Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

July 13, 2012


Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:35 pm

July 13, 2012

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty, Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia, Randeep Hooda

Director: Homi Adajania

It’s not enough that he’s sharing a flat with two gorgeous women, having casual sex with one, while the other does everything from his laundry to making him breakfast…he had to go and fall in love, and ruin what most men would describe as “living the dream”.

Alas, Cocktail, directed by Homi Adajania, is no saucy menage a trois, although it does involve three friends living together in London, a little too close for comfort. No, Cocktail falls firmly in the rom-com space. But even as the tone shifts uncomfortably from breezy, light-hearted fun, to heavy drama in the second half, you’re never in danger of actually caring for the cardboard characters in this empty souffle of a film.

Serial flirt Gautam (Saif Ali Khan) has a fleeting encounter with shy Delhi girl Meera (Diana Penty) when he serenades her at the airport on her first day in London. Meera bunks with smoking hot wild-child Veronica (Deepika Padukone) when she realizes she has nowhere to go in an alien city. Before long, Gautam is sharing their home and Veronica’s bed. Complications arise when Gautam falls for Meera, but Veronica decides he’s all hers.

Co-written by Imtiaz Ali, Cocktail has bursts of entertainment — like the moment when Gautam’s ultra-conservative mother (Dimple Kapadia) walks in to her son dancing on Veronica’s couch in drag, or one in which Veronica must pretend she’s passed out from drowning. It’s also a faultlessly pretty picture; the visuals seem cut from a glossy music video, especially one sequence in which a tormented Veronica is rocking a crowded dance floor, yet feels as if she’s all alone in the disco. In fact, director Adajania consistently manages to capture the energy behind each song, especially the catchy Tumhi ho bandhu number, and yet he uses silence impressively in several scenes.

The film attempts to be mature about pre-marital sex and adult relationships, and one scene at a kitchen counter in which Gautam explains their predicament clearly is nicely done, without falling prey to melodrama. But Cocktail slips just as often into cliche…like when ‘good girl’ Meera acts as if she’s tainted by real pasion, or when she sacrifices her love for her best friend. It’s the script that is to blame here, given that the film suffers from lazy, loopy writing. Everyone is trying too hard — to be cool, hip, funny or convincing — and as a result the film gives off the feeling that this generation is completely superficial, with no real emotions.

Cocktail also never offers you a real sense of who these characters are – you almost never see them at their jobs, they appear to have no friends apart from each other, and there are way too many unanswered questions about their families. By the time the movie works itself into the messy love triangle, and Veronica teeters off the Fatal Attraction bend, you feel as if the makers are driving around aimlessly, lost for direction.

There isn’t much subtlety in the performances in Cocktail, but it’s Deepika Padukone who walks away with the best role. As attention-seeking Veronica, she injects fun and darkness into the character, and gives evidence of an as-yet-unseen confidence. Boman Irani and Dimple Kapadia raise many laughs as Gautam’s loud, yet funny family, although Dimple ought to sue the makers for those unflattering close-ups. To be fair, you’ve seen Saif do the ‘incorrigible flirt’ thing better and funnier in the past, and it doesn’t help that he appears too old to play the charming rake-who-falls-hard all over again. Saif is sincere, but it’s a tired take. Diana Penty, meanwhile, is refreshingly natural, her vanilla part salvaged by her sheer arresting beauty.

I’m going with two out of five for director Homi Adajania’s Cocktail. With the right ingredients in the right proportions, this might have made for a smooth concoction. But Cocktail is a mostly flat romance; one that could’ve done with more heart.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Not gonna watch this in theatre!!!!

    Comment by arnav — July 13, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  2. Good review Rajeev… Only flaw is that it dips in 2nd half.
    But Deepika is Just awesome in the movie..
    Especially her intro.. Brings Goosebumps with that music

    Comment by Darshan — July 13, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

  3. Nice Review.
    Pretty much average movie. You just don’t feel a connect with characters and doesn’t care what happens next!

    Comment by Abhinav — July 13, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  4. first time i disagree with you sir, you being polite giving it 2 star. i would have give it -1 star

    Comment by mansaa — July 13, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

  5. Why dnt u direct a film ??its a good film it deserves 3.5/5.

    Comment by yasir — July 13, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  6. hi pls don’t mind i think rajiv mansand that who is smart man so why not made a one film and proff it.

    Comment by paresh — July 13, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

  7. Sir, you are right in many ways but still movie deserve 3 stars at least. we should not ignore how beautifully Homi has managed to show grey areas of postmodern love relationships… ya theme is recurrent but treatment is fresh

    Comment by PRAYAG — July 13, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  8. I think you see it either critically or the one that entertains you…..i agreed to your many reviews but not this one….this deserved more than two stars….

