Review: Dil Kabaddi (2008)

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Soha Ali Khan, Rahul Bose, Konkona Sen, Rahul Khanna and Payal Rohatgi

Director: Anil Senior

Rating: 3 out of 5

DINK (Double Income No Kids) uptown couple – Samit (Irrfan) and his control freak wife Mita (Soha) are bored of their stagnant married life. Mita desperately longs for a sensitive, level-headed partner but fun-loving Samit craves for a naughtier and more adventurous sex life. Samit finds a perfect sex goddess in his hot, aerobics instructor Kaya (Payal) and even moves in with her to experience some real action. The couple’s mutual separation prompts the seemingly perfect couple Rishi (Bose) and Simi (Konkona) to take a re-look at their marriage. They too end up realizing that there is nothing called a ‘perfect relationship’. Rishi, a pseudo intellectual professor, secretly fantasises about his young, attractive student Raga, while she too seems to be falling over for him. Whereas the over critical columnist Simi has some secret sexual desires of her own that she never quite confronts. Just at the same time, Simi encounters handsome art director Veer (Rahul Khanna), also recovering from a broken relationship and ends up falling for him. But Veer on the other hand falls for the lonely Mita. All this love vs. lust dilemma ends up complicating things further which leads the couples to analyse their priorities.

With the entire premise copied from Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives, Dil Kabaddi fits in and is quiet identifiable for uptown couple’s in the Indian metros. The whole infidelity angle will somehow not be accepted by small town crowds. In metros people somehow have started getting into the mindset that infidelity in marriages is somewhat taken for granted in today’s time. While the film stays away from being preachy and judgemental about certain taboo things and talks, the final impact is just about okay. Without taking itself and its characters seriously, the film keeps chugging along despite a non-existent story line. In a way it tries to incorporate the same kind of humour derived from characters talking into the camera as if having a conversation with their audience just like Pyar Ke Side Effects.

Irrfan is the life of the movie and though his role somewhere appears very similar to Life In A Metro, he stands out amongst the huge crowd of actors. Rahul Bose too after a spate of flops and bad performances is back in his element and is in top form. Soha Ali Khan doesn’t look one bit uncomfortable in a role that goes completely against her image. Konkona is average though. Rahul Khanna appears too stiff and ends up being the odd man out. Newcomer Saba Azad is a complete natural. Payal does a lot of skin display but fails to act and ends up shrieking throughout the movie!

Apart from some really good performances the film’s other plusses are its fantastic camera movements, the perfectly in-sync background score, appealing cinematography and some good production values.

Amongst the five films released this week, Dil Kabaddi is the best choice to pick up from if you are left confused. So what are you waiting for, go enjoy this game.

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