Review: De Taali a breezy ride

Review: De Taali a breezy ride

Source: Sify

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 20 June 2008

Movie Title

De Taali


E Niwas

Star Cast

Aftab Shivdasani, Ritesh Deshmukh, Ayesha Takia, Rimi Sen

A gang of three friends, Abhi (Aftab Shivadasani), Amu (Ayesha Takia) and Paglu (Riteish Deshmukh) are living da vida loca (living it up, one holiday after another).

Abhi is a hopeless mush-addict and, in flashbacks, we meet his past loves -- one a shoplifter, another a druggie and we get that his taste in women is not exactly precise. The recent one is a hilarious encounter with a psychic (Neha Dhupia) who says "she can see dead people" and proceeds to calm one invisible Chitrakoot. But unfazed, Abhi meets his friends next with a tilak and beads around his neck, and a few days later is nursing his heart again after a painful breakup.

When Abhi says that she's the one, his pal Paglu corrects him saying "She's not the one, she's 31", referring to her number on the girlfriends' list. But apart from the fact that he's not very bright in matters of love, Abhi is quite a nice and lovable sort. Amu is the so-called tomboy who hangs with her two childhood buddies and is the more sensible among the three. Paglu is the one with bright business ideas that he never takes to fruition. He's eternally devoted to Abhi and Amu. His crazy streak is evident in many touches like the huge dollar note with his face that he's hung on the ceiling. Kartika is the glib-talker who's also loads of fun when she isn't making vile plans to fleece her prey.

One day as the three are in their regular haunt -- their childhood tree house -- Paglu realises that instead of the good-for-nothing women Abhi ends up dating, there can't be a better mate for him than Amu. He convinces Amu to think about Abhi and they believe that Abhi too is reciprocating as he mentions a brand new love. But he has actually fallen for Kartika (Rimmi Sen) whom he met at a charity function. He falls for her beauty and the fact that their interests are identical.

Turns out it's a bit like the Betty-Veronica tussle and a race to who'll finally get Abhi. Amu in true Bettyesque flavour does everything from dressing sexy to cooking a nice lunch to lure Abhi, but he's completely into Kartika. Then it's full-on war and the film takes us through a riot comprising an unplanned kidnapping, a trip to the Alcoholics Support Group, and an introduction to Kartika's dysfunctional (and very interesting) family. Only respite is that here, thankfully, no one's entirely a black or white character.

The humour in the film is omnipresent and not loud and crass like other comedies of late. Witty dialogues and extraordinary circumstances make you laugh throughout. Technically, the film is a winner. The cinematography is effective. The background score is interesting.

Screenplay by Abbas Tyrewala masterfully incorporates the fluff and the slightly darker touches making for a genuinely funny, interesting and contemporary love story. Superb songs by Vishal-Shekhar are full of interesting compositions, excellent arrangements and fresh lyrics (Vishal Dadlani, Abbas Tyrewala).

Aftab Shivadasani, who had disappeared from the scene for a while, is back and it's great to see the talented actor dig into the role with come-back vigour. Riteish Deshmukh is excellent in the comic scenes and the film largely works due to his endearing screen presence and his range.

Ayesha Takia is effervescent and immensely likeable, doing well in both the comic and the emotional portions. Rimmi Sen revels in the meaty role and gives a very entertaining performance. Anupam Kher is adorable as Abhi's dad whose pet dog Jhumroo won't listen to him and he spends his time trying to train the defiant pooch.

Director E Niwas focuses on the story in a linear fashion, avoiding too many sub-pots and does away with shrieking melodrama completely.

De Taali is not a sloppy love story so you won't be needing the handkerchief; it's more a fun ride with a breezy story and superb performances that'll have you smile as the end credits roll with the title song playing.

Verdict: Two-and-a-half stars

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