Movie Review: Cocktail
Two girls Veronica, Meera (Deepika, Diana) barely meet in the middle of the night at the toilet of a coffeeshop. One’s drunk. The other's depressed. The very next minute, drunk girl takes 'damsel in depression' home. “Suno (Listen),” says the ‘Sati Savitri’ Meera at the kitchen right after, “Tumne kuch khaya bhi nahin. Mein banaoo? (You haven’t eaten anything. Should I cook something for you?)” Despite a rather hectic nightlife, vivacious Veronica has no other friends. Meera becomes her best buddy, flat-mate and pretty much the life partner.
Next night, she picks up another gent Gautam (Saif) from a discotheque. And before you can say, “Are you serious?” she’s sharing her house keys and toothbrush with him. Gautam's a player, with a roving eye, but is suddenly interested in no one else. This is supposedly a romance. You know the characters. So you know where the problem is going to lie. It’s going to be the Hindi film love triangle. Except with two girls and a guy.
Here’s the scenario then. He loves her. And she is already single. The third one in the triangle could take a hike for all we care. But you don’t care about any of the three. Or who ends up with whom. Neither do the filmmakers, given how flimsily these characters have been placed before us in the first place. There’s still a whole huge-budget picture to sit through.
Budgets are often inversely proportional to content in Bollywood. This is a good case in point. The director of this film’s debut Being Cyrus (2005) was a low-budget gem. The producers must step in here to give this movie scale, since there isn’t much of a story. The fabulous Imtiaz Ali (Rockstar, Jab We Met) is roped in, I suppose, for the catty, chaste Hindi dialogues, which can be funny sometimes. Popular Pritam has scored the music: “Tumhi Ho Bandhu” is already a hit. Alif Lohar’s super song “Jugni” has been added to the soundtrack from Pakistan’s Coke Studio. For scenic location outside London, the crew heads to Cape Town in South Africa.
This is where Gautam’s psycho mother (Dimple Kapadia) finds her son kissing the other girl Veronica on the beach. He’s supposed to be with Meera. The hero turns this into a situation where he’s giving her mouth-to-mouth respiration. It’s a hilarious scene. You laugh, and wish the rest of the soppy, unnecessarily serious film held the same tone.
You feel worse for Saif aged 43. It's hard to tell how every woman he meets in the movie gets turned on by his random charms. The world is his playground. He still makes it seem vaguely convincing. Here’s a big league actor at the top of his form. Look at his recent films: Agent Vinod, Aarakshan, Kurbaan. Forget those films. Just check out his performances. He could do with much better movies. Surely. Seriously.