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David  : David Headless
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Friday, February 1, 2013
Action - Thriller
Bejoy Nambiar
Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vikram, Vinay Virmani, Lara Dutta, Isha Sharvani, Tabu, Nassar, Rohini Hattangadi, Monica Dogra
What’s in a name? Ask not the Bard but Bejoy! Everything is in the name, David. Three different time frames and backdrops, three different people and three different stories; one common name. And the lives of all three Davids will intersect at some point.

The plot: Nambiar’s goal: to reiterate that the world is indeed round.London, March 3, 1975: David (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is indebted to gangster Ghani who raised him as his own after his parents' death. He is now Ghani's right hand man but equations swiftly shift as dark secrets from the past raise their ugly heads. And losing the love of his life, Noor (Monica Dogra), adds to his misery.

Mumbai, March 3, 1999: David (Vinay Virmani), a struggling guitarist, believes dad Noel, the church father, is pretty useless when it comes to looking after his own family. So David’s promise to himself is that one day he’ll get his big break and he will get one sis married, send the other to engineering college. The day does dawn but it comes with his father’s humiliation and David’s own life getting caught in dirty politics.

Goa, March 3, 2010: David (Vikram), a typical Goan who drinks till doomsday suddenly finds true love in the deaf and mute Roma (Isha Sharvani). But Roma is poised to marry his friend Peter when buddy Frenny (Tabu) convinces him to fight for what he wants.

Each of the three Davids wants something and in the quest, they cross paths and affect one another’s lives in strange unimaginable ways.

The good: The suspense is maintained well and does not get predictable. Each story has its own strengths, believable performances being one common point. Although Neil Nitin Mukesh has hardly any dialogues to mouth and his usual meanness is not given much scope, he has done a decent job of whatever space he gets.

Vinay Virmani is a complete surprise and of the lot, he gives the best, the most natural performance. Vikram is fun to watch at times, irritating at others but blame his character, not him. It is refreshing to see Tabu in a Hindi film (Life Of Pi was in English) after a long hiatus. She has little to do but is nevertheless effective. Lara Dutta is wasted. Isha Sharvani has hardly anything to do beyond looking pretty. Monica Dogra is the best of the female lot. The rest give valiant support except Milind Soman, whose part was not really necessary. 

Each of the stories is good in parts. Neil’s is the strongest and the most stereotypical revenge story but falters in the second half. Vinay Virmani’s track is interesting and a bit different from the usual politics-themed movies. Vikram’s story is the lightest part of the film which will provide you with an occasional laugh. All three stories are very well shot by R Rathnavelu.

The bad: The three stories would have worked better as unlinked singles since the attempt to tie them up is forced. The continuous back-and-forth between the lives of the three Davids is fun for a while but soon gives way to a headache. Vikram’s portion gets on your nerves especially the pointless Santa Claus part.

The climax takes the prize for the worst part of the film as it evaporates the little excitement created by the suspense. Ultimately it’s three bodies (of three Davids) with no real head to bind them as one.

Too much information, too many stories and far too long with a two-hour plus duration, with extremely violent action sequences thrown in to make it even more difficult to sit through without squirming restlessly.

Overall: Too much, three much of David. You can give all three a miss and lose no sleep over it.

– Priyanka Ketkar

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