Bollywood’s ability to convince the junta that “Hamari film hat ke hai”, is something that never ceases to amuse me. Friday after Friday, the same inane, formulaic plots are rehashed, repackaged, re-released and yet somehow, the audiences rarely seem to spot this. The same can be said for Dil Kabaddi. At face value, this may seem like a very ‘forward thinking’ sex comedy, but if you just take a moment to ask yourself whether you’ve ever seen a multi-star,sex-comedy about polygamous middle-aged couples before, it becomes all too clear that the ‘Hat Ke’ technique has been put to use once again. True, Dil Kabaddi has a slightly meatier script than it’s counterparts such as Masti and No Entry, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better movie.
The movie begins with a cringe-worthy argument between Mita (Soha Ali Khan) and Samit (Irrfan Khan),over the lack of sex and romance in their marriage. It is here that one is introduced to the theme of the movie ‘Aaj kal hum karte hi nahi.” Next up, we are introduced to Simi (Konkona Sen-Sharma) and Rishi (Rahul Bose), who also seem to be facing a similar drought in their marriage. And in this way,it becomes strikingly clear within the first few scenes itself, that one is not going to witness anything revolutionary in the next two hours or so.
Precious screen time that should been used in character-development, is instead criminally wasted on juvenile, slapstick humor. As a result, characters who could have evolved beautifully in their own unique ways are never allowed to break out of their pre-determined ‘Friends Character’ pigeon-holes. Mita is a career-driven, cleanliness freak much like Monica, while Samit isn’t too far from Chandler’s clumsiness either. Rishi, the dull, uncool professor who has the hots for a student half his age is obviously Ross and you don’t need to be a rocket-scientist to figure out that Simi, who cant keep her eyes off the hot new guy at work (Rahul Khanna), is Dil Kabaddi’s version of Rachel. What’s worse is that there is absolutely no chemistry between the couples and no camaraderie between the characters. When Payal Rohatgi, as a sleazy, airheaded, desperate for attention aerobics instructor, Kaya, is added to the equation, the movie touches a whole new level of annoyance.
Things however, could have been a whole lot worse had it not been for a standout performance by Irrfan Khan. The man steals the show every time he’s on screen, and was the only reason this reviewer was able to endure this movie. For that alone, I give this movie one star. Add another half star for attempting to use theater techniques such as making the characters talk to the camera and for Saba Azad who convincingly plays, the wild-child Raga. That’s about all this movie deserves.
Consider this a one-time watch if words such as ‘Sports Bra’, ‘Condom’ and ‘G-String’ still make you giggle, otherwise run in the opposite direction if someone offers you a ticket to this one.
Rating: 1½ out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!