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COCKTAIL - Yet another fake from Bollywpopd factory

Homi Adajania joins the illustrious list of numerous Bollywood filmfakers. COCKTAIL is a fake of VICKY, CRISTINA, BARCELONA, a 2008 Woody Allen film starring Rebecca Hall (Diana Penty), Scarlett Johansson (Deepika Padukone) and Javier Bardem (Saif Ali Khan). The fake entertains you somewhat in the first half with two long legged Indian beauties showing their ultra-liberal attitudes, fooling around with a prancing, preening, motor-mouth cock, a dud stud and jokester, played by the latest Nawab of Pataudi who lives his long cherished dream of doing a Javier Bardem act 'oozing with sensuality and sexuality' with very little success.

The film is set in London. Advertising executive Gautam Kapoor (Saif Ali Khan) is a funny libidinous guy who unabashedly chases every available girl in streets, airports, offices, pubs, and airplanes. Meera Gupta (Diana Penty) arrives in London looking for her runaway husband Kunal Ahuja (Randeep Hooda), searches for him with no address but a photograph, and finds him within a few hours, meets him, and gets dumped in an instant. The hapless untouched Indian bride meets ultra liberal party girl Veronica D'Costa (Deepika Padukone) in the toilet of a beauty shop and develops an instant bond and finds free room and board with her. Next day while the girls visit a restaurant, Meera sees Gautam and recognizes him as the guy who tried to flirt with her at the airport. Veronica avenges the insult by play-acting as Gautam's 'bunny-in-her-tummy' girl friend and embarrassing him in front of his clients. Gautam is impressed and when they meet again in a pub they immediately come together and thus a threesome is formed and a most predictable story of romance and heartbreak begins and keeps playing in a loop before fizzling out in a tame and extremely boring denouement.

The first half of the film will keep you engaged as you will enjoy Anil Mehta's photography, Bosco-Caesar's lively and natural choreography, Deepika's ultra-liberal act and sundry shenanigans, and a few other funny gags complimented by competent performances by Dimple Kapadia (Gautam's mother) and Boman Irani (Gautam's maternal uncle). It is like a 'bakra' being prepared for a 'bakari-eid' sacrifice.

Post-interval, as you sit with your corn, coke, and coffee in your cushy multiplex seat, hoping to have some more fun time with the hotties, the painful process of 'halal' begins. It keeps getting worse with every passing minute. Pritam's mournful 'dukhbhare' dirges complete the sacrificial act. I have a feeling that many will find it difficult to sit through the second half of the film, even with closed eyes and ears.

The film has had a great box office opening, just like AGENT VINOD. However, its survival post the opening weekend will be tough. The 'halal' murder of the audience by the filmmakers will get its just dessert in a box office 'jhatka'. This will be a second debacle in a row for Khan Saab, and a major setback for the film's helmer Homi Adjania. He should have worked harder on his adaptation of VCB, and added new cinematic dimensions to the old tale instead of devoting all his energies in replicating Hollywood shot compositions and color tones.

RKS 'Anaam'