    Comment by Naveen — July 14, 2012 @ 12:22 am

  9. Time to review the review: Some Positives that you may have missed – Editing, sync sound, Cinematography, the minimalist or sometimes no use of Background Score in many of the scenes compliments beautifully with the sync sound coupled with racy dialogues and nice performances keeping it real this aspect particularly of the movie stands out as most Indian films have failed to stage a scene so convincingly without the help of background score.

    Comment by Sumo — July 14, 2012 @ 12:51 am

  10. With the history of your ratings, should have given 0 or max 0.5. The movie was terrible ! I had to keep on watching my watch to get out of it. The best part of movie was the interval or could say where saif did the worst gay dance wearing a pathetic hat, but that role suited him more than what he actually played.

    Comment by Shashank — July 14, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  11. Uve been one person I always look upto for fair reviews…bt somehow I don’t agree with ur review sir….its a refreshing movie with almost all d ingredients for a perfect blend of a morden day love cocktail…with foottapping music..and outstanding performance by deepika….it deserved @least 3 stars..

    Comment by Jay — July 14, 2012 @ 1:12 am

  12. 3/5 stars the film deserves
    1st half is awesome
    2nd half bit boring

    Comment by Jordan — July 14, 2012 @ 1:44 am

  13. Wow, If u dont like someone’s review u just ask him to direct a movie. Im sure Mr. Masand must have heard this a million times. He’s not gonna answer it again. Learn the difference between writing a review and directing a movie. If you dont like someone’s movie do u ask him to be a critic? Judging and making. 2 different things

    Comment by Vatsl — July 14, 2012 @ 1:47 am

  14. Basicaly, what makes rom coms work is, treatment. In cocktail this treatment is really nice, funny n pure at some extent but problem comes in 2nd half where movie comes out with strong melodramatic sequences. Actualy, instead length of 146 minutes, it should have been of 120 minutes or 130 minutes. The 2nd half is unnecessarily stretched. Thats why the movie deserves 2 stars.
    I agree with masand sir. Because the reasons why he didn’t lyk the film are acceptable.

    Comment by Vishnu mahesh sharma — July 14, 2012 @ 8:11 am

  15. i think the camera work went wrong, it sucks, it should be portrayed like DOSTANA visuals and colors…..a good subject is wated ,,,

    Comment by kalamirani — July 14, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  16. Rajeev,
    I closely follow all you reviews and 90% of time I m in sync with you ratings, however this time I am on other category of 10% where I will not like to give more than 1 start. It was tough to sit for 2 hour 30 min for this movie.

    Comment by Ajeet Pandey — July 14, 2012 @ 8:59 am

  17. I would give it 3 stars for the sheer fact that it defies the trend of brainless superhit movies in bollywood.. this movie comes a a welcome change..

    Comment by abhishek — July 14, 2012 @ 9:29 am

  18. Absolutely well written review! I think the film just skipped through major portions where the audience could have connected with the characters and felt their emotions. In parts it was a massive attempt to be like love aaj Kal by the end. I wish they would’ve just copied Vicky Cristina Barcelone, it wouldve come out better!

    Comment by Udit — July 14, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  19. i am not going for it!!!

    Comment by Siddharth — July 14, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  20. COCKTAIL :2/5….slow…complicated!!
    funny at some parts…deepika was hot ♥ acting part was ok but script is too messy Songs are too good ….this COCKTAIL wont take you high!

    Comment by Rana — July 14, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  21. what was Randeep Hooda doing in this movie?

    Comment by sushil — July 14, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  22. Yesterday i seen this movie ,

    1)saif ali khan ..tried very very hard to look cool dude ..reality he is too old for thse kinds of role
    2) saif ali khan ..tried very very hard to replicate love aajkal in this movie ..but failed badly ..
    3) with same name from movie love aajkal meera , deepika , london instead of newyork … coming back to india in final scene …same as love aajakal.
    4) yeh dooriya rplace by yaariyan…..so ultimately he failed to create love aajkal
    5) YOU CAN ONLY WATCH FIRST HALF AND COME BACK …no need to watch second half … second half is worst and ….ending is like killing everyone …everyone trying to get out in the end …its streched tooooo long .

    Comment by OKROAL — July 14, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  23. Deepika was quite wonderful in her role indeed. the movie may have faired better if the dialogue was crisper and the length at last 2/3rds of its actual duration.

    though not surprised it was buzzkill. have to admit it was a lot worse than i expected it to be

    Comment by Ambreen — July 14, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  24. Only review the film is different thing & direct a film is different thing.so,any critic don’t dare to direct a film.

