From a stark psycho thriller Being Cyrus almost six years ago, filmmaker Homi Adjania is back after a long hiatus with a heady frothy concoction Cocktail. Trying his hands at menage a trios of love and friendship, the filmmaker tries to give a very fresh take to the cliched love triangle. Whether it actually works with the audience or not remains to be seen.
Based in UK, Veronica (Deepika Padukone) is a brazen, rich-bitch who bails out Meera (Diana Penty) an earthy, coy girl from a hoax marriage and gives refuge in her house. Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) is a flirt who strikes an instant chord with Veronica and ends up living in with her. The three together make for a breezy friendship, sing multiple songs like Daaru Desi, Tumhi Ho Bandhu so on and so forth. However, it all gets messed up with cupid strikes and Gautam falls for Meera while Veronica falls for Gautam. What happens to this cocktail of love and friendship follows through the rest of the plot.
Cocktail has the Imtiaz Ali stamp all over the first half of it. Written by the talented filmmaker and writer, the first half of the film, despite having very random sequence strikes an instant chord with the masses purely for its breezy approach. What works most for the audience is the effortless easy going acting by all the three characters in the film interspersed with some witty one liners, light-heartedness and a very new age approach to love and relationships. One can certainly credit Homi Adjania for bringing in a fresh Vicky Christina Barcelona type appeal to this flim.
However, the moment you get into the groove you are pulled back with the curse of the Hindi film cliches. The same old love triangle melodrama strikes back with lovelorn hero, jilted lover, betrayed friend, sad songs, glum situation etc. However, even at that, Homi Adjania's new approach to handling emotional sequences comes out in spurts where certain scenes are very brilliantly handled; specially, the scene between the three when Gautam opens up about his feelings and the sticky situation. Even the dance sequence where Deepika gives into the insanity around her due to her lonesomeness is beautifully shot.
As far as the acting goes, Saif and Deepika almost nail their parts perfectly. While Saif is perfect as a flirt, slightly over the top and reckless person while Deepika as a wasted, bold, bratty woman is just brilliant. Diana Penty on the other hand needs to work on her acting skills as blame it on her character or just her acting, she appears in just one pitiable expression in most of the scenes.
What works as a package best to get a huge chunk flowing into the ticket windows is its packaging and music. Cocktail for a rom-com has the music going perfectly well for with with most of Pritam's tracks turning chartbusters.
To sum it up, Cocktail can make for a decent time-pass watch if you have the capacity to digest the cliched melodrama.