The setting is dreamy: a super rich family on an ultra-luxurious cruise trip. Yet, all the luxe and gloss can’t hide the cracks in the relationships. When the trailer of much-awaited Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD), directed by Zoya Akhtar, played out on a big screen, Mumbai’s Lightbox theatre, for the first time on Wednesday evening, it was impossible not to be overwhelmed by its sheer scale. The top-view of the cruise line with expansive ocean as the backdrop, stunning foreign locales and beautiful people in their stylish best make for compelling visuals. But scratch the surface, and you find a dysfunctional family trying hard to act normal to the world.
Let’s talk about the last scene of the trailer first. An agitated Ranveer Singh (Kabir Mehra) questions his family members — father Anil Kapoor (Kamal Mehra), mother Shefalee Shah (Neelam Shah) and sister Priyanka Chopra — why they always talk about superficial things and never address the real issues? Irritated with him, when Shefali Shah asks him to spell out what he wants to discuss, an awkward silence follows. Bewildered, they look at each other. Even Singh, who was raving and yelling his lungs out seconds ago, he seems at a loss. This moment sums up the story that writer-director Zoya Akhtar is trying tell in her forthcoming movie.
In less than 3 minutes, the audience gets to know the relationship problems dogging the family.
Rewind. The trailer opens with a ship gliding through the ocean. Father Kapoor’s question to Kabir regarding a possible match with Noorie is met with chuckles. Even though the parents are keen, neither Singh not the girl seem interested in each other. Yet, the moment his Daddy dangles the bait of an airplane, presumably the super expensive ones that the rich and the famous acquire to pamper their whims, Singh clams up. The other problem threatening to ruin the family’s peace is the daughter’s impending divorce. Adding to the drama is the return of daughter’s old boyfriend Farhan Akhtar (Sunny) from the US. Sunny is armed with a camera and not-so-honourable intention. Expect the equations and equilibrium of the family change as they go on a 10-day cruise to celebrate the Mehras’ 30th wedding anniversary. Primary among those unexpected occurrences is Kabir’s encounter with Anushka Sharma (Farah) and the love that blooms.
Though the trailer gives the impression that DDD is a straight narrative of a dysfunctional family, we have to wait an watch if Zoya is holding some interesting cards up her sleeve. After all, this is just the first promo launch. With the movie slated for a June 5 release, the campaign is likely to build up in the coming weeks.
The dialogues of DDD are crisp and the one-liners carry a punch. Zoya teams up with Reema Kagti once again to write the story and screenplay. This successful team will, hopefully, repeat the magic they had created in Luck By Chance (2009) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011).
Zoya’s directorial debut Luck By Chance held a mirror to the hypocritical world of showbiz. She followed it up by Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara — with the fun-filled yet soulful tale of friendship and love, filmed in Europe’s exotic locales. As her third full-length feature readies for release, it would be interesting to watch if she would take the story beyond the glamed-up trailer to reveal the ugly realities that families are grappling with while painting a perfect image of happiness.