Movie Review: COCKTAIL (2012)

Published by Shah Shahid on

Oh how I hate horrible Bollywood movies. If it wasn’t for the teenager living with me, I’d hate this one too. And I did. And you, reader, shall bear the brunt of my irritation through verbal lashing of the director and stars of COCKTAIL.


1 Out Of 5 Stars

Director Homi Adajania’s first film, BEING CYRUS, was awesome. Genius really. His 2nd film was everything that is wrong with movies in Bollywood. Everything! *breathes…

COCKTAIL is the story about an innocent young girl, Meera, who moves to London to meet up with her arranged married husband. However, after her husband rejects her, revealing he only married her for money, Meera ends up sharing a room with Club-Rat and a very Western Deepika Padukone’s Veronica.

1st of all, I don’t care how ‘western’, ‘modern’ and progressive a South Asian girl becomes… there is an innate sense of decency which prevents such a girl from parading around pants-less in front of elders and more conservative Desi Aunties, which Deepika’s character does, without even the after thought that it could be inappropriate. Hell, I’m sure non-South Asian girls would be looking for pants if their boyfriend’s mother walks in! These types of narrow minded portrayals in Indian Cinema is what perpetuates the stereotypes that living outside of the “Mother Land” corrupts the innocent youth of Desi-topia. Let’s not even get into how the only form of redemption for Veronica comes when she decides to become all the typically decent and proper Indian girl in a Saree, when she contemplates marriage with Gautam. Again furthering the notion that a woman needs a man in her life for it to be on track. I wouldn’t have had issues with the character of Veronica, if she was a consistent bad-ass. But her ‘bad girl’ aspect is set up, solely so they can humanize her later and show her doing a 180 into a more socially acceptable character. Bah!

“wait… I shouldn’t reform my bad girl ways JUST for a guy? I don’t understand…”

Moving on… There’s one principal consistency that must be mentioned about COCKTAIL: Saif Ali Khan’s character Gautam, is an insensitive, cheating asshole. This isn’t my opinion at all, this is how he’s portrayed in the film, through out… consistently. Eliminating any possible chance for any sympathy or empathy for his character, when the inevitable ‘problems’ arise.

COCKTAIL is about Gautam and slutty Veronica hooking up at a club and starting a ‘casual’ and ‘clear’ relationship devoid of emotions or any long terms plans culminating in marriage. Through a typical Indian movie plot device, Gautam has to end up spending a lot of time with Meera, the innocent Indian girl part of their BFF trio now. After a few shots of booze, and some intense eye contact, they end up kissing, causing Gautam to be ‘in love’. The innocent chick is smart, and decides to call it off for loyalty to her best friend Veronica. In the meantime, Veronica is considering shedding her slutty ways to marry Gautam after spending some time with his Mom. Awesome conflict yea?

and then there’s this… 😐

So dumbass Gautam decides to reveals everything to Veronica, thinking she’s gonna’ be cool with her boyfriend cheating on her, and give her aforementioned cheating boyfriend and best friend (still?!) the blessings to be with each other. That happens right? So Deepika does this awesome job of being completely bitter, (which Gautam and Meera are oblivious to) and sarcastically accepts their ‘relationship’. A few hours after which, she becomes a drunk, drug induced junkie… bawling in Gautam’s arms and spewing hate on Meera for stealing her man. Shocking!!

COCKTAIL is an immature and unintellectual movie, and it gets in its own way of trying to tell a decent story. The chemistry between the characters are 1 dimensional, (2 dimensional is 1 too many dimensions) the dialogue is cheesy and uninteresting. Performances are mediocre at best. Saif Ali Khan’s full on attempt at being funny, charming, or anything else positive in the first few scenes of establishing he’s a womanizer… blows up in his face as it’s intensely awkward and almost embarrassing seeing him try SO damn hard. There’s no genuine emotions involved whatsoever. We’re expected to believe that a few words exchanged, and a look during a drunken dance sequence, is enough for him to fall in love and reform his womanizing ways?

Saif Ali’s Gautam is a horrible person, which begs the question why the audience will care if he doesn’t get a happy ending at the conclusion? This is a man who is a self-admitted man whore. Is unfaithful to his GF with her best friend, then thinks she won’t care, and continues living under her roof after breaking up with her for the other girl. The kicker is that he’s completely unapologetic about ALL of it through out… and we’re supposed to root for this guy?!

d-bag… the character, not the actor. well, not always.

Deepika does a pretty decent job of being a 2 dimensional bitch bag. It’s annoying at some parts, but I believe that was the intended portrayal of Veronica. The only saving grace of the film (I gotta find a silver lining otherwise my ulcer will act up) is Diana Penty playing Meera. She is a delight and this was probably not the best debut for her. However, her character is portrayed consistently through out with some semblance of reasoning and logic. I hope she can crawl out of his cow dung and do something worthwhile with her career.

COCKTAIL is a film devoid of any real emotion or sense. The movie goes against the grain of common sense dynamics between men & women, modern day or otherwise, and causes others to believe that this is how things typically are in the Western World. Movies like COCKTAIL perpetuate the notion that people in the West don’t value culture, traditions, or have any importance of relationships or even common human decency. It’s a pile of polished and glossy Bollywood crap that needs to be burned and stricken from memory through intense electro shock therapy. (Yes, it’s THAT bad!)


Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


Katherine · August 31, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Your description of the problems with Veronica’s character is on point! I did like Deepika’s acting significantly more than you did, and in the V vs M debate will always side with Veronica who I found to be the least bitchy of the two, BUT the stereotypes of Deepika’s character were fucking ridiculous. There’s obviously just way too much wrong with this movie for either of us to cover in a single post (or a single post AND podcast episode, in my case).

    Shah Shahid · September 1, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    Looking back on it, Deepika’s performance was very good, given what she had to work with. And I really did like how, for once, the girl got the drunken Devdas song montage. I think her role in the movie was hurt by poor writing and even worse direction. I’ve never hated a director as much as I hated Homi Adajania after this. Probably what’s keeping me from watching ‘Finding Fanny’.

    Thanks for the comment Kay Fil.

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