David (2013) *MQ*

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1975 London: David (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a member of a crime syndicate in London. When a trio of Indian government agents arrives in London to assassinate the crime lord Ghani, David, who is battling his own emotional battles, gets embroiled in a plot that might change his life forever.

1999 Mumbai: David (Vinay Virmani) is a young Bandra boy, who loves nothing better than strumming his guitar and dreaming of ‘making it big’. However, when a right-wing politician Malati Tai (Rohini Hattangadi) decides to make an example of David’s father Noel (Nasser), a do-gooder priest, for the sake of her own political aspirations, David has to decide between vengeance and forgivenessā€¦

2010 Goa: David (Vikram) is an alcoholic fisherman, who has fallen in love at first sight with Roma (Isha Sharvani), a deaf and mute girl. However, Roma is about to get married to his best friend Peter (Nishan Nanaiah). David has ten days to choose between friendship and loveā€¦

Ever since filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar announced his second film after the deliciously dark Shaitaan, expectations raised and the stylish trailer of David only increased the anticipation of the film further. The filmmaker prominently uses the father-son connect which was hugely popular in the ’70s in each of his stories as he deals with themes of revenge, love and forgiveness.

Bejoy takes an intercutting approach and like an astute filmmaker presents a non-linear narrative with series of back and forth scenes juxtaposing each story with the other. Where he scores an ace is the build-up of each story which moves ahead with an increase in the thrilling quotient that finally reaches a culmination.

But it’s the liberty that Bejoy takes in the course is what doesn’t appease you especially the end where all three Davids connect with each other almost forcibly in one way or the other. You do not expect the filmmaker to create much ado about nothing and it is just why Bejoy disappoints. The film also suffers with an extended run time. With a 155mins run time, Bejoy appears narcissistically splurging at the cinema that he believes in and his forced climax after struggling to hold the audience attention till the penultimate moment only makes matters worse.

If you keep the flaws aside, you have ample to rave in David. Starting with the Black & White portions of London in 1975 that appear as slick as a Hollywood film and every bit realistic to the rain-soaked streets of Bombay, David is a visual delight. Even the editing by A Sreekar Prasad is top notch as he twists and jumbles the story like a maze and then brings all the pieces together. Yet another department that deserves a huge mention is music. Once again Bejoy stupendously blends the many songs from the album into the film to give an elevated cinematic experience.

The film has a big cast and without exception, everyone has done a pretty decent job. From Neil Nitin Mukesh to Vikram to Nasser to Saurabh Shukla to Tabu to Isha Sharvani to Lara Dutta, everyone has performed well. Though Vinay Virmani could have done better, all said and done, no one is disappointing as such as far as performance is concerned (though we wish Milind Soman could have got a meatier role). Out of the above, it is Vikram and Nasser, who stand out amongst the other actors in the movie.

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