Years ago, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's ANAND narrated an interesting tale of a man living his life to the fullest, despite being well aware of his impending death. Dasvidaniya, directed by debutante Shashant Shah, narrates a similar tale. Here, the protagonist, well aware that the clock is ticking, intends realising his 'Top 10 things to do before I die' list.
Bears an uncanny resemblance to THE BUCKET LIST [2007; Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman]? Slightly perhaps, but that could be coincidental. What makes Dasvidaniya watchable for the Indian viewer is the fact that it portrays the emotions of a common man really well. You identify with the person and the pain he goes through.
Sensitively treated with a bravura act by Vinay Pathak, Dasvidaniya makes you smile at several points, even shed tears [the emotional quotient is quite strong], but most importantly, reiterates the fact that life's a bubble that can burst any time.
However, there's a flip side as well. For, the film has an erratic pace and not all chapters are as interesting. That dilutes the impact to an extent!
Shy and quiet Amar [Vinay Pathak] lives a mundane, run-of-the-mill life. His existence is non-existent to people around him. His innocence and obsession for making his daily 'To-Do-List' every morning is what motivates him to look forward to the next day.
Then, one day, a doctor tells him that he will die within three months. He is diagnosed with cancer. Thus begins a journey of a lifetime for Amar, where he sets out to write his final list. The 10 things to do before he dies.
A simple plot is treated with a lot of sensitivity by debutante director Shashant Shah. Watch Vinay finally mustering up courage and confronting his boss [Saurabh Shukla]. It brings a smile on your face. Watch Vinay express his love for Neha on a rainy night. The silence speaks a million words. Watch Vinay go through a traumatic time when he overhears the conversation between Rajat Kapoor and his wife Suchitra Pillai. And, finally, when he meets his brother Gaurav Gera.
If the story strikes a chord, Shashant's execution of the material is incredible at times. But writer Arshad Syed's script could've been tighter. It has some great moments, but a few portions [the story of the Russian girl and also the guitar teacher] aren't convincing. However, the dialogues are wonderful. They sound so fresh. Music is functional, although 'Mumma' is soothing.
Vinay Pathak carries the film on his able shoulders and delivers a matchless performance. At par with his amazing work in BHEJA FRY. The film has a number of characters that stand out: Saurabh Shukla [excellent], Rajat Kapoor [good], Ranvir Shorey [quite funny], Neha Dhupia [perfect], Sarita Joshi [proficient] and Gaurav Gera [nice].
On the whole, Dasvidaniya is engrossing in parts. While the first hour works well, it's the second part that turns pale due to its slow pacing and a not-as-tight screenplay. Sure, the film has the merits, but it will have to rely on a strong word of mouth to stay afloat.