Right from DOSTI to DOST to YAARANA to SHOLAY to
DIL CHAHTA HAI, male bonding has been explored
time and again in Hindi films. Suneel Darshan's
DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER treads a similar path.
Armed with an attractive star cast and dollops
of emotions, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER could've
been an old wine packaged in a new bottle.
Thankfully, it is not!
Although DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER may seem like a
film that has been attempted time and again,
what makes it special is the twist in the story
fifteen minutes before the intermission. From
then on, things only get better.
However, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER tends to follow
a predictable path at times. It gets into the
ANAND / KAL HO NAA HO mould in the second hour
and that's why the narrative seems repetitive.
But Suneel Darshan's soaked-in-Indian emotions
camouflage the defects.
To sum up, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER isn't a
classic or path-breaking cinema by any standard,
but here's a film that delivers what it
promises: Unadulterated Bollywood entertainment.
They had nothing in common. Karan [Bobby Deol]
was wealthy and a mansion was his habitat. Raj
[Akshay Kumar], an orphan, had empty pockets and
the sky was his roof.
Karan's jet ensured that he could fly if he
wanted. Raj could only depend on his two feet.
Karan had a family [Kiran Kumar, Lilette Dubey]
and yet craved for love. Raj had love to share,
but craved for a family.
Karan was the eternal casanova. Raj was the
proverbial one-woman man. Karan had it all, and
yet felt empty. Raj had nothing, but his heart
They were two people as different as can be. Yet
they found a common ground. One that led to the
glorious road of friendship. Their bond was
If Karan gave Raj a home and all the material
comforts, Raj gave Karan a shoulder and all the
emotional security. If Karan supported Raj at
every step, Raj covered up for all of Karan's
misdoings. They laughed together, lied together,
loved together and fought the odds together all
in the name of friendship.
Their blind faith in each other was the envy of
the world. But it was this very world that never
let them forget that their's was not a
relationship of equals. And how long could an
unequal relationship sustain?
Karan and Raj defied conventions proving that
true friendship was above all such trivialities.
But like a bolt out of the blue came a raging
storm that threatened to sink the ship that
housed the sentiments of the two friends.
DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER boasts of a story that
moviegoers may have witnessed since time
immemorial. The rich guy-poor guy dosti is
beaten to death in Bollywood. The stories could
be the same, but their interpretation is what
makes the difference. That's precisely why DOSTI
- FRIENDS FOREVER works.
Suneel Darshan opens the cards at the very
outset. The dosti is established in the
first ten minutes itself. Thereafter, the
bachpan ke dost grow up and sing, dance,
laugh and lie together… everything is explained
in the most predictable fashion. Frankly,
there's not much novelty in the first
half-an-hour of the enterprise.
Romance, fun n frolic and mandatory songs is
what you get to see till something drastic
happens fifteen minutes before the intermission.
The viewer, who is now watching the goings-on
without much interest, suddenly straightens his
position to see the dramatic change of events.
The twist in the tale -- Shakti Kapoor arriving
at Mahesh Thakur's [Kareena's brother] residence
and what follows is a heated confrontation,
after which Akshay slaps Mahesh Thakur -- is a
terrific moment in the story. From the writing
as well as execution point of view, it is this
sequence that proves to be a good turning point.
The post-interval portions have more to offer.
The sequence at the airport -- when Akshay and
Bobby are about to part ways and Bobby notices
something -- is another twist that catches you
by surprise. A few minutes later, Kareena's
marriage to someone else is another shocker that
only enhances your opinion about the film.
The pace drops intermittently. The song on Bobby
and Lara after their patch up can easily be
deleted since it only acts as a speed breaker.
Even otherwise, the song is very thanda
and sets in boredom, so why not come to the
point straightaway? Also, Akshay trying to
smoothen things, first with Bobby's mother and
then Lara, then Bobby saving his errant sister
in a night club, then Akshay bumping into
Kareena in a café shop… well, they are all
been-there-seen-that kind of situations that
dilute the impact. The writers could've been
more imaginative here!
Nevertheless, the film picks up again as Bobby
weds Lara. The drama in the song, which
continues right till the end, is quite engaging.
The climax is emotional and would strike a chord
with the families for sure.
Director Suneel Darshan may've opted for an
age-old story, but his handling of the emotional
and dramatic moments in the film deserves to be
lauded. In fact, the confrontation between
Akshay and Mahesh Thakur first and between
Akshay and Bobby thereafter proves that Suneel
knows the pulse of Indian family audiences.
Nadeem-Shravan's music is in sync with the mood
of the film. 'Dulhaniya', 'Boogie Woogie' and
'Aisa Koi Zindagi Mein Aaye' are the best of the
lot. 'Ishq Na Ishq Ho Kisi Se' [reminds you of
'Dulhe Ka Sehra Suhana Lagta Hain'] is a lyrical
gem and the drama in the song is fascinating.
Cinematography [W.B. Rao] is eye-catching. The
screenplay [Robin Bhatt, Shyam Goel] is full of
pleasant surprises in the form of twists and
turns, while the dialogues [Rumi Jaffrey, K.K.
Singh] are wonderful.
Akshay Kumar is sure to walk away with laurels
yet again. The actor has a serious role this
time, but he handles it like a complete veteran.
His contribution to the film, in the second hour
especially, is noteworthy. Bobby Deol is
first-rate, delivering a dependable performance
yet again. Only thing, he needs to keep a check
on is his styling and appearance.
The leading ladies don't have much to do in the
enterprise, yet Kareena Kapoor excels in the two
sequences that give her ample scope to display
histrionics. Lara Dutta is only there to add to
the glamour quotient. Juhi Chawla is appealing
in a brief role. Kiran Kumar is as usual.
Lilette Dubey is incredible. Karishma Tanna and
Mona Chopra are passable. Mahesh Thakur is
efficient. Shakti Kapoor and Aman Verma get no
On the whole, DOSTI - FRIENDS FOREVER is a well
made film that has some powerful emotional
sequences as its ace. At the box-office, the
combo of an attractive face-value and rich
emotional appeal, besides popular music, will
appeal to the family audiences mainly..