Friday, November 14, 2008

Why Dostana isn't a typical Karan Johar film

Saw Dostana last evening to a packed house. And I still can't believe I watched a Karan Johar (KJ) film within its first weekend. In hindsight, I'm glad I watched it. Dostana isn't your typical KJ film. Here's why...

A KJ film has lots of Rona dhona. K2H2, KANK, K3G...they all had ample rona dhona. Even Kal Ho Na Ho made the tissue-paper boxes fly off shelves.
Dostana is different. There is only some Rona. And no Dhona at all. Thank you Karan.

A KJ film has atleast one long sermon. An unending dialogue usually from an SRK of a BigB with words like zindagi, khushi, maut, shaadi (take your pick) and this will make your mum / girlfriend reach for..what else.. but that box of tissues.
Dostana doesn't have even one sermon! Sahi hai. Picture dekhne aaye hain, lecture sunne nahin.

A KJ film has to have a Kadva chauth scene!
Dostana doesn't! Hooray, now bring on the popcorn. Even in the scene where there's a brief mention of it, you're spared of the tragedy of going through those kadva kadva scenes.

Next. Bridal wear! A KJ film has lots of them! At some points you think its a costume drama directed by Manish Malhotra.
This one doesn't have even ONE bridal wear scene. Yes, the 'supposedly' gay couple's mother does imagine her son in shaadi ka joda, but the duration of such moments is just thoda.

For a KJ film (or even Barjatya film), the whole world is one big marriage. And there are lines floating around like, 'its all about loving your parents, your maid, your driver...'
Dostana spares you the horror of such dimaag ko shots. There is just one corny line somewhere in the film, where things go all slow-motion and all, and they get very huggy-huggy..after saying 'yeh Dostana main nahin bhoolunga' or something like that. Chal theek hai. Director Tarun Mansukhani got emotional. Human, after all.

And tell me, which KJ film opens with a Shilpa Shetty bikini sequence? This one does! And you find John Abraham clicking pictures to glory in the next.. Garam masala anyone?

KJ films are about achieving sammaan, pyaar, ishq, falling in love.
Dostana actually highlights iissues in finding accomodation. Its true, getting a house on rent is actually difficult, unless of course if you bump into the house of a fashion magazine's editor only to find her hardly going to work! Need room? Will pay even at the cost of becoming gay! Gay, gay, gay, gay.. gay er saahibaan, pyaar mein sauda nahin..

Still, some KJ footprints still abound.

Dostana has Farah Khan's trademark dance steps, so you can make out that its a KJ film. (Since Farah dances only for KJ. Not for Gabbar.)

Only a KJ film can come up with lines like "Gabbar was gay, because all he would persistently ask was 'Kitne aadmi the'.

And my bhai-bondhoos from Ulhasnagar just phoned to tell me that the mere fact that Dostana is India's first mainstream-commercial--masala-gay-family entertainer is suggestive that it HAS to be a KJ film. Who else would make such an attempt, that has to fulfil all the above criteria?

Remember Kantaben? Who started making us laugh nervously as we sat with our parents watching those scene in Kal Ho Na Ho? KJ's emotional investments in the minds of our public about gay-giri have been ongoing since then. It moved to award functions.

When SRK-Saif did their gay act at Filmfare Awards Night, and audiences digested it, we knew KJ wasn't thinking straight.

Jo bhi hai, these are thoughts in hindsight.

Dostana is a fun watch, and if you haven't seen it yet, you're not far off the mark to expect that the humour will expand from the Kantaben plank throughout the film. Still, there are enough sequences that will keep you laughing till your stomach and jaws start hurting.

My rating * * * 1/2