July 14, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Deepika Padukone had always chosen urban love stories, though her characters moved between slightly conservative, very balanced or extremely wild, she had always been home with them. Her growth as an actor from Om Shanti Om has been incredible and with Cocktail, in a neck to neck performance with Saif Ali Khan she had practically stolen the show from him right from his nose. She proves that to be an actor of calibre one doesn't have to play prostitute, one can show simple feelings of friendship, love being exploited and while traversing a familiar path allows the audience to empathise and feel for her character.
While there is a goody goody coy Betty type, there is a wild, open-hearted Veronica and the latter breezes through your hearts from the opening scene to the last, forces you to love her free spirit. She crumbles like a woman in a weak situation in clichéd stories but strikes back to show towards the finale that she is the best even while losing in a relationship, that she is a winner in character and absolves herself of guilt.
Love stories have come of age, no longer does a man sleeping with a woman is an issue in a relationship, it is the sharing of heart that matters. Director Homi Adjani treats the three characters with kid gloves not allowing any hypocrisy in treatment. There is a scene when Veronica is drunk and Gautam, Meera bring her home; On the way Veronica blurts out her feelings and Gautam questions Meera if Veronica in her stupor said something that has offended her and Meera replies no. No one ever wants to hurt each other but there is a sense of longing to be with the loved.
This is a familiar scene but simple and plain, nice dialogues, Veroinca brings in Meera to share her flat when she is in trouble and tells her to hang on even while Gautam moves into her room, "Gautams like this will come and go but what I need is a best friend like you," and by the end of the film she says, "Many people have used me but none used me like you did." The accident is predictable and the last few scenes too, even in such deja vu situations, Deepika grabs the importance with a slightly mellowed attitude, one obviously can't be gregarious and show all is fine.
Her attempts and awkwardness to be normal is there for all to see. Saif looks a bit aged in the company of the women but its fine, Deepika and Diana are no teenagers too, he covers it up with his racy, comical act. Boman Irani's versatality is indisputable, here he is hilarious and Dimple is elegant in her role as a mother flummoxed seeing her son do a weird, kinky act. Diana Penty is sweet and is very apt for the role but a little more polishing in her work could have lent more credibility and beauty to her role.
Tumhi ho bandhu number rocks, and this is one movie where performances grab your attention so much that you think little of the story and how it ends. See the film for Deepika and you will fall in love with her. Lovely cinematography, spot on dialogues. This Cocktail of different people and their feelings is sure to give you a high. Take a bow Deepika for just being the character and the effortless acting.