Review: De Dana Dan
Review: De Dana Dan
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 27 November 2009
De Dana Dan
Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Suniel Shetty, Sameera Reddy, Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh
The success of films like Welcome set the cycle of such comedies rolling and they all stick to the same rulebook. Being a tired comedy is one thing, this one is also unforgivably regressive.
Paresh Rawal plays Chadha who in greed for dowry peddles his son (Chunky Pandey, looking too old for this role) around to rich, prospective businessmen. Lying and philandering come naturally to him, and he?s willing to go to new depths to get his son married into a rich family.
Strangely, his outright demand for money is not shown to be out-of-the-ordinary, even as the girl?s father goes out of his way to placate him and arrange for the money.
The money transaction is purely businesslike and at no point in time do any of the characters find this dowry demand objectionable. In fact, when one of the relatives from the girl?s side is mistaken to be a molester (don?t ask!), the girl?s father makes Chadha an offer of an extra 20-30 lakh to continue with the wedding.
Such blatant incorporation of dowry is indeed shocking and disappointing; the government and NGOs can do all they want to put a stop to dowry but as long as films show this practice to be acceptable and a premise for a comedy, it?s a losing battle, really.
Shakti Kapoor appears playing a constantly horny old man (full marks for casting), who engages a young prostitute (Neha Dhupia) to come into his room. Naturally, everyone mistakes her to be Anjali (Katrina) who was earlier to get engaged to Chadha?s son.
Anjali didn?t accept the marriage as she?s in love with down-on-luck Nitin (Akshay) who is a driver to business magnate (Archana Puran Singh). He soon meets courier boy Ram (Suniel Shetty) who also can?t marry his wealthy girlfriend Manpreet (Sameera Reddy) as he?s poor.
Together Nitin and Ram hatch a ransom plan that predictably goes awry. Oh, did we mention that this entire drama unfolds on the streets and posh hotel hallways of Singapore where, conveniently, almost all characters, including the hotel staff and cops, are Indian. Throughout the film, a fitter-than-fit Archana Puran Singh is called a budhiya (oldie) by a 40-something Akshay.
Apart from the regressive attitude, another aspect that makes one uncomfortable is the lack of morals in all characters. Far from thinking up legal ways of making money, both characters in order to marry their girlfriends choose to ask for ransom. Why the two gorgeous women belonging to super-wealthy families fancy these men is not explained. But again, logic is hardly the strong point in this film.
Asrani, Johnny Lever and Rajpal Yadav appear and disappear.
Performances are uniformly bad because the cast is constantly screaming out their dialogues (peppered with cuss words). At a full three hours, the film seems unbearably long, especially during the second half. One suspects the climax with a flood materialising in a hotel with Titanic-type shots is intended to be the piece de resistance of the film. It turns out to be unintentionally hilarious in the most part. Music by Pritam does nothing to elevate the film.
Priyadarshan?s Kanchivaram is said to be a great film. However, Priyadarashan after Bhool Bhulaiyaa in 2007, has largely made below-par films (Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Billu Barber). With De Dana Dan, Priyadarshan touches a new low. Sad, as one was looking forward to the Priyadarshan and Akshay-Suniel-Paresh Rawal combo.
Verdict: One star