Dostana is the new film from producer Karan Johar's.... and it puts friendship in a whole new bracket - something of a first for mainstream Indian cinema. Dostana literally means friendship, and the film celebrates friendship, period. But.... yes, there is a big 'but' that separates it from the yarns on celluloid that we are so used to, and even indifferent to. This time, the story takes a whole new dimension as the two leading lads pose as gay lovers, to be able to share a swanky apartment in Miami. Hey, the film's basic premise suggests that director Tarun Mansukhani does not intend to break new grounds as there isn't a serious take on homosexuality. On the contrary, it's a madcap comedy perpetuating the silly same-sex stereotypes that has been the staple fare in Hollywood B-grade ventures for a really long time. The promos of Dostana did prepare one for a no-brainer laughathon, however, on seeing the movie today at a packed house morning screening, I have had to do a rethink. I must say that the zany romantic comedy does dare to push the envelope in its own way. It brings homosexuality out of the closet, gives it respect and dignity and doesn't treat gays as 'abnormal'. Well, maybe not in gigantic scoops and servings, but in a small-dollops kind of way.
Love triangle in Hindi movies often centre around two guys falling in love with the same girl, or two girls choosing to love the same guy. But Dostana is a first! It's the first Hindi film that, at the core, is a rectangle (three men loving the same woman), but two of them pretending to be a couple. The so-called shock-value associated with the screenplay is diffused thanks to a stellar cast that seems to understand the director's brief perfectly.
Besides John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan who are the talking point, as the mock-gay couple, Priyanka Chopra looks stunning (she has never looked better) and delivers a first-rate performance. Bobby Deol lends apt support as her boss, who is later besotted with her. On the whole, Dostana with its new-age friendship funds is a winner all the way, helping one chillax in these depressing times.