Critics Verdict: Cocktail works, but in bits

Cocktail has a fascinating first half, charismatic performances, harmonious music and the trendy look and styling as its aces, but the movie finally crashes and burns so spectacularly in the second half that it's hard to focus on the positives, feel critics. | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2012 05:11 PM IST

Cocktail has a fascinating first half, charismatic performances, harmonious music and the trendy look and styling as its aces, but the movie finally crashes and burns so spectacularly in the second half that it's hard to focus on the positives, feel critics.

"Cocktail represents a mélange of three divergent characters: Saif is wacky and outrageous, Deepika is intense and wild and Diana is calm and undemanding. Whip and fluff up the three and the title seems completely justified. Also, the three characters experience a 'cocktail' of emotions: Love, lust, laughter and of course, all that comes with heart-break," writes Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama.

"Written by Imtiaz Ali, the script in the pre-interval phase breezes through with some light-hearted camaraderie between the three lead actor; some comic moments (provided by Dimple Kapadia playing Saif's loud Punjabi mother); and has rocking tracks by Pritam that transport you straight into the night-club mode, singing and moving in your cinema-hall seats. However there's also a downside. For example, the music provides an adrenaline rush and the comic scenes make you smile; but there's a drastic drop in the tempo during some of the talkie portions, where the gaps in the conversation make you restless," says Meena Iyer, TOI.

"The day has finally arrived for us to grab a taste of the much-awaited Cocktail. Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone starrer Cocktail, directed by Homi Adajania releases today. Cocktail, as the title itself suggests, is a colourful and entertaining mix of three refreshingly different characters. And, with all the hypes and positive vibes surrounding Cocktail, it gives us the indication that the movie has lots stored in for the yuppie crowd," reports OneIndia.

Saif, Deepika and Diana from Cocktail
Saif, Deepika and Diana from Cocktail

"The first half of Cocktail establishes the premise; it’s a fun, happy life, where song after song tells of how Veronica, Meera and Gautam are different personalities. But did we need one and a half hours for that? I don’t think so. What could have been effective in 120 minutes is stretched to 146. But songs like Tumhi Ho Bandhu, Daaru Desi and Jugni keep you good company. Pritam’s done a good job and with no plagiarism charges (so far), we mustn’t complain," writes Blessy Chettiar, DNA.

Homi Adajania, who made his directorial debut with BEING CYRUS, attempts a rom-com in Cocktail with effortless ease, handling a number of sequences with dexterity. Come to think of it, COCKTAIL is a complex film, which reflects the complexity and intricacies of human relationships. The highpoint of the film is the three sharply defined characters, besides, of course, the styling and visuals.

Weak second half
"But this slice-of-life film skids in the post-interval portions. In fact, if the first hour is absorbing, fascinating and pleasurable, hitting the right notes when required, the second hour is half as exciting as the first. What ails the film? Well, too many songs, an over-stretched story, the inconsistent screenplay, the beaten to death finale and the lethargic pacing," feels Adarsh.

"The film takes a more serious turn in the second half when friendship makes way for love. Yes, Cupid strikes at the intermission point; and the film follows the oft-seen path of a typical triangular drama that has been a Bollywood staple through the last two decades," writes Iyer.

"The first half, light and frothy for the most part, is fun, while the second half gets maudlin and laboured more than it needs to. There are fabulous moments, as when Deepika is asked to keep her knees together by Boman Irani and when Saif’s hormones go a-raging and he is cheerfully snubbed by his girl; and then there are rona-dhona moments when all you want to do is go find the popcorn counter outside. Does it end with a happily-ever-after scene? Watch it to find out," says Bollywood Life.

"Adajania starts off breezily enough, all effortless-flirting and shotglasses and dramatically teary mascara, but the threadbare and increasingly inane plot unspools halfway through, leaving us with a shoddy, frustratingly random sequence of events. The last one-third of the film features the kind of emotional melee that can only be rightfully resolved by handing one of the girls a samurai sword. Alas, no such bloody respite is offered," writes Raja Sen, Rediff.

"At every given point in the second half, a minimum of one person is sulking or getting seriously injured or emotionally battered and the soundtrack ensures the suffering translates to the audience as well. Remember the ‘Tanhayee’ song sequence from ‘Dil Chahta Hai’? OK now imagine that sequence going on for 99% of the second half. So finish your popcorn in the first half, unless you prefer it soggy," writes Kunal Guha, Yahoo.

