'Dil Kabaddi': Worth a look!
Review by Deepa Gahlot
Too bad that Anil Senior's 'Dil Kabaddi' characters come out of a Woody Allen film ('Husbands and Wives'). But with Indian coyness added to them. People who have been married for years talk like this: Wife: Let's do it. Husband: Do what? Wife (with a shrug) You know. (Oh grow up!)
'Dil Kabaddi' is about the impact one broken marriage has on another, and a few other people who come into the path of the whirlwind. Samit (Irrfan Khan) and Mita (Soha Ali Khan) decide to separate, and break it to their friends Rishi (Rahul Bose) and Simi (Konkana Sen Sharma) suddenly over a drink. It gets Rishi and Simi to start examining their own marriage. At least sexual incompatibility comes out of the closet.
Samit gets involved with a ditzy aerobics instructor Kaya (Payal Rohatgi), Mita starts 'dating' (haranguing, mostly) Veer (Rahul Khanna); Simi flirts with Veer too, and Rishi with his student Raga (Sada), who seems to be more sexually experienced than him.
The men seem just silly, while the women – Mita and Simi—come across as dominating, manipulative, and as Samit keeps complaining, "cold." They all talk as if they were reading lines out of a script, accompanied by much shrugging, pursing of lips and raising of eyebrows. And in between their spats, give frank interviews about their feelings—talking straight into a camera to a hidden and persistent interviewer.
If Anil Senior has indeed tried to delve into what goes on behind closed doors in an Indian marriage, the film would have been really brave. But these characters are transposed here from an American film—so they live in a universe free of in-laws and children, with divorce, partner-swapping, pre-and-extra marital sex treated very casually. Not a tear shed or a heart broken.
It is funny in places, but tries too hard—Kaya's aerobics scene at a party, for instance. The actors, however, are completely at ease with the situations and with one another; Irrfan Khan does all the ridiculous 'Kaya' scenes, without a trace of awkwardness, and young Sada is quite a find. For a film that talks a lot about sex, there is remarkably little vulgarity. The production values and camerawork are of a high quality, and film, just may be worth a look. Or maybe see the Woody Allen original, nobody does urban angst and neuroses better than him.
Source: India Syndicate
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