David Movie Review
Cast: Jiiva, Lara Dutta, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Tabu, Vikram, Vinay Virmani
Direction: Bejoy Nambiar
The trailer and stills of David made it clear to us that the movie was about two characters in different time eras and different places, but with the same name. Goa, 2010 and Mumbai, 1999 are the scenes of action with Vikram and Jiiva being the protagonists respectively. While love is the bone of contention in Vikram’s story about a freewheeling goan for whom drinking is a way of life, Jiiva, an aspiring guitarist has a bigger mission on hand as he has to get even with the politicians who had excoriated his father’s name.
The director, Bejoy Nambiar, frequently switches between these two stories in a non-linear narrative, trying his best to make both meet convincingly on a common ground. As the handsome Goan hunk always in an inebriated state, Vikram is terrific. He makes it look so easy. Jiiva on the other hand is spunky as the emotional youngster. His styling is trendy and he looks the part as the Mumbai youngster.
The actor continues to live up to his reputation as one of the best talents in Tamil. Among the other actors, Tabu and Lara Dutta have similar roles, that of a moral support to the two male leads. Both these former hotshots have aged and matured. Isha Sharvani is an angelic face and has acquitted herself well as the deaf and mute girl who bowls over Vikram. Nassar is majestic as always as the devout Christian Father.
The movie suffers from a heavy ‘dubbed movie’ feel particularly in the Goa portions as the entire Goan setting, inclusive of the actors, has been retained in both the Hindi and Tamil versions. The dubbing is out of place and jarring at few instances in Vikram’s story. In Jiiva’s story, the Tamil spoken by characters, like his elder sister (played by Sheetal Menon), is passable as you can say that is how people would speak Tamil in Mumbai.
Rohini Hattangadi’s Tamil dubbing also leaves a lot to be desired. Rathnavelu has shot the Goan story and a lot of places like Mangalore, Alleppey, Kapu and Kuttanad have been used to match the beach-side backdrop of the story. The visuals are exotic and pleasant as expected. P.S.Vinod has shot the portions involving Jiiva and the general tone for this story is gritty and energetic. The main talking point of David before the movie’s release was its highly imaginative soundtrack.
But sadly the way the songs have been woven into the narrative is underwhelming. Fans who were expecting good screen time for the beautiful songs would be disappointed. Only a few lines from all the songs find a place in the narrative. On a lighter note, the song ‘Pondaati’ from Osthe is sung by Vikram’s friend in one of the scenes in the movie. This story is supposed to be happening in 2010 while Osthe’s soundtrack was released in 2011.
One feels the director could have paid heed to such trivial things as well. In all, this attempt by Bejoy Nambiar is an interesting idea on paper. But Vikram’s story doesn’t have anything going for it and is very hollow. Jiiva’s track, on the other hand, has more purpose and drive and one feels this story had the potential to have been made into a full-blown movie on its own, given the serious subjects of religion and politics it touches upon.
Verdict: A different attempt, backed by some good performance by lead actors, but ends up lacking nativity and pace.