We have seen this type of film before in Bollywood. Indeed, neither Eros International nor Illuminati Films is reinventing the wheel with its release of Cocktail. The freshest element of the film is the solid debut of Diana Penty, who demonstrated she could hold her own with Hindi cinema’s biggest names. Its two week box office run will barely compete, even if at all, with last week’s release of Bol Bachchan (Ajay Devgn, Abhishek Bachchan). Predictable plot, standard love triangle, expected ending, Cocktail is your everyday assembly line production released to the theatergoing masses. So what makes this film, which stars Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia, and Randeep Hooda, even remotely worth watching? With a bit of a shrug, the Homi Adajania helmed production is sheer entertainment, with loads of good laughs, a love story that is easy to root for, and likeable characters.
For those of you who have already seen Cocktail, odds are you have that strong feeling you have seen this movie before. Mujhse Dosta Karoge, anyone? Instead of Hrithik Roshan instigating a vicious love triangle between Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor, it is Ms. Padukone portraying the most alpha of characters in Cocktail. By film’s end, it is Ms. Padukone’s character, Veronica D’Costa, who must either maintain her selfish ways or make the ultimate sacrifice for people she claims to truly care for.
Those two people are Gautam Kapoor (Mr. Khan) and Meera Gupta (Ms. Penty). It is obvious from the moment Gautam innocently flirts with Meera at a London airport pre-opening credits that these same two people will be romantically connected just in time for the end credits to roll. Just the same, the journey these two lovebirds embark upon is nothing spectacular. Cocktail wastes no time setting up its love triangle, with Gautam and Veronica hook up with each other after a steamy interaction at a local night club. The following morning, Meera, who stays with Veronica, sees Gautam eating popcorn on the living room couch.
Meera expresses her utter disregard for Gautam, thinking he treats women like sexual objects and is a “leach.” Of course, we know she will have a change of heart. Then again, the point of Cockail is not to hide the ball from the audience. Instead, it is an innocent entertainer of a man caught between two women, the first being the one he was physically attracted to, the second as the one he determines to be the soul mate he could not live without.
As this simple and projected love story plays out, Cocktail has no shortage of hilarity and good laughs. An early scene in a restaurant where Gautam and Veronica meet for the first time is a memorable laugh-out-loud moment. The comedy of Gautam’s uncle Randhir (Mr. Irani) describing his nephew’s non-existent girlfriend to Gautam’s mother in Delhi is sure to make your belly ache. The story, though simple, is well paced. The comedy perfectly timed to bring the right amount of laughter when it is needed most.
The actors are not too shabby, either. Mr. Khan is his charming self as Gautam. It is easy to see female audiences being mesmerized by his personality. Ms. Padukone is sexy and vivacious as the popular night-clubber Veronica. Veronica’s sex appeal makes her quite palatable for the male members of the audience. Holding her own as Bollywood’s newest face is Ms. Penty, who is not only has a strong screen presence but is also one who easily connects with the audience. She is that girl next door many a men yearn for.
Mr. Irani is utterly hilarious as the favorite uncle everyone wishes he or she had.
Visually, the most striking scenes take place in the nightclub, where strobe lights and multiple quick cuts allow for Ms. Padukone to appear sultry and dominating on screen. The film’s music is properly directed Pritam and Salim-Suleiman, with each song properly scored to fit the mood of its matching scene. The first half develops rather nicely, and though the second half slows down a tad, the film is ultimately about as long as it should be. (Sans dance sequences, Cocktail would be about as long as any Hollywood Rom-Com).
All in all, Cocktail is an innocent film that makes for a fun date night at the multiplex or, when available on DVD and BluRay, a solid pastime for that one evening you want to spend at home and just unwind to an entertaining Bollywood film.
Now playing at theaters and multiplexes worldwide, Buzzine Bollywood recommends Cocktail for its comedy, music, and solid acting performance.
Reasons to like: Diana Penty, Comedy, Solid Overall Acting
Fans will also like: Mujhse Dosta Karoge, Hum Tum