The bizarre and the beautiful

Shubha Shetty-Saha I I think a film with multiple stories has one big advantage. If you are not too happy with one story, you can resort to another one for entertainment.  But then there is also a big disadvantage, if even one of them is not water-tight, it reflects on the entire film. David, which speaks about the stories of three David in different times (1975, 1999 and 2012) has both the advantage and disadvantage. Bejoy Nambiar’s earlier dark and gritty film, Shaitan had paved the way for high expectations. David lives up to it and doesn’t live up to it. Now, the mixed response is because it is a film with not one but three diametrically different stories. And more importantly, the treatment of the film is schizophrenic, at some points it is fast paced, rebellious and at some points it is disjointed and too slow for comfort.
The movie to begin with, looks gorgeous.  Set in London (read Mumbai in sepia tone), Mumbai and Goa, Bejoy’s movie makes one wish to get transported to each of these locations as soon as possible. The David of 1975 (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a Man Friday of a notorious gangster Iqbal Ghani. David is going through a hell of his own, as he is still trying to understand the real relationship between him and the gangster, who he is so loyal to. David of the 1999 (Vinay Virmani) is a care-free musician whose life turns upside down when his father is attacked for promoting religious conversions. The David of 2012 (Vikram), a fisherman seems to have least of the problems as he’s in love with the woman his best friend is about to marry. But this David is going through his own trauma of having to live through a loveless life and the humiliation of having been ditched at the altar by his bride.
Most of the casting is near perfect. Even the cameo roles are picked and chosen with a lot of care and that is half the battle won. Tabu, as the owner of a massage parlour and a dedicated friend, Sheetal Menon as a concerned sister, Nassar as a devout Christian struggling with the humiliation he had to go through, are brilliant. It errs too at places like with Monica Dogra who plays one of David’s passionate lover, but fails miserably in the emotional and the acting department.
It is Vikram’s David and Virmani’s David that stand out for their stunning performances. Vikram, never mind his Hindi diction, blends just the right amount of brashness and emotions that his role demands. But a bizarre twist to his storyline dilutes the effort. Young Virmani’s journey from naiveté to guilt is well played.
The movie, in its entirety, might seem too jarring and disjointed, but watch it once for the beauty and of course, some special moments which leave you smiling and teary eyed.

Rating: ***
Cast: Vikram, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Isha Sharvani
Director:  Bejoy Nambiar

Tag: the bizarre and the beautiful, David review, david release, david, david movie, Vikram, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vinay Virmani, Tabu, Lar

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