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Home arrow Resources arrow Bollywood arrow De Taali Movie Review
De Taali Movie Review Print E-mail

June 21, 2008
by Nita Jatar Kulkarni


De TaaliDe Taali is directed by E.Niwas whose first film Shool won the National Award for the best Hindi feature film way back in the year 2000. He has continued to direct films but none has made a splash. One wonders whether De Taali (his sixth film) will stir audiences.

The movie, a major portion of it shot in Thailand, begins slowly, but within half an hour or so picks up pace and charms you with its story and humour. But then, as we start to approach the end, the pace begins to falter, and during the last 15 minutes we wonder why we are still sitting in the movie hall and why the movie isn’t over. In fact at least half the audience walked out of the theatre during this time, impatient now that they knew what they had to know and the jokes had ended. Three hours was too long for a movie of this kind.

What is it about?

Del Taali is a comedy and it’s about young people. Paglu (Riteish Deshmukh), Amu (Ayesha Takia) and Abhi (Aftab Shivdasani) are childhood friends and the movie zooms in on their life when they seem to be ready to find true love. So De Taali is a love story as well as a comedy….or rather, two love stories.
The movie is light and doesn’t tax your brain. It’s funny, but doesn’t rely on slapstick humour. Initially the jokes are a little flat but they get better and the situations funnier and more bizarre.

Don’t expect to see any breathtaking scenery of Thailand as most of the movie is shot indoors and in small spaces like say outside the airport, or in the tree-house or on the roads.

The story (no spoilers)

The movie opens with the camera taking us on a guided tour of the walls of a room. We see graffiti, colourful and cute. Well, we imagine it’s graffiti until we realise that the drawings, cartoons and scribblings about Amu, Abhi and Paglu are actually on the walls of a tree-house. This is no graffiti but a private den and the tree house holds memories of the last 14 years. These three still spend a lot of time there and are best buddies still, although with widely different outlooks on life. Abhi is the typical spoilt rich kid who is more interested in flirting rather than working. Amu is a conscientious and responsible girl who gets along with the guys because she is a tom boy. Paglu is the devoted friend who will go to any lengths to keep his friends away from harm, even if it means breaking the law!

But these are just three, and as this is not a love triangle there has to be a fourth character. Enter the bombshell Kartika (Rimi Sen). The director has given her a deliberate vampish look and character because once she steps into the life of the three, everything changes..or rather explodes. And the actions starts.

Even though there isn’t much suspense in the movie (in fact the story-line is predictable) it’s best not to know how exactly it pans out. The few minor surprises that are present are best kept intact.  

The acting

De Taali doesn’t have big superstars…but Riteish, Aftab, Ayesha and Rimi more than make up for the lack. All four get a chance to prove their worth unlike superstar dominated movies where just one star can hog the limelight. The first three get almost equal screen time and Rimi, even though she comes in later, plays a pivotal role. She is not just a made-up doll here. Overall, the acting is average though each actor had some scenes where he/she did very well. The best part is that there is no overacting and that is a relief. Riteish is the most consistent actor, keeping to his character throughout. With a mobile face and a knack for playing comic roles he makes the movie come alive.

Anupam Kher plays Abhi’s rich industrialist father and has a bit role. But he has played such roles to death and one wonders why directors don’t try out new faces.  

Is the movie worth seeing?

Well, if you are looking for some light viewing, certainly. The music is average, but the actors are lively and entertaining. If you can sit through the first half hour it’s likely that you will be able to sit through till the end. And you will get a few laughs as well. The movie is more suitable for a younger, light-hearted audience who has time to kill.

If the film had been edited tightly it could perhaps have been categorized as above average to good (three stars) but unfortunately the loose editing leaves much to be desired. An irritating aspect of the movie is the timing of the song sequences. They seem not to belong, seemingly cello-taped together with the main movie.

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