"Saif and Deepika team up for the third time and the chemistry and comfort between the actors is unmistakably obvious. Saif has that flair for rom-coms and Homi injects the Delhi flavor into his character, which makes his character all the more notable. Saif fits into his character fluently and leaves a deep-seated impression. The scene stealer is, without doubt, Deepika, who not only looks sizzling hot, but pitches in her career-best performance. She lets herself loose, surrenders to her character wholly and nails the performance. It's an incredibly noticeable act. It wouldn't be erroneous to state that Cocktail would do for Deepika what JAB WE MET did for Kareena," says Adarsh.

"Diana, who makes her acting debut, gets to portray a rather difficult character for her debut film. There's a very disarming kind of innocence that she brings to the role and she impresses a great deal. Dimple Kapadia is in terrific form, portraying the atypical North Indian lady with gusto. Boman Irani is first-rate, especially in sequences with Dimple. Randeep Hooda's character is under-nourished," he adds.

Saif romances Deepika and Diana
Saif romances Deepika and Diana

"Cocktail does have some terrific highs. One is Deepika Padukone's performance. Easily the best in her five-year-long career; Deepika also looks sensational throughout. You almost wish the camera had stayed her longer on her in that red itsy-bitsy bikini. DP will definitely win notices and nominations for her near-faultless performance of the rich-spoilt-neglected-girl-with-a-heart-of-gold," says Iyer.

"Saif is terrific in parts, insipid in others. And the other DP, Diana Penty makes for a pretty picture; but she could certainly do with some polishing. Randeep Hooda as a rake, running a hoax marriage business, is completely wasted," she adds.

"Homi Adjania’s direction is impeccable, with Padukone the jewel in his crown. Her character is complex and she displays just enough maturity while portraying it. Finally, one has a reason to say she can act. Penty is awkward, just like Meera. She reminds one of Nargis Fakhri in Ali’s last, Rockstar, only a little better. Khan “oozes charm” as he plays catch-up with much younger leading ladies," writes Chettiar.

"If Saif Ali Khan can do something effortlessly and unabashedly, it is to play a fulltime flirt with the confidence of a Tendulkar opening the batting order against Canada. If only he wasn’t wearing a Kabir Bedi bobblehead (or so it seemed) over his body, he could’ve looked the part too. But since he does, it ends up like the final season of ‘Friends’ where 40 year-olds talk like 20-year-olds and no one wants to tell them to move on since it works for the network. For Deepika, this has to be a risky role to accept, given how clinical the industry is with typecasting. The next thing you know: she’s reduced to playing that girl who every hero wants to take home, only when the mother isn’t there. Diana Penty couldn’t have got a better vehicle to display her offerings: eyes that fill up with emotion and twinkle with delight, a supermodel-esque body that can be wrapped in rags to be a believable girl-next-door or the girl you wished was your neighbour," writes Guha.

"On the whole, Cocktail has a fascinating first half, charismatic performances, harmonious music and the trendy look and styling as its aces, but the second half is not as tempting or intoxicating as the first hour. It pales when compared to the attention-grabbing first hour. Yet, all said and done, this one's primarily targeted at the Gen Next, especially those in metros, who might identify with the on-screen characters," concludes Adarsh.

Deepika Padukone in Cocktail
Deepika Padukone in Cocktail

"Go see Cocktail with your closest friends. It will definitely strengthen the bond," says Iyer.

"It's a pity, and not just because this could have been the great unconventional cinematic threesome we so desperately need. Cocktail has a handful of moments and a few genuine sparks, but finally crashes and burns so spectacularly that it's hard to focus on the positives. We must thank it, thus, for Diana Penty," feels Sen.

"You can’t hate a film like Cocktail nor can you love it in totality. If you’ve liked Ali’s storytelling before, there’s no harm in catching it at least once. Cheers!" says Chettiar.

"One of the chief reasons why this cocktail fails to hit your sweet spot is because you don’t empathize with any of the characters. There could be many reasons for this but to point one: none of them seem worthy of your attention and concern," writes Guha.

Twitter buzz

@KomalNahta: Earth-shaterng opening for Cocktail.Highest for a Saif solo starrer.Kota full!Indicator of what opening at other places must be

@sidharthamallya: Best of luck @deepikapadukone & the rest for sure it will rock!! Think it might be my 1 hindi film I watch this year!! X

@sakpataudi: Cocktail releases today guys - pls go see it!! I think everyone looks awesome and the songs are faaaaaab!!! My tickets are booked.

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