CINEMA PLUS

Some great moments

mostly memorable Dasvidaniya

mostly memorable Dasvidaniya  

The tragedy about Dasvidaniya is that though it is a collection of great touching moments with a fantastic Vinay Pathak in yet another memorable role (probably a career best), as a whole it falls short of becoming an immortal classic. That’s because Dasvidaniya chooses to cater to a larger audience, by being shamelessly manipulative, milking every bit of sentiment.

Here’s the ‘List of Things to Do’ writer Arshad Syed and director Shashant Shah came up with to make this movie as general as possible, as savvy as it could get for the lowest common denominator, deriving quite a bit from Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

1. It’s ‘All In The Name Hypothesis’. Call him Amar. It’s cult and ironic. Poetic for a man who’s dying. Cast the lovable Vinay Pathak in a role that’s been tried, tested and known to be effective by even less talented actors such as Jimmy Shergill. If Jimmy could move you to tears in Munnabhai, imagine what Vinay can.

2. ‘The Bad Boss Factor’. If Amar had an evil boss who did nothing but eat and gave unreasonable deadlines even when he’s on his death-bed, it gives a chance for a conformist to put his feet down and rebel. People like to see the common man take on the system.

3. ‘The Great Indian Middle Class Aspiration’. To buy a car and become upwardly mobile and hope that this would entirely change your life. But does it really? Pack that angst into the film.

4. ‘The Unrequited Love Syndrome’. Which is more effective if Amar has been in love since his school days. If a full-grown man like Vinay could extract sympathy, imagine what a chubby little boy can do. Borrow that climax scene from Castaway. Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) goes to meet the love of his life to find out she is married and has a kid, walks out in the rain as the camera stays on him long enough inside the car to move us to tears. Add a little Hindi film melodrama there (Read Kuch Kuch Hota Hai). Like a dumb charades game to profess his love. Vinay Pathak could be quite a killer here. (And he is!)

5. ‘The Escape Methodology’: What do you do when you reach a dead end? In a Hindi film, you take a flight to a foreign location for a little song and dance. It’s there in every common man’s list of things to do. To go to a place he’s never gone before.

6. ‘The Dost Dost Na Raha Paradigm’: What if you flew miles to meet your childhood friend and you are misunderstood. This has to be an equation where you have always shared everything with him and insisted he had the bigger piece.

7. ‘The Devdas Effect’: What if Chandramukhi was a Russian hooker who didn’t speak his language? What could be more bitter-sweet than to find love just when your life is about to end? Heart-choking, huh?

8. ‘The Deewar Polarisation’: Have one successful brother who has everything but Maa, a contrast to Amar, the other dutiful son with nothing else but his mom and cancer and list of things to do. To make sure people get the tribute, throw it in casually with Suresh Menon doing a spoof.

9. ‘The Maa-melodrama Staple’: It’s most exploited if Maa also has some sort of a disability. Have a montage that underlines the mother-son bond having Amar sing ‘Mumma’. We know how ‘Maa’ songs work, especially after Taare Zameen Par.

10. ‘The Immortality Paradox’. Everyone wants to be famous even if it’s just for a day. And the obituary space is as far they get. Not too many people get to plan their funeral. Make Amar the exception. Now, that’s poignant.

Dasvidaniya

Genre: Drama

Director: Shashant Shah

Cast: Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey, Saurabh Shukla

Storyline: On discovering he has stomach cancer, an ordinary man makes a list of things to do before he dies.Bottomline: Half a classic

SUDHISH KAMATH

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