The JoinUs4Cocktail invite by the Illuminati Films (our favorite Saif Ali Khan’s Home production) was hard to ignore. So we (Bhuwan, Harsha & Self) found ourselves at a PVR near us in anticipation of an intoxicating fun treat this Saturday evening.There were no disappointments & this heady mix served crisply by director Homi Adajania lived upto its name.
This breezy RomCom is the story of Gautam, played with elan & verve by Saif Ali, an incorrigible flirt ready to serve on a platter his heart & tool to every PYT (both desi & firang) in London. His life crosses path with poor little lonely rich-bitch Veronica (Deepika Padukone) who has been entwined by fate with Meera (played by debutante Diana Penty), the newly arrived bride from New Delhi & the victim of a hoax marriage let in the lurch in the backstreets of London by hubby Kunal (Randeep Hooda). Meera & Veronica have become best of buddies in a relationship of shared empathy. Soon they are joined by Gautam, enticed by the charms of sexy & wild Veronica at her invite of a live in. The three start a friends-in-fun-and-fervour-staying-under-one-roof life together. With Gautam & Veronica having a no strings attached agreement, Meera provides the perfect foil as the caring friend looking after them & the household, sort of a housewife with benefits (or ‘without’, depending on how you look at it!). Life is a roller coaster fun-ride for them all at this point. Destiny, however, arriving in the garb of Dimple Kapadia (playing Gautam’s desi mom from New Delhi aiming anxiously to help her son tie the nuptial knot) has arranged for a shift of benefits from Veronica to Meera as Gautam & his equally philandering mamu (Boman Irani at his usual comic best) are forced to mislead mommy Dimple into believing that traditional & sedate Meera, rather than Veronica is the love of his life. A more than sporty Veronica plays along for the sake of friends until, on the shifting sands of time, relationships start becoming murky & love confusing to them all.
What follows is a tale that, after initially seeming to meander when it could have gone many, which ways is finally brought to a heartwarming finale (to all Desis for sure) in which Randeep Hooda’s character resurfaces to play a short but significant role.
The movie, despite being a part successor to the themes of Hum Tum & Love Aaj Kal, has plenty of freshness to it. Co-writer Imtiaz Ali (of Jab We Met & Love Aaj Kal fame) has helped with a script that goes minimalistic on melodrama & is high on fun-n-fizz. Fun dialogues like ‘Everything that’s in the house is on the house’ by the rich-bitch Veronica showing friendly largesse of heart to Meera, ‘Tum lonely ho aur main characterless’ by the ever-errant Gautam trying to explain away his indiscretions to Meera and Boman Irani’s desperate mime to get scantily clad, barelegged Veronica ( in nothing else but a Gents shirt with hints of a missing panty, in stark contrast to Diana’s conservative character who is true to her name & sticks to her Penty) to respectfully cover her legs for a troubled & watching prospective mom-in-law in Dimple take the humour quotient to a high level! Pritam’s musical score is peppy & soulful, adding hugely to the fizz of cocktail. Angreji Beat & Tumhi Ho Bandhu Sakha Tumhi Ho look poised to become nation’s dance anthems of the season.
In the end, cocktail is a cock-y & fun, mock-tale of love, told well as we Desis like it, whether in London or New Delhi. And although our Desi samaj may not yet be ready for a no-strings-attached Awesome Threesome friends-with-benefits treatment to a triangular love tale, the end credits song “Second Hand Jawani” redeems the ennui of a predictable, mushy outcome with a pointer to what we can yet be (given that we are the erstwhile land of Kamasutra & Vatsyayana) in a fun-frolic way! The lyrical expression of ‘teri band jawaani’ making room partly for ‘teri bhen jawani’ in the song is quite indicative of ‘teri bhen’ fast becoming the metaphor of Bindaas India since the times of Comedy Circus!