The Cast and Crew
Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Saurabh Shukla, Gaurav Gera, Sarita Joshi
Music Director: Kailash Kher
Director: Shashant Shah
Dasvidaniya subtly brings out the difference between surviving, existing and living. The title Dasvidaniya is a derived from the Russian word Dosvidanya meaning Good Bye.
Death is inevitable. What one does between birth and death is a matter of individual choice.
It was Omar Khayyam’s Rubiayat which advocated the philosophy of living life to the full as if there is no tomorrow. And the theme has been a favourite of film makers.
Akira Kurosawa’s Ikuru (1952) broached this theme. Kanji Watanabe (Takashi Shimura) is a middle-aged man who has worked in the same monotonous bureaucratic position for decades. After learning he has stomach cancer and has less than a year to live, Watanabe attempts to come to terms with his impending death. He explores life and its meaning.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand(1970) has Rajesh Khanna, who is terminally ill, knows that he dies and goes on sharing the joys of life with others
The Bucket List (2007) directed by Rob Reiner with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, playing the two terminally ill men who escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.
Dasvidaniya deals with the life of Amar who knows that he has not much of a time before he dies.
Amar (Vinay Pathak) has the habit of writing down the ten most important things to be done in the day. He is a common man leading a mundane life which gets boring. He has certain things which he would very much like to do, but his inhibitions and social constraints come in the way. These are ten things he would like to do before he dies.
Suddenly, he learns that he got only 12 weeks before he dies. He then gets the courage to do those ten things.
This ten-things-to-do-list includes the most normal wants of any common man like owning a car, learning to play guitar, getting to hit back at his nagging boss, finding his first love (Neha Dhupia), going on a foreign trip, meeting his estranged school-mate (Rajat Kapoor), finding love in life, patching up with his younger brother (Gaurav Gera) and things like that.
How does Amar go about his ten-things-to-do-wish-list? That is the crux of the film.
Vinay Pathak carries this film on his humble common man’s shoulders. His character is one where the audience can identify themselves…something like the characters played by Rajesh Khanna and Amol Palekar in the 1970s. Vinay proves that his performance in Bheja Fry is not just an accident. He has underplayed the role to such a subtle extent that one does not see Vinay Pathak, but totally be aware of the character Amar in a process of catharsis. Vinay delivers an award winning performance.
Ranvir Shorey, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Saurabh Shukla, Gaurav Gera and Sarita Joshi give convincing portrayals of the roles they played.
Director Shashant Shah takes you on a journey along with the protagonist who is in a hurry to fulfill his wish-list. But the velocity of the journey is methodically punctuated by slow halts, a bit of acceleration, a steady rhythm of movement that superimposes nostalgic should-have-done on the harried canvas of should-be-done.
Being a film that provokes you into thinking, Shashant does not give just a glass of water to gulp because you are thirsty, but serves you with the best of chilled vintage wine which ought to be sipped at a leisurely pace.
The cinematography, music and audiography are pretty good and enhance the quality of narration.
Though the theme of Dasvidaniya is not new, Shashant Shah’s version has a the total ambience of an Indian common man and his characterization of Amar is a standout. And again Vinay Pathak gives an outstanding performance as Amar.
Go and share the joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams and desperations of Amar of Dasvidaniya. Who knows, you may find a bit of yourself in Amar.
3.25 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar