Heavily inspired by Woody Allen's 1992 film Husbands & Wives, Dil Kabaddi is bold and piping hot for the Indian audiences. The question is not whether Indian audiences are ready for a theme like this. The question is, does the script hold your attention for the next 2 hours? Sadly, it doesn't!
Dil Kabaddi has no plot as such and debutante director Anil Senior adopts an abstract style of storytelling. It's more of an assemblage of assorted incidents and individualistic sequences. At several times, the characters keep talking to the camera, talking of their feelings, fantasies and thoughts.
Dil Kabaddi works in bits and spurts, but not in totality. The script suffers mainly because there's no beginning, no middle, no end. Just assemblage of assorted sequences!
Dil Kabaddi is a marital comedy that delves into the lives of two couples who are caught in the web of post-marital boredom. How the couples deal with an irresistible temptation of lurking out of the relationship for some fun is what the film explores. It's essentially a take on some urban relationships.
There's tremendous shock-value in Dil Kabaddi. Just about everything related to the sex life is discussed in this film. A few sequences do register an impact, like the one when Irrfan goes out on a date with his office colleague and ends up doing shirshasana. Also, Rahul Bose's student demanding a passionate kiss on her birthday. And the sequence at the party when Payal Rohatgi ends up giving aerobic lessons to some senior citizens... But after a point, the narrative gets monotonous and worse, verbose.
Music is strictly functional. Cinematography is striking, especially the hand-held camerawork, which is wonderful.
Dil Kabaddi is rich in performances and that's because of the presence of such accomplished actors. Irrfan Khan is in terrific form. Soha Ali Khan is getting better and better. She's excellent! Rahul Bose is fabulous. Konkona Sen Sharma is brilliant. Rahul and Konkona's scenes are amazing. Rahul Khanna is first-rate. Payal Rohtagi is good. Saba, as Rahul's student, is a complete natural.
On the whole, Dil Kabaddi has shock-value, but not a strong plot to leave an impact. At the box-office, it caters to a niche audience. It's a film for a handful of multiplexes in a handful of cities. At most places, this 'Kabaddi' will run out of breath. Strictly for adult viewing!