Language : Hindi.
Director : Zoya Akhtar.
Writers : Zoya Akhtar (story and screenplay), Reema Kagti (story and screenplay), Javed Akhtar (dialogue: Pluto Mehra).
Cast : Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, Vikrant Massey.
Genre : Hindi.
Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) translated into “let the heart beat” is as aptly titled as films come and go. Probably the weakest among Zoya Akthar’s filmography and for many reasons. But I have to got to say the heart of the film is in the right place and you should probably watch this amazing film with your family and judge it yourself before taking the opinion of others. It definitely deserves a watch if you cherish your family and other relationships in your life. Zoya Akthar does a resplendent job in the film portraying characters and the complex relationships they all have with each other, going one way publicly in front of society, then while removing their masks in front of the mirror and in front of their loved ones.
Also, Zoya Akthar’s choice of the narrator will blow your mind, she chose the dog Pluto Mehta (a bullmastiff) as the narrator voiced by none other than Aamir Khan. I just knew about Aamir Khan’s role, when I started preparing for this review. The movie is in the POV (point of view) of Pluto, and how he compares dogs, their simplicity with humans and their complexities, their layers, their actions, a wonderful feeling called love and the structure it brings to our lives via family. It goes even more philosophical subtly, discussing how our actions have consequences and how we should be ready to take responsibility for them. Apart from being a masterful storyteller, the various problems faced by a rich business class family is beautifully portrayed in the movie by Zoya. Being filthy rich and privileged doesn’t mean these characters are not human, they just have different problems from the characters we usually see in movies.
The movie slowly tackles various important issues like the shackles placed on women in the family and in business and in various parts of India to much horrifying degrees (even in places where you don’t expect it), the cultural and generational differences between the Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y and much more. If you listen closely to this film, you might learn a few lessons about life that would help you make better decisions. I recommend this amazing ensemble with amazing performances from Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar, Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, and Vikrant Massey. Not a single person disappoints. Special mention to Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah who remind us of our parents in one way or another be it their mistakes, love for their children, their sacrifices or their nonstop interferences to give the best of what life has to offer to their children. You wouldn’t even mind the long runtime of the film 2hr 53 minutes because of the emotional rollercoaster it takes you on, but it could have been better if the runtime was shortened.
This movie will give you a mirror and definitely show you places where you can improve upon only if you look closely and encourages you to go after what your heart beats for. If not, what’s the point?
Verdict: 6/7 stars.
Kareena Kapoor declined a role after her cousin Ranbir Kapoor, whom she was keen to work with, was replaced by Ranveer Singh. Priyanka Chopra Jonas replaced Kareena Kapoor in the role of Ayesha.
Although the story & script was primarily written by Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, and Reema Kagti; Javed Akhtar (father of Farhan and Zoya, and half of the famed Salim-Javed writing duo) was asked to write all the dialogue for the dog/narrator Pluto Mehra. Javed also provided the voice of the dog for the rough cut of the film, before Aamir Khan recorded the voice-over heard in the final film.
The original cast consisted of Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor.
Aamir Khan voices the Dog, Pluto Mehra. This is the first time in Bollywood a dog is the narrator of a movie.
This is the first time Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra Jonas are acting opposite each other. Chopra previously acted under Akhtar’s direction in the movies Don (2006) and Don 2 (2011).