Dil Dosti etc Hindi Movie

Feature Film | 2007
Oct 1, 2007 By Subhash K. Jha

One is a cool dude and the other is a rustic who wants to be a student leader. But the twain do meet in writer-director Manish Tiwari's maiden venture "Dil Dosti Etc".

However, one wonders why Tiwari with all his creative and other resources, including authentic locales, in-sync music and credible actors, couldn't come up with a film that compares favourably with other films about college life and coming of age.

Tigmanshu Dhulia's power-driven film "Haasil" on campus politics, Goldie Behl's "Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai" and Farhan Akhtar's "Dil Chahta Hai" seem to be the reference points about youth gone astray in a film that seems to lose it's path in delivering a homily or two on the direction-less generation.

Delhi University and its vicinity are a hotbed of hyper-activities. The campus and other Delhi locales are sought out by the camera with a self-congratulatory flourish. Not once do we get the feeling that this film knows its mind any more than the youngsters whom it tries to take into its grasp.

Tiwari's portrayal of love and politics on the campus ends up being more wheezy than wondrous in its storytelling. Maybe the narrative was being true to character. But both Imaad Shah and Shreyas Talpade portray confused characters with lathered gusto.

Imaad is Naseeruddin Shah's son. No one can call him a chip of the old block...not yet. But he does have a certain psychedelic charm, which unfortunately gets drowned by this week's other debutant Neil Mukesh Mathur's rock-steady performance in "Johny Gaddaar".

There are no hard places in the jaggedly designed plot for the characters to hold on to. Neither the director nor do we come to grips with the uncertainties of the characters.

The ladies don't help either. Smriti Mishra makes a gritty but stereotypical prostitute. Nikita Anand and Isshitta Sharma don't have too much to do either.

"Dil Dosti Etc" is more about the 'etc' than the dil and dosti promised in the title.

Subhash K. Jha