In my last review, we had a look at Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher which was filmed totally in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cocktail, the 2012 film from Illuminati Films is not bound to one geographical area. Cocktail begins in New Delhi, India, and shortly thereafter, we arrive in London, UK, where most of the film takes place. There’s a vacation in Capetown, South Africa, before the principals head back to London. Only at the tail end of the film do we return to New Delhi.
Cocktail is a film about relationships. Specifically – a man and two women. A love triangle? Possibly, but that would be a bit too simplistic. Actually it is a lot more complicated than that. Rather than just walk you through the plot, let’s have a look at three main players and how they all meet.
First there is Gautam. He’s played by Indian film superstar Saif Ali Khan. Gautam is a player. Anything that moves while wearing a skirt is considered fair game. And if the female wearing the skirt is attractive, then the likely response from Gautam is Goddamn, or OMG, before he swings into action. He’s a software engineer, and despite his Mom’s protests that he not leave India without a bride, off he goes.
At the Delhi airport, he spots a stunning beauty, Meera, played by the beautiful Diana Penty, making her film debut. He trots out a number of his best lines, but they’re not going to work. You see, Meera is off to London to meet her husband who is working and living there. Meera is a gorgeous girl, and easily fits the description of a well-mannered, traditional Indian woman . This is not to say that she isn’t a modern girl, but she is conservative, loyal, and religious.
Meera and Gautam arrive in London together, or should I say, they traveled on the same plane, but did not travel together. Gautam again tries to pick up Meera at Heathrow Airport, and once again is sent packing. Of course he’s not about to stick around when Meera tells him that her husband is on his way to pick her up. Only as it turns out, the husband is doing no such thing and Meera has not discovered this just yet.
The next day, Gautam arrives at his new job. He’s late, but that doesn’t stop him from flirting outrageously with the prettiest girl in the room, who, by the way, is his new boss.
Meera’s husband is a no-show, and she has to track him down at the place where he works – an auto repair shop. He tells her in no uncertain terms that he wants nothing to do with her. He basically throws her out of the garage and tells her never to return. He married her in India, then he left for England for an employment opportunity. Truth is – he married her for her dowry, had the honeymoon – then basically absconded. Meera is devastated and homeless.
Meera will meet Veronica played by Deepika Pakudone. Now Veronica is a party girl well-known in all of London’s best clubs and the hottest of night spots. The red velvet rope always parts for her. She lives in a rather expensive looking flat on a posh street, in a nice London neighborhood. Veronica’s residence and party lifestyle is funded by a nice, large, monthly stipend sent in by her absentee father. She can do what ever she wants, without a care.
Well she is a nice girl underneath her party life, so she offers to take Meera in until she can get herself straightened out. Meaning a job, or a return to India. Naturally Veronica is going to get Meera decked out for London, and as it happens, they go off to a disco/club one night and guess who is there – right, it is Gautam.
Well Gautam is more than taken by Veronica – and before you can say drinks all around – Veronica and Gautam have a one night stand. Of course, Meera is going to tell Veronica that Gautam is a guy who makes a run at every attractive woman he sees. But that’s not really a concern for Veronica. As was already stated – she’s in it for the fun. Short term is fine with her. It’s fine with Gautam too.
But then, after he tells his Mom on the phone that he is seeing someone, his Mom unexpectedly shows up in London, eager to meet this mystery girl and to marry him off. She wants a traditional bride for her son, and Veronica looks nothing like traditional. So Veronica, Gautam, and Meera – now all living under the same roof – cook up a scheme to pass Meera off as his girl friend. It’s just for a few days – until Mom heads back to Delhi. Veronica is on board with the plan – especially since Gautam’s Mom has already looked at Veronica, and decided she’s definitely not suitable as marriage material.
While they are all on vacation – in Capetown – and still play acting for Mom, things begin to coalesce between Meera and Gautam. As I said up top – things do get complicated.
I thought this was a wonderfully entertaining film. Lots of music, high production values, brilliantly shot and edited, simply so very pleasing to the eyes. Saif Ali Khan was terrific as the guy with the roving eye. And Padukone was marvelous as the party girl. Of the trio, Penty was the weakest – but hey, it was her debut film., and you will cut her a break as she’s great to look at.
Mom was played by Dimple Kapadia who was a breakout star in the 1973 runaway blockbuster hit film – Bobby. That was nearly 40 years ago, and that film is still considered one of the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films of all time.
Cocktail is a high-spirited film with plenty of energy. It’s easy on the eyes, and even if the story isn’t very deep, it still manages to grab you and involve you. Each of the three main players have story arc that include highs and lows and still – you come away feeling good about how everything turned out for everyone. Three point seven five is my rating and I’ll recommend it. It is available on DVD, and while Netflix is not offering it yet, you may see it on erosnow.com – a marvelous streaming film service which is offering a 14 day free trial, and will cost you only $6.00 USD a month for some of the best in Indian films and music.