MUMBAI: Take a base of Archie, Betty and Veronica in
their innocent (not so innocent here) early days, mix
it with age-old 1960s films where the hero eventually
falls for the girl embodying the Indian values and add
a twist in the form of the other girl falling for him
too. That is why this film, with London as its background,
is called Cocktail; it is a combination of emotions,
but a well-mixed and mostly enjoyable one.
Dinesh Vijan, Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Lulla.
Director: Homi Adajania.
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone,
Diana Penty, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia, Randeep
Archie Andrews, Saif Ali Khan, meets Veronica, Deepika
Padukone (which is her characters name too). She
is fun-loving and rich; her idea of fun loving being
to accommodate any guy who will be nice
to her for a few days, a week or a month,
according to her own definition.
Diana Penty has been done in by one of those dowry-seeking
NRIs, Randeep Hooda. He came to Delhi to marry her for
money, went back to vilayat and forgot all about her.
She landed up to spring a surprise on him but he was
not the kind who wanted her to pile on to him. His justification
is that it was a fair deal: he needed money and Diana
Penty, an orphan under the guardianship of her aunt,
wanted to be in UK.
Stranded in a foreign land with nowhere to go and no
contacts, Penty is spotted by Deepika Padukone, a couldnt-care-less
type whose parents have been too occupied with their
own lives to remember her existence. This Veronica has
a humane angle too; she may look full of life but thanks
to the emptiness within, seeks the opportunity for a
companion. She picks up the damsel in distress, takes
her home and they forge a bond of friendship. Both complement
each other as Penty turns Deepikas house into
home and Deepika, in turn, teaches her how to dress
trendily and to enjoy life. That is when Saif Ali Khan
enters their lives.
Saif Ali Khan is a compulsive flirt and anything in
a skirt is good enough for him to flirt with. He tried
his lines on Penty at the airport as soon as she landed
in London but failed to get anywhere. So Deepika decides
to pay him back in his own coin when they spot him with
his associates at a restaurant; she gatecrashes their
party and uses the same cheesy lines he used on Penty,
claiming to be his pregnant wife. The incident adds
a third angle to Deepika-Penty equation as Saif charms
Deepika enough to move in with the duo and into Deepikas
bedroom. Both are convinced that it is a temporary affair
like earlier ones. But Penty is uneasy because she cant
stand Saif and is not used to the idea of temporary
As Deepika initiates simple Penty into London life,
the three of them pack in all the fun they can together.
This is the fun part of Cocktail. Boman Irani adds his
bit every time he is on screen, playing Saifs
mama who has made tall claims about Deepika to Saifs
mother, Dimple Kapadia. She is keen to marry off Saif
to a nice, demure girl. Boman has told Dimple that Deepika
is all that she wants for Saifs wife. But Dimple
drops in to London to meet Saifs choice at the
most inopportune time: Saif is dressed by Deepika in
a see-through dress, lipstick and the rest. He is dancing
as Penty is shooting a video when Dimple enters the
It is time to introduce his choice of wife to Dimple
and instinctively, Saif introduces Penty as the girl.
Deepika, in her tail shirt and panties, is not really
dressed for the occasion. But now the fun and games
are over as the story turns into one of love triangles
hereafter. She was always around but Saif really notices
Penty now and love happens. After all, with Deepika
it was meant to be only an arrangement sans romance.
Things become mushy as Saif now loves Penty, Deepika
realises she actually loves Saif and it is melodrama
Cocktail, a joyride in the first part, becomes dull
after the interval. The scenes look stretched and almost
sink the film when, towards the end, it makes up with
a plausible and justifying finish. Love triumphs and
friendship survives. What works for Cocktail is its
no-holds-barred youth appeal. It is not pretentious
in projecting love and relationships as they are defined
now. The casting is intelligent as is choosing London
as the backdrop. Music, which plays a huge part in any
romantic film working, plays its part here. The songs
are appealing and well choreographed; Yaariyan
are among the better ones while Tumi ho
bandhu promises to be popular on caller tunes circuit.
Dialogue is funny where needed.
Performances are generally good since all the actors
play what they are good at and are close to their real
selves. However, Deepika tops the list with an impressive
act throughout; Cocktail is her film all the way. Diana
Penty adds freshness and is comfortable in her role.
Saif Ali Khan has done such roles before and mastered
them by now, so he breezes through. Boman Irani is very
good and so is Dimple Kapadia in a brief role. Director
Homi Adajania generally handles this love triangle well,
only losing grip for a while in the second half, but
otherwise blending its ingredients ably.
Cocktail is aimed at the multiplexes-going youth and
will be lapped up by them. The films opening response
is heartening at multiplexes.