CAST & CREW
“ David” is the second Hindi offering of director Bejoy Nambiar, already established as a quality director in the South teaming with Mani Ratnam in the past. Here he has chosen an innovative theme dealing simultaneously with the lives of three ‘David’s staying at three different places, at three different points of time, building the plot for an absorbing thriller.
Plot: It all starts in London in 1975 where the 25-year-old David, portrayed by Neil Nitin Mukesh, works for the London mafia of the underworld Muslim community headed by Iqbal Ghani ( Akarsh Khurana). David is eyeing Ghani’s empire and also his ward Noor (played by Monica Dogra), whom he plans to marry. Ghani, it transpires, was linked to extremists in India, and RAW undercover agents assassinate both Ghani and David not to leave no traces. The focus shifts now on the second David 24 years later in Mumbai, a 19-year-old lad, played by Vinay Virmani, a struggling guitarist from a modest Protestant family, whose father Noel (portrayed by Nassar), is an evangelical priest. But all of David’s rosy dreams are blown off when his father is attacked by Hindu fanatics, who publicly blacken his face alleging forced conversions. Provoked by the rival political groups, David hires a professional killer to eliminate the Hindu extremist leader ( Rohini Hattangadi) during a rally.
However, the move misfires, when an army officer standing next to that leader gets killed instead. The spotlight now moves to Goa by another 11 years to 2010, showing the third David, played by Vikram Oberoi, in the role of a typical Goan fisherman, happy with his constant companion – the bottle, and fond of the pretty Roma (the role enacted by Isha Sharvani), who unfortunately is deaf and mute. However, after realising that his best friend Peter also loves Roma and was getting married to her, he wishes them a happy married life, as a kind-hearted friend. The links between the three Davids are unravelled gradually. The sharpshooter who kills the Hindu extremist leader is none other than Iqbal, son of the first David with Noor, taking revenge against the RAW agent who had shot his father.
On the other hand, this shooting brings in pangs of remorse in the second David, who then moves to Goa and like his father, it is he who marries off Peter and Roma and praises the sacrifice of the third David. What the film easily conveys is the fact that at the hands of a quality director, an innovative plot can do wonders, and this is what makes Benoy Nambiar’s film click for most of the time.
Review: Handling multiple locations and across period zones has been done deftly and the linkages have also been woven convincingly making the film as a satisfying whole, though of a uniquely different kind. Although Nambiar has brought up the topic of religious extremism, he hasn’t played it up but only used it as a prop for his plot. Also, the black and white patch for the first David’s sojourn in London looks appropriately period based.
Star Performances: As for the acting of the three different Davids, Neil Nitin Mukesh delivers energetic performance without going overboard, while Vikram Oberoi lives up the happy go lucky role of the Goan fisherman with candour. Vinay Virmani has a multi-shaded role of a dreamer forced into grim realities and perhaps could have done better. The female characters, although less prominent in importance are appropriately handled, with Rohini Hattangadi’s cameo as the firebrand Hindutva protagonist showing her acting prowess again even in the limited scope. The other remarkable feature of “David” is in its technical aspects – the bold shades of its cinematography and the very relevant audio effects that go with it, though on the music front it does not manage to score very high.
Verdict: All in all, the film that has several noteworthy features and in spite a few blemishes here and there, is one worth watching.
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