    Comment by Vinit — July 14, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  25. Critics is a man with no legs who teaches how to run.

    Comment by Vinit — July 14, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

  26. better stay away from watching this movie…

    Comment by karanlokesh — July 14, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

  27. i m disagree with some of the coments ,,rajeev is doing his duty…and i think ,its not necessory to be a cook ,if u hav good taste buds…but if rajeev will try to make a movie..i will eagerly wait for one good recipe for my heart..

    Comment by munir — July 15, 2012 @ 4:56 am

  28. hi guys.

    saw the film .a super brilliant first half and terrible second half.the writhing in the second half is so lazy that u feel whether the first half has been written by someone else.in acting front everyone scores be it saif,new girl diana,boman or dimple,but the real scene stealer is deepika padukone. an award winning performance.

    Comment by dipu — July 15, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

  29. Mr. Masand, it gets difficult to go by your reviews..as they seem more like critics reviews.

    This one had a flawed story and average newcomer, but was otherwise not bad..deserves atleast 2.75 stars, if not 3.

    And Bol Bachchan was a desi style laugh riot..how could you give it such a low rating? It was atleast a 3 star movie, if not 3.5.

    Each to one’s one, but I think a lot of people dont go by your reviews now.

    I have it bookmarked on my net on mobile homepage..and your site’s visuals are easy and good, so I usually do a quick check.

    Pls try and review more from point of view of entertainment and not just technicality and mechanics of the formula.

    Thanks for your reviews anyways.

    Comment by Vidgun — July 16, 2012 @ 6:13 am

  30. The review’s fair enough. It deserves a rating of 2/5. Though u can still sit through the 1st half of the film, the 2nd half’s just plain horrible. Especially the 3 back to back dull songs in the last 30 mins of the film are unbearable. It’s too stretched to have any pity on the filmmakers. Deepika’s the best of the lot. Dimple and Diana are good. Saif’s ok. We ve seen him doing better than this before.

    Comment by Rajeev Singh — July 16, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  31. Its a vanilla cup cake made with a heavy dose of artificial sweetener, leaving a bitter after-taste!

    Comment by S Mohan Kumar — July 17, 2012 @ 1:24 am

  32. Well , I personally liked the film .. Deepika took the complete movie in her belly..
    She was awesome .. Meera played her role well .. And i dont think 2nd half was boring or something ..
    Instead. . It was reality .. Have seen such situations .. Mostly guys wont like it… Coz tgey really dont understand a girl’s complications..
    Rajeev Masand is my fav .. But i will go with the 3 stars out of 5 for COCKTAIL..

    Comment by Aanchal — July 17, 2012 @ 4:05 am

  33. Well , I personally liked the film .. Deepika took the complete movie in her belly..
    She was awesome .. diana played her role well .. And i dont think 2nd half was boring or something ..
    Instead. . It was reality .. Have seen such situations .. Mostly guys wont like it… Coz tgey really dont understand a girl’s complications..
    Rajeev Masand is my fav .. But i will go with the 3 stars out of 5 for COCKTAIL..
    Oh.. You people didnt like it ? Get a life !!

    Comment by Aanchal — July 17, 2012 @ 4:10 am

  34. Nice time paas movie …. Depika was best …

    Comment by khushendra — July 17, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  35. rajeev is being modest, i would have given it -2. its that pathetic.

    Comment by manish — July 17, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  36. RevIew of ur review – harsh but u do point out the flaws correctly. U r brave to be so callous when it comes to Bollywood.

    Comment by Amit — July 17, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

  37. the film cocktail is predictable.nothing new in this film,the songs desi daru and second hand jawani are good.the film lack the perfect ending.i give 1.5 out of 5 for cocktail.nothing new,evry one can make such kind of films.

    Comment by fahad bawazeer — July 17, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  38. The Review is very good ,the script is very bad,and you have saif ali khan so you can do anything from him.the !st part is slow and poor entry of all and the second half fair but unbearable. in some scene diana is quiet ,why we don’t understand ? Saif investing in lose project.Overall 1.5/5.

    Comment by Rakesh kumar Das — July 18, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  39. U really like Holly stuff….dats a bit of ur problem Mr. Masand…u r a holly fan…
    its a refreshing cocktail in da first half wich gets sour in da 2nd half…
    stop criticisin n start directing….story wise its a big dampener…
    a feel good rom com aftr EMAET…

    Comment by Umang — July 21, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  40. Like It Rajeev… It deserves 2 stars.. This movie and specially Saif really sucks…

    Comment by Abhijit M — July 24, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

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