Awesome tree-some

ABHI (AFTAB Shivdasani), Paglu (Riteish Deshmukh) and Amu (Ayesha Takia) are young adults who behave like overgrown kids. How else can you describe a trio who spend most of their time in a tree house?

By Review By Sudha Mukerjee

Published: Sun 22 Jun 2008, 11:34 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:19 PM

Set in Bangkok, the story begins peppily enough with song and dance. Clearly life’s just a party for this tree-some, who don’t seem to have much to do.

Abhi spends his days falling in love with every girl he meets while Paglu wastes time talking about business propositions that never materialise. Amu is the only one who actually works and her employer is Abhi’s tycoon dad (Anupam Kher) who doesn’t seem to mind that she spends half her time on a tree.

Next: Family and friends plant romantic ideas in Amu’s head. They tell her that she is in love with Abhi and voilà, she begins to believe it too.

But she has to contend with Kartika, a dusky gold digger who has set her sights on Abhi. Paglu and Amu try to din some sense into him but it’s only (Rimi) Sen he sees. How Paglu and Amu take matters into their own hands is what the rest of De Taali is about.

What’s agreeable? The locales of Thailand are gorgeous and give the film a fresh, picturesque look. The party scene (with guests dressed as various characters played by Amitabh Bachchan), and Rimi Sen’s torture (when all else fails, she succumbs when threatened with a DVD of Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag!) are fun to watch.

The banter is frothy for the most part, and the performances are pleasing too. Indeed all four main protagonists pitch in respectable efforts.

Both Aftab Shivdasani and especially Riteish Deshmukh have a flair for comedy, Ayesha Takia is earnest and sufficiently endearing and Rimi Sen, surprisingly effective in a role with negative overtones.

What’s aggravating? Well, the first part certainly offers some light-hearted entertainment but post interval, the proceedings tend to drag and several potentially comical scenes (like Riteish Deshmukh at Alcoholics Anonymous) fall limp.

Somehow director Niwas cannot seem to get the flow right. Saurabh Shukla’s fawning landlord act is vague while Pawan Malhotra and Mukul Dev (both competent actors) are wasted.

Anupam Kher is given precious little to do: all he does is train a dog. The finale in a wedding mandap is pretty idiotic.

And as far as the music is concerned, it’s just about average and at least one song (Maari Teetri-The Butterfly Song) is awkwardly placed.

Loosely based on the American primetime television drama Dawson’s Creek, De Taali also appears to have drawn inspiration from the director’s own Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega (the kidnap angle) and Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai (Aftab Shivdasani’s Abhi falling in love with every unsuitable girl is reminiscent of Saif Ali Khan’s Sameer).

Bottom line: De Taali offers some mirthful moments and decent performances but it sure could have done with a stronger, fast-paced script.

De Taali

Cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani, Ayesha Takia etc

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Producer: Ravi Walia

Director: Eshwar Niwas

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