Neil Nitin Mukesh's David gets mixed reviews

By Hindustan Times

Film: David
Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Monica Dogra, Isha Sharvani, Vikram, Tabu, Vinay Virmani
Director: Bejoy Nambiar
Plot: The plot revolves around the lives of three different men named David, who are about to take a step which is going to change their lives forever. David [Neil Nitin Mukesh] works for Iqbal Ghani, a dreaded Mafia don. He is a protégé who is poised to take over the empire until a revelation changes the course of his future. David [Vinay Virmani] is a musician born into a family of devout Christians. He is a happy-go-lucky teenager who loses all semblance of his peaceful existence when his family gets dragged into a political issue. David [Vikram] is a fisherman who falls in love with Roma [Isha Sharwani]. The only hitch is that she is engaged to be married to his best friend Peter.

Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Rating: **
In DAVID, Bejoy's second outing, he introduces us to three Davids. Dwelling in three different places. In three different eras. But the characters aren't linked to each other, though these characters do connect towards the film's resolution. Given the genre of the film, one would expect DAVID to hurl a lot of shockers at you. Sadly, it doesn't. Sure, the tone of the sequences alters constantly, from passion to angst to apprehension to conflict to retribution to vindication, but the film fails to involve you completely. What comes across on screen is inconsistent.

What you eventually carry home is the technique Bejoy adopts to narrate the three stories. But the gorgeous visuals and a couple of enthralling moments aren't enough. A film ought to score as a complete package. That's where DAVID falters!

The story revolves around the lives of three Davids in three different parts of the world in three different eras…
* 1975 London: David [Neil Nitin Mukesh] works for Iqbal Ghani, a dreaded Mafia don. He is a protégé who is poised to take over the empire until a revelation changes the course of his future.
* 1999 Mumbai: David [Vinay Virmani] is a musician born into a family of devout Christians. He is a happy-go-lucky teenager who loses all semblance of his peaceful existence when his family gets dragged into a political issue.
* 2010 Goa: David [Vikram] is a fisherman who falls in love with Roma [Isha Sharwani]. The only hitch is that she is engaged to be married to his best friend Peter.

All three Davids are about to take a step which is going to change their lives forever.

I am certain, DAVID would've come across as a remarkable script on paper. But, like most films, it doesn't transcend from an entrancing script into a dazzling motion picture. Bejoy has great vision, no doubt, but the concept loses sheen because there's no connect between the stories. The three tracks go back and forth all through the narrative, which cuts short the drama at several junctures. Besides, the lethargic pacing mars the impact too.

The cast is incredibly proficient, with most actors submitting himself/herself to Bejoy's vision. Neil Nitin Mukesh is going to stun a lot of people in this film. He is top notch here, essaying his part with flawlessness. His body language is super. Vikram is a great talent and though his story isn't captivating, his performance is. Vinay is natural to the core and takes rapid strides with this film.

Tabu is admirable, as always. Monica Dogra is striking and the rebellion in her character stays with you. Isha Sharvani is photogenic, but doesn't get much scope to act. Lara Dutta appears in an insignificant cameo. Akarsh Khurana is first-rate. Rohini Hattangadi, Nasser, Milind Soman, Neil Bhoopalam, Nishan Nanaiah, Ajinkya Deo, Satish Kaushik, Prahlad Kakkar and Sheetal Menon -- each of them are skilful in their respective roles.

Verdict: On the whole, DAVID is more style, less substance. A few moments do stand out, but they are few and far between. Coming from the director of Shaitan, this one's a mega disappointment!

Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
Rating: ***

It is apparent from the outset that the unusual narrative triptych that constitutes David has inherent potential. It is another matter that it is, at best, only partially realised.

David is unique also because it is a rare Hindi film that locates itself exclusively in spaces where India's two principal minority cultures - Muslim and Christian - dominate, without the filmmaker resorting to the cliched ritualistic trappings that go with any such depiction of the communities on the big screen.

Neil Nitin Mukesh, in Johnny Gaddar mode, delivers a performance that is restrained and yet forceful. Vikram lays into his character with obvious delight and vigour.

Vinay Virmani does not break into a sweat in articulating the anguish and anger of a young man who seeks elusive answers from an insensitive world.

