, Rimii performs with surprising verve, something that she hasn’t really exhibited in her career uptill now. She is as cool as the cucumber as she is as the cow! She is interesting to watch as a wily-yet-brave woman trying to survive by her brains and makes for a fantastic contrast to the simple, bumbling trio.
Anupam Kher has precious little to do, and well, in response he does precious little.
His role of a worried father whose son and dog never listen to him could easily have been done by a lesser actor.
Apart from the story-line, (which looks heavily influenced by the Julia Roberts starrer my Best Friend’s wedding, but is most probably not, given that every movie looks like every other these days), screenplay and treatment, the film has a fresh look about it. The cinematography and art direction plays a lot with young colours that are summery yet mute. The film abounds with whites, clear blues, masked pinks and light yellows. It sets up an ambience as breezy as the film and makes you wonder at the subtle but sure effect of colour on the language of cinema. Full marks to the production design.
Not rip-roaring but pleasant and very well worth your ticket, popcorn and Coke money. Try it.