Preserving wealth is a lot of hard work. When a man has labored lifelong to amass enviable luxury, it’s essential that he appears to relish it with his family and flaunt it among his friends. Footing in a large bill every single day for a group he requested to come along on a scenic Mediterranean cruise to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary, Kamal Mehra (Anil Kapoor) feels the pinch of keeping appearances.
A self-made billionaire, he’s still in touch with his middle-class values when it comes to matters of the money. Everything else is as superficial as it gets — be it his jaded marriage to ace cupcake-chomper Neelam (Shefali Shah), his tediously old-fashioned expectations from kids Ayesha and Kabir (Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh) or his relationship of convenience around his equally catty tycoon friends.
The story starts with Pluto Mehra (the Mehras’ beautiful mastiff, who has Aamir Khan lending the voice for him) introducing the characters of a Delhi high-society family, where Kamal Mehra, the patriarch, plays golf and loves talking about his self-made-ness. His wife, Neelam is a typical Punjabi rich-man’s-wife with little to do except meet friends for lunch and make snide comments about them, a favor returned in full by her friends. The Mehras’ marriage has been on the rocks for a long time, but the broken shards are constantly swept under the rug.
Ayesha is the elder child of the family, a businesswoman who has made it to Forbes’ Top 10, thanks to her hard work. She is married to Manav (Rahul Bose), who has “allowed his wife to work despite the fact that no woman in his family has done so, ever”. Kabir, the Mehras’ younger child, is 25, uninterested in taking over his dad’s empire and is adept at piloting planes. The Mehras decide to celebrate 30 years of their superficially perfect marriage by inviting their friends to a 10-day-long cruise to Turkey and Greece.
In these ten days on board the luxury liner, the dysfunctional Mehra family goes through a lot. Here’s where Kabir meets and falls in love with Farah Ali (Anushka Sharma), a spirited below the deck dancer, and makes viewers thank their stars that they get to see the utterly crackling chemistry between the two.
Priyanka is eloquent more with her expressions than her words. Her body language helps portray so much, and deserves much praise. Along with Farhan Akhtar, in a special appearance as the journalist Sunny, Priyanka sets fire to the frame when the two are together. Their exchanges are among the high points in the film. Rahul Bose gets his typically chauvinist Manav across with adequate skill.
Apart from Priyanka-Farhan and Ranveer-Anushka, it is Anil Kapoor who is quite at the ‘top of the world’ as Kamal Mehra, as far as acting is concerned. Alternately refined, boastful, rascally and vulnerable, Kapoor is the life of Zoya’s opulent multi-starrer. Though unfairly neglected to highpoint her livewire co-star, Shefali bites into the part of his disenchanted sounding board just as avidly as her diet in the movie.
Farhan Akhtar’s pat dialogues contribute significantly — they’re the best takeaway from this cruise confection. As is the spot-on timing they’re delivered in. In one fine scene, Ayesha is discussing incompatibility issues in her marriage with her mother. The latter brushes it off arguing how her husband (Rahul Bose) provides her with everything she needs. And there you have it, the swift retort – “Aisa tha toh phir meri mall se shaadi kar dete!”
It’s an eclectic group of impressive actors led by Anil Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Shefali Shah, making sure they own their respective parts.
Ranveer Singh’s excessive energy is usually a major deterrent but here he contains it so deftly making his low on ambition, dry-humoured but still tender Kabir a delight to watch. Easily his most assured and nuanced delivery.
Farhan Akhtar and Anushka Sharma remain at the periphery triggering romance, realisation and rebellion into the complex Mehra kids. Even if their role isn’t as meaty, their lovely, likeable persona infuses quick, believable chemistry.
Despite all the gyaan Pluto belts out, the movie ends in a rather abrupt, unfulfilling manner. It is a light and definitely charming watch – Zoya Akhtar’s attempt to portray the very real situations of a typical Indian family where parents are dead set on making crucial life choices on behalf of their kids, conveniently ignoring the fact that the said kids are fully functional and capable adults who can make their own decisions.
Basically, the thought that they’re trying to get across is that every heart is different, let every heart beat!
A definite must-watch!