The supporting cast is also a notch above the ordinary. Nasser (as the priest) and Tabu (as a spirited Goa massage parlour owner and David's wordly-wise confidante) make the most of the limited opportunities they are given.

Monica Dogra (as Noor, the girl in love with the London assassin) and Isha Sharvani (the hearing and speech impaired beauty) aren't wasted either.

Verdict: David has enough sinew to offset its share of flaws. Strongly recommended.

Gayatri Sankar, Zee News
Rating: ****
Experimenting with and implementing out-of-the-box ideas aren’t as easy as they seem to be. Bejoy Nambiar, who made his inroads to Hindi cinema with ‘Shaitaan’, which garnered rave reviews, has now come up with a visually thrilling piece of art- ‘David’.

Nambiar has an unusual way of story-telling. With ‘David’, he unfolds stories of the three protagonists of the film who share a common name. The times they belong to are different and so are the places they hail from. With action, romance and comedy in somewhat proportional lengths, Nambiar strikes a healthy balance that doesn’t leave you jaded.

Neil Nitin Mukesh looks incredibly handsome in the film. He has pulled of a stunning performance and this character of his will certainly make producers queue up to him for their next. Raw talent Vinay Virmani is impressive and looks promising as an actor. And Tamil superstar Vikram is fabulous. The ladies in the film, though each of them has meaty roles to play, do hold great significance. Monica Dogra (Noor) not only looks gorgeous but also delivers an incredible performance. Isha Sharvani (Roma) has done a decent job but the lady who steals the show is the very talented Tabu (Frenny).

The film successfully keeps you wondering about what will unfold next, for A Sreekar Prasad, the man with those sharp magical scissors has done a commendable job. The film looks neat, crisp and intriguing. And the climax holds a surprise.

Verdict: Don’t give this film a miss. So do grab your ticket at the earliest and treat yourself with something that’s never seen before.

Nabanita, oneindia
Rating: **1/2

The plot of the film is too lazy to impress the audience. It might simply leave you yawn and dose off at times. Especially, the biggest spoiler is Vikram's part in the movie, where he falls hopelessly in love with his best friend's fiancee Roma (Isha Sharvani). The era in Goa seems absolutely irrelevant and disconnected from the entire plot.

Apart from his great looks, Neil Nitin Mukesh also delivers an impressive performance. We get to spot Mukesh's improved acting skills in David. Vinay Virmani fits well into the character of a middle class musician and does a good job too. Vikram is just outstanding in the film.

Isha Sharvani is quite a stunner in the film, while Monica Dogra looks gorgeous.

Verdict: On the whole, David is a complete 'no no' for those who aren't too keen in spending time and money for dark cinemas.

Renuka Vembu, Bollywoodlife.com
Rating: **1/2

If you thought that the plot sounds interesting, it’s just that; it only sounds interesting! The movie gets nowhere in the end, while you just wait for it to end. Each character is introduced with much promise, but the narration is linear, which starts getting boring and distracts you after a while. Neil’s portion, shot entirely in black and white, is the only one that manages to hold your attention. Neil lives to protect his boss, Ghani, but one fine day he comes across some dark secrets that make him want to kill him. How will Neil find out what is right and what is wrong? Is he being manipulated? Will he change course? Will his loyalty waiver? Those are the answers that you wait for – for a good two hours and 45 minutes – but the climax is so clichéd and predictable that you can identify it from miles.

Of the lead actors, it’s only Neil who saves the day. He has very few dialogues but his body language speaks volumes. His love interest Monica Dogra (Noor) looks awkward and her dialogue delivery is patchy. Isha (Roma) looks cute and that’s about it. Of the other characters, Hattangadi with just one punchline stands out among the ensemble. Tabu plays her part convincingly and we can always trust her to leave a mark. Sarika looks splendid, and the song Dama dam mast kalandar is the highlight of the movie, beautifully rendered by Rekha Bhardwaj. The other number which not only keeps you hooked, but also lifts the mood of the film and your spirit is Ghum huye.

Verdict: At almost three hours, Bejoy tries to serve a plate which is full, but just not delicious. We didn’t savour this experience.

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