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David is a very loosely braided story of three people who share the same name. However, it sometimes feels so loosely braided that it threatens to come undone and leave all the stories windblown.
The three stories are set in three different time frames and are about three different things. David 1 is a foster son of a gangster, David 2 is the musician son of a local priest who gets attacked by Hindu radicals for trying to convert people. David 3 is a drunkard, jilted at the altar, who talks to his dead father and punches brides in the face disguised as Santa. So each story explores the father-son relationship to an extent apart from the characters' own ambitions and dreams.
I had loved Bejoy Nambiar's debut movie Shaitaan and had high expectations from this one too. The movie starts promisingly enough and builds up quite well up to the interval. I was complacent and confident, since I figured even in Shaitaan, things had taken time to build up into the mayhem of the second half. Unfortunately, the second half drags before it reaches the end. It also tries to connect the three stories together, in a forced way. Each end was satisfactory in itself and connecting them together was not really necessary. A theme uniting them was enough.
What I really enjoyed here, and had loved in Shaitaan too is the way in which Nambiar uses music. His combination of music and scene is completely strange and unexpected and yet always feels fantastically right. See his use of the Maria Pitache song and you will see what I mean.
The 3 Davids are good. Neil Nitin Mukesh builds a brooding quality to his character slowly, Vikram as the alcoholic is effortless though his act becomes a bit tedious in its sameness after a while. I loved Vinay Virmani as the optimistic, hardworking musician whose world comes crashing down when his dad gets attacked for his religion and he doesn't understand why. Monisha Dogra as Neil's girlfriend is a flop. Her accent is weird and she sounds too stagey. Tabu's role is strange and feels forced in somehow into the story because the Director wanted her there. Isha Shravani as the deaf mute looks pretty.
The problem for me is that the movie is way too stylized. Not every fight has to be in the rain, not every romantic scene needs a slap. The 70s story has everyone sporting long hair and 70s style clothes except Neil who looks pretty spiffy. Why choose Sarika to sing Damadam Mast Kalandar except to make it unusual? Too careful a setting robs the story of its naturalness, just like too much foundation and make up hides your true beauty and limits your expression.
Would I recommend this movie? I guess, it's a bit different. The slow second half becomes boring and the lack of connection between the stories doesn't help. But the individual stories are interesting (the romantic one with Vikram is pretty charming), the music is good and there is a wistfulness in the characters that appealed to me. As a mainstream entertainer it doesn't work too well but if you are an avid film goer and game for a different experience then this movie may work for you.