It really disappoints me when I go into a Hindi movie knowing or reading that it is a remake of a Hollywood movie. However, it was such a relief (and it made me smile) to see that Dasvidaniya was not a copy of the Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starer The Bucket List. While I can see the parallels and similarities, I was thrilled to see that it wasn’t a frame by frame duplicate. Dasvidaniya is a movie which makes you think, smile and appreciate the smaller and finer things in life that we take for granted. So did the movie manage to push enough emotional buttons?
Actor-producer Vinay Pathak plays Amar, a lonely and simple man whose life revolves around a daily to-do list and a hard of hearing mother who bores him to death with her daily soap-opera talk. The people around him quite literally look through him and a boss that takes him for granted, overloading him with work with no recognition or extra pay. Amar has no friends and instead befriends himself as he gets through his daily events. One day, he is told by his doctor that his life will soon be coming to a crashing end as he is diagnosed with cancer. He then decides to make his last list compromising of “The Top 10 Things to do Before Kicking it to the Bucket” or the “Wish-list.” Thus ends Amar’s mundane and boring existence, and he sets out to live his last few days to the fullest.
This brings us to the best part of the movie: his wish-list journey. It’s not a bunch of extravagant over the top wishes but 10 average desires which an ordinary man would want to achieve. He wants to get back at his boss for over working him, learn to play the guitar, meet his childhood crush, reunite with his long lost school friend, take a trip abroad and lastly revive his broken relationship with his brother.
The high in the movie is the simplicity and sensitivity with which the movie has been executed. Certain scenes brighten up the screen when you see a weakling such as Amar stand up to his boss or watching him dance and confessing his love to school sweetheart. However, it does seem to slow down in the second half and lose the interest of the spectators. All of sudden, the movie seems grim and pale, sometimes making you (unfortunately) yawn. The music is simply okay with the exception of Mama, which has been choreographed and sung with complete precision keeping Pathak and his character of Amar in mind.
Dasvidaniya is Vinay Pathak’s crowning glory. He takes the character of Amar to a height of simplicity which the audience can related some part of their life to. While he seems dreary and unexciting (a requirement of his role) in the beginning, he then becomes interesting showing an intelligent side to his character. Perfect in every scene, Pathak steals your heart and proves that he is a one of a kind actor.
The supporting actors are all ideal and seamless in their performances. Pathak’s real-life friend Ranvir Shorey is spot on; Neha Dhupia as the love interest is perfect; Saurabh Shukla is hilarious as the dominant boss and Gaurav Gera is as brotherly as possible being the estranged sibling.
The movie deals with a touch