Movie Review Dasvidaniya

By Subhash K Jha

Starring Vinay Pathak & Friends
Directed by Shashant Singh
Rating: ***

There's something to be said about this sensitive slice-of-life cinema. And it's this. You really can't keep a good man down.

Returning to the ambit of the dull workingclass protagonist that he almost patented in Bheja Fry Vinay Pathak delivers yet another bravura performance as a man who learns to live only when he learns he has to die.

The premise done to death (pun intended) in films as disparate as Akira Kurosawa's Ikuru and Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand, gets its power and glory from the simple yet never simplistic narrative that grows on you… piece by piece….just as the lessons of life creep up belatedly on our hero Amar Kaul.

With every dying day he lives a little more of that life he leaves behind. Though the film's leisurely pace doesn't quite capture the urgency of the moment, Dusvidaniya scores high point for its sincerity of performance reflected in every performance.

The narrative has been patterned prettily as a pastiche of ten episodes each dealing with a facet of Amar Kaul's life that he would like to retrieve from the archives of angst and claim as his own before he's gone.

The pace often drops to a willowy whisper. The tone gets predominantly stifled. The narration is constantly hushed, never rushed even as the shuffling, procrastinating hero speeds through things in his pending file that he needs done before he's through with life.

The beauty and harmony of life's essential core is obtained in passages of relaxed rumination and casual conversations that show us where we often go wrong in our daily dealings. This is done without wagging a dispproving finger at the audience.

Vinay Pathak gets the sur of the tragic hero's comic escapades just right. He's partly Charlie Chaplin, and partly Robert Benigni. But finally this is an actor who does his own thing. Make no mistake about that.

Helping him in his endeavour are like-minded friends like Rajit Kapur, Neha Dhupia, Ranvir Shorey, Sarita Joshi and Gaurav Gera all pitching in with transparently- sincere performances.

There is not one faked moment in Dasvidaniya. You may feel portions of the film (like the Kailesh Kher number Mumma) are manipulative in their intentions. But that's life. You win some. You lose most of it.

Kudos to Pathak for making another winner out of another incorrigible loser's story.

Golmaal Returns…. again with Sharman Joshi

By now the whole world and its favourite stand-up comedian know that Sharma Joshi who started his career with slapstick and continues to a large extent to be associated with comedies, opted out of the sequel to Golmaal.

Sharman now realizes he made a huge mistake when he opted out.

"Sure I regret it, " says Sharman weeks after Golmaal Returns has been declared a hit. "And not just because the sequel is a success. I hated myself for breaking up the Golmaal team. But it couldn't be helped. My dates were committed elsewhere."

Now Sharman won't miss the third segment of Golmaal. "There's no way I'm going to miss the chance to be in the next Golmaal film. All they've to do is ask. I'd toss aside everything to be in it, " says the talented actor enthusiastically.

There just one bitch of a hitch. For Golmaal Returns Shreyas Talpade has stepped in to Sharman's role.

"And stepped in wonderfully. You've to admit Shreyas is amazing in Golmaal Returns, " says the director Rohit Shetty, fully aware that Sharman is keen to return to the Golmaal family.

"I'm aware that Sharman wants to be back. We missed him in the sequel. In fact there're references to him in Golmaal Returns. Ajay Devgan has Sharman's photograph on his office table.

So yes, I'd love to have Sharman back in the next Golmaal. He didn't opt out for any other reason except a genuine date problem. I can't hold that against him. But I can't ask Shreyas to give the role back to Sharman."

An impasse in the offing? Not quite. Rohit has already found a way out.

"I'm going to write an extra character into Golmaal Part 3. Instead of four boys there will be five. What's the harm in that? That way I lose neither Sharman nor Shreyas. It's very rare to come across such actors.

They're both from distinguished families of actors.Very focused and their comic timing is perfect. I think having them both will make the Golmaal scheme even more of a scream, " says Rohit.

Sharman of course couldn't have asked for more.

"I was genuinely in a fix. Saying no to Golmaal Returns was the most painful decision of my life, " says Sharman