The film opens with Gautam Kapoor (Saif Ali Khan) flirting with a flight attendant on the way to London, something he repeats with many girls in the film. On another flight is a newly wedded conservative girl Meera Gupta (Diana Penty) on her way to meet her husband of a sham wedding. And then there is the carefree Veronica D'Costa (Deepika Padukone) for whom partying is a way of life.
Circumstances lead to a helpless Meera finding shelter in Veronica's home. The two soon become close buddies. Gautam who is in a casual relationship with Veronica moves in with them. Later, after a run in with his mom and uncle who may not be approving of Veronica, he pretends that Meera is his girl. The two don't like each other much, but as the movie progresses, sparks fly between them.
While we are accustomed to seeing Saif in yippie playboy roles in 'Hum Tum', he must realize that many years have now passed since he did them. And his age now shows. Although his mom in the film Dimple Kapadia says he is 32, he surely looks a decade older, closer to his actual age, 42. Despite this glaring drawback, some of his Casanova antics are funny although some others are way overboard.
There was a quite a bit of noise about Diana Penty's debut but there is nothing remarkable about her. She is overshadowed by Deepika, both in the looks department and acting. In fact, Diana Penty was the first choice to play Ranbir's love interest in 'Rockstar' which eventually went to Nargis Fakhri. After watching cocktail, it was evident that if Penty was cast in Rockstar, the film wouldn't have had as much impact.
Deepika Padukone, for one, has actually learnt some acting skills. Compared to what she was in 'Om Shanti Om', she has come a long way. Also, she carries off her designer wear with aplomb. Amidst all the gloom, her acting is an asset to the film.
Where the film fails are with its poor writing and shallow characters who are seen partying around most of time as if they are on an unending holiday. None of them have must depth to their personality. Boman Irani & Dimple Kapadia contribute to some funny moments, but isn't enough to keep it going.
The worst thing about cocktail is that it aligns with the hypocritical Indian moral view where Veronica, the promiscuous party-girl is a bad girl while a god-fearing and docile type casted Meera is supposedly virtuous and gets the guy in the end. All this when our hero manages to 'patao' every other girl around except Meera. Maybe it's only the hunt that gets him interested in her rather than anything else.
Songs like 'Tumhi Ho Bandhu', 'Daaru Desi' are already runaway hits. But with Pritam being the Music Director, we would never know the source till one looks up YouTube with the search string 'pritam songs + copy' . As far as the Punjabi folk song 'Jugni' is concerned, the movie makers have purchased rights for its use.
'Cocktail' comes across as a confused film. Did they want to show a purely romantic flick like 'Love Aaj Kal' exploring urban relationships? Or did they want to play safe with some 'homely girl vs. party girl: who gets the boy' theme? Or was this meant to be a comedy? In fact, it is a cocktail of these three, with the recipe gone awry.
Now for the verdict: Don't be fooled by its name coz this cocktail isn't going to get you intoxicated. Probably, one can call it a mock-tail instead. Don't even watch it on TV.
Rating 4/10: Average fare romance flick with shallow characters