It is quite easy to dismiss Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD) as a #firstworldproblems film – whilst there is no doubt that the Mehras are stinking rich (and have suitable designer wardrobes to match), their wealth cannot mask the dysfunctional streak that runs rampant in their family and social group and as much as they struggle to maintain some semblance of unity in public, it is an entirely different story in private. The script does well in managing its ensemble cast and the slick production values clearly help the story to focus on the world of the Mehras.
Perhaps the only bum note for me were the songs which I felt hampered the narrative flow and felt out of place – like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, I wish the songs had made for background tracks rather than lip synced songs. Also, DDD takes time to get started which in one way establishes the Mehra cosmos nicely but then I did feel a bit of trimming here and there would have made for a stronger and streamlined film.
Performance wise, all the cast are on their A-game. Kapoor brings Kamal Mehra to life with a hot headedness whilst Singh has a lot of fun as Kabir and entertains in one of his best roles yet. Sharma is great too giving Farah a bohemian vibe of sorts whilst Akhtar and Bose also give good accounts of themselves. It was Chopra and Shah who had my attention throughout – Chopra inhabits Ayesha and forges a strong emotional connect with the audience whilst Shah is quietly understated but makes a great impact through doing little (easier said than done).
DDD is by no means perfect and for many, will appear indulgent and slow-paced. However, these were factors that made the film appealing for me – I like that we get to know the characters and how all their actions in a small group have such life altering consequences (such as Ayesha staying on the pill so as not to conceive). The progressive tone of the film is also noteworthy; for some it may feel like paying lip service but I liked how Akhtar and Kagti weaved these themes into the film. All in all, DDD is a good film that is thoughtfully made and that takes its own advice – worth a watch!