1975, David (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is the guarding angel of Iqbal Ghani, a ruthless enforcer and underworld king. After a terrorist attack in India which traces its funding to Ghani, the Indian army wants him dead. The first attempt on his life is foiled by David but in pursuit of the assailants, David uncovers a secret about Ghani and his mother which questions his years of loyalty for Ghani. He realizes that Ghani might have been the one who had killed his father and forced his mother to be his mistress. This realization sets him en-route to what turns out to be his destiny. The matter is made worse when Ghani forcefully marries of David’s love interest with his lackluster son.
1999, David (Vinay Virmani) is flamboyant guitarist who dreams of making it big in the world of music. His father Noyal (Nasser) who happens to be a missionary is hell bent on spreading the message of peace and oneness all over. David soon lands up with the chance of his life to go abroad but on that fateful day, the members of a radical organization lay siege to his home and botches his Father’s face with black slime as a mark of redemption for his attempts at converting people to his ways and religion. David is crestfallen at his father’s unprecedented insult and decides to bring down the organization and its leader Malati Tai (Rohini Hatangadey).
2010, David (‘Chiyaan’ Vikram) is a not so happy fisherman whose wife had runoff
leaving him an emotional wreck and an object of ridicule in front of his whole community. He has a best friend in Peter, who is about to get married to Roma (Isha Sharvani). One look at Roma and David falls head over heels in love with her. He believes that she loves him too and decides to do his best to call off the wedding by objecting to it on the day of wedding itself. His advisors though have different opinions. While his friend Frenny (Tabu) supports his decision, his dead Father (Saurabh Shukla) is dead against his action.
David is the story of three Davids developing in their entirety and then culminating by crisscrossing each others path at different junctures. The film David in order to succeed needed all the three stories to succeed individually. And this is where it suffers. The treatment though wonderfully envisioned is erratic and uneven. While some of the sequences are powerful enough to blow you away, some dangerously dwell on the borders of mediocrity. The 1975 track is the best out of the three. Shot in black and white tones, the art work is amazingly good. The story also has the necessary punch to keep the viewers engrossed. The sudden surge of action and violence coupled with the wonderful performance of Neil Nitin Mukesh makes for a great viewing. This is also the story which grabs the most interest and also has some of the best tracks. Glittering with the catchy “Mast Kalander” track, the music is in stark keeping with the mood and effortlessly elevates certain scenes. Look out for the love making scene between David and Noor (Monica Dogra) and also the scene towards the end where David confronts Ghani about his past.
The 1999 track though starts slow , picks up momentum quickly. The defamation of father Noyal and its subsequent effect on David makes for sensitive viewing. The scene where Noyal breaks down in front of his children, the scene where David is coxed into attacking Malati Tai and also the discussion about why the organization attacked his father between David and the leader of the thugs is skillfully filmed.
The 2010 track starring Vikram is the weakest and generates the least interest. It drags from the instance the love angle is created and apart from some spates of much needed relief thrown in by the stupendous Saurab Shukla as the dead father of David and the talented Tabu, it hams all the way through till the climax. Having said that, Vikram does put his heart and soul into his character and I feel that might have been one of the reasons why this part was watchable in parts. Unfortunately it liquefies the effects of the other two stories by pausing the narrative every time, the viewer starts getting interested.
David’s technical finesse cannot be questioned. The editing is perfect and the cinematography is catchy. Some scenes are elevated purely because of the juxtaposition of the shots and that’s saying a lot about the editing. The direction is great and apart from the third track, Bejoy Nambiar gets almost everything right. The music is one of the high points of the movie. Wonderfully scored and with the sequences in mind, it makes for soulful listening. Nambiar carries forward his trademark style of shooting action sequences in slow motion with songs playing in the background. This time it’s “Maria Pitache” playing in the background as Vikram’s David goes berserk. The “Three Kills” track and complementing visuals make a sordid impact at the beginning and then in the climax. Look out for David shooting down a cop in a rally with the track playing in the background. The slow motion used with the fast track makes a strange correlation between visual and sound. thats one sequence beautifully done. The chain of events leading up to it also makes for enchanting view.
Performance wise, the three Davids excel. Neil Nitin Mukesh is a revelation. In a role which demanded a lot in terms of expression and attitude, Neil scores a perfect ten. Vinay Virmani is apt for the second David and does exceptionally well. He looks and acts the part. He feels real. Vikram is a live wire as the third David. Had it not been for his soulful act, the third David track would have fizzled out completely. Milind Suman as a Koran crunching henchman is noticeable. Monica Dogra is effective in a short but important role.
Enough said and done, David still merits as a worthy watch for its refreshing new take, high production values, good plots(at least two) and superb performances. It is one of the better films to have come out this year.