Bejoy Nambiar picks unconventional options. In SHAITAN, his directorial debut, he chose relative newcomers [with the sole exception of Rajeev Khandelwal] to relate the story of well-heeled kids, belonging to the upper crust, who get implicated in a botched crime and how it pushes them to commit several lawbreaking acts.
In DAVID, Bejoy's second outing, he introduces us to three Davids. Dwelling in three different places. In three different eras. But the characters aren't linked to each other, though these characters do connect towards the film's resolution. Given the genre of the film, one would expect DAVID to hurl a lot of shockers at you. Sadly, it doesn't. Sure, the tone of the sequences alters constantly, from passion to angst to apprehension to conflict to retribution to vindication, but the film fails to involve you completely. What comes across on screen is inconsistent.
The story revolves around the lives of three Davids in three different parts of the world in three different eras…
* 1975 London: David [Neil Nitin Mukesh] works for Iqbal Ghani, a dreaded Mafia don. He is a protégé who is poised to take over the empire until a revelation changes the course of his future.
* 1999 Mumbai: David [Vinay Virmani] is a musician born into a family of devout Christians. He is a happy-go-lucky teenager who loses all semblance of his peaceful existence when his family gets dragged into a political issue.
* 2010 Goa: David [Vikram] is a fisherman who falls in love with Roma [Isha Sharwani]. The only hitch is that she is engaged to be married to his best friend Peter.
All three Davids are about to take a step which is going to change their lives forever.
I am certain, DAVID would've come across as a remarkable script on paper. But, like most films, it doesn't transcend from an entrancing script into a dazzling motion picture. Bejoy has great vision, no doubt, but the concept loses sheen because there's no connect between the stories. The three tracks go back and forth all through the narrative, which cuts short the drama at several junctures. Besides, the lethargic pacing mars the impact too.
DAVID appeals in bits and spurts, although the film begins on a promising note. The track involving Neil Nitin Mukesh is the best of the lot, followed by the one featuring Vinay Virmani. Again, not all episodes in these two stories are attention grabbing. The third one, featuring Vikram, just doesn't work. It has the potential, but the writer/s don't tap the potential to the optimum. As a matter of fact, boredom and dullness seep into the movie at regular junctures, which is not a positive sign when you're watching a thriller. Even the finale is not as compelling.
DAVID scores high in its technical department. Be it the luminous cinematography or exhilarating sound design or refreshingly different background score, the outcome is top-quality. The DoP comes up with spectacular frames and also captures the intensity that the characters radiate with dexterity. As for the soundtrack, barring 'Damadam Mast Kalander', there's not much to marvel in this enterprise.
The cast is incredibly proficient, with most actors submitting himself/herself to Bejoy's vision. Neil Nitin Mukesh is going to stun a lot of people in this film. He is top notch here, essaying his part with flawlessness. His body language is super. Vikram is a great talent and though his story isn't captivating, his performance is. Vinay is natural to the core and takes rapid strides with this film.
Tabu is admirable, as always. Monica Dogra is striking and the rebellion in her character stays with you. Isha Sharvani is photogenic, but doesn't get much scope to act. Lara Dutta appears in an insignificant cameo. Akarsh Khurana is first-rate. Rohini Hattangadi, Nasser, Milind Soman, Neil Bhoopalam, Nishan Nanaiah, Ajinkya Deo, Satish Kaushik, Prahlad Kakkar and Sheetal Menon — each of them are skilful in their respective roles.
On the whole, DAVID is more style, less substance. A few moments do stand out, but they are few and far between. Coming from the director of SHAITAN, this one's a mega disappointment!