Dil Dhadakne Do (transl. Let the heart beat) is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Zoya Akhtar, and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar. The film features an ensemble cast of Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar, with a voice-over performance by Aamir Khan as the family dog Pluto, the narrator of the film. The supporting cast also includes Rahul Bose, Zarina Wahab, Vikrant Massey, Pawan Chopra, Parmeet Sethi, Dolly Mattdo and Manoj Pahwa. The film tells the story of the Mehras, a dysfunctional Punjabi family who invite their family and friends on a cruise trip to celebrate the parents’ 30th wedding anniversary and later reconcile.
Akhtar conceived the film as a family drama centred on a brother-sister relationship. She wanted to depict a more realistic sibling relationship in contrast to the dubious and over-the-top portrayal for which Bollywood is known. Akhtar later co-wrote the screenplay with her friend and longtime collaborator Reema Kagti. Much of the principal photography was done on Pullmantur Cruises’ ship MS Sovereign while sailing across the Mediterranean and Europe, and on land in France, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and Italy.
The soundtrack was composed by the trio Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, with lyrics by Javed Akhtar. The film was released worldwide on 5 June 2015 to positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of Kapoor, Shah, Chopra and Singh, who portrayed the members of the Mehra family, as well as Akhtar’s direction, cinematography and costumes. The film grossed ₹1.45 billion at the box office against a production and marketing budget of ₹830 million, and earned a number of accolades. It received five Filmfare nominations, winning Best Supporting Actor for Kapoor. Dil Dhadakne Do also received nine nominations at the 2016 Screen Awards, including Best Film, and won two, Best Supporting Actor for Kapoor and Best Ensemble Cast.
Kamal Mehra is a millionaire businessman who owns AyKa, a company on the verge of bankruptcy. He has a troubled relationship with his wife Neelam, daughter Ayesha and son Kabir. The Mehra family also includes their pet dog, Pluto. Ayesha owns a successful business but is unhappy with her marriage to Manav Sangha, a controlling, narcissistic husband who, together with his mother Smita hates Ayesha’s family. Kabir, who yearns to become a pilot, unwillingly participates in the family business. Kamal and Neelam invite their family and friends for a ten-day cruise across the Mediterranean to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Their guests include the Sood family, consisting of businessman Lalit Sood, his wife Naina and their daughter Noori. Kamal and Neelam plan to get Kabir married to Noori in exchange for Lalit investing in AyKa.
The Mehra family and all of their guests board the cruise ship in Italy. Kabir meets Farah, a dancer, and begins a relationship with her. Noori is in love with Rana Khanna, the son of Vinod and Vandana. The Khannas, however, are sworn enemies of the Soods due to Rana’s uncle cheating on Noorie’s aunt many years ago, so Kabir and Noori decide to manipulate their parents into believing they are dating each other while continuing with their respective relationships. Ayesha considers divorcing her husband, whom she believes is incompatible with her. Her parents are staunchly against it, believing it will dishonour the family. Meanwhile, Sunny Gill, the son of Kamal’s manager Amrish, arrives on the ship. Sunny and Ayesha dated each other as teenagers. Kamal, who was unhappy with their relationship, arranged and paid for Sunny’s Yale University tuition to separate him from Ayesha. Ayesha realises that she still harbours feelings for Sunny, now a successful journalist. Unlike Manav, Sunny appreciates Ayesha’s strong personality and believes in female empowerment.
Neelam sees Kamal flirting with one of the female guests and wonders why she did not divorce him despite his past infidelities. Ayesha confronts Sunny about his sudden departure and kisses him, which she later regrets because she is married. Meanwhile, Farah hears that Kabir is planning to marry Noori and ends their relationship. Elsewhere, Kamal sees Noori making out with Rana and has a fit, after which he is rushed to the onboard emergency room. His family is worried about him but the doctor assures them that Kamal is fine and it was just a severe case of gas. At the clinic, Kamal tells Kabir he saw Noori with Rana and asks him to end his relationship with her. Kabir tells his family he knew about the couple’s relationship and that he is in love with Farah. He also tells them he intends to leave the family business and asks them to consider Ayesha, who is actually interested in business. He also tries to persuade them to let her proceed with her divorce as she is unhappy with the marriage, but Kamal and Neelam still refuse, believing marriages are lifelong commitments. Infuriated, Kabir tells Kamal that he, Neelam and Ayesha were all aware of his adultery and that Neelam has been bearing his infidelities and suffering silently to save the family. Kamal asks Neelam why she had not divorced him; she reveals she had no choice because her family would not accept her back due to their fear of dishonour. Kamal realises his mistake, asks for Neelam’s forgiveness and consoles her. Later, while trying to reconcile Manav and Ayesha, Kamal sees how Manav mistreats his daughter and asks him and Smita to leave. He agrees to the divorce and asks Ayesha for forgiveness.
Kabir tries to persuade Farah to forgive him for lying to her, but she is dismissed from her job for being involved with a passenger and is told to leave the ship. Kabir learns about her dismissal after the ship has set sail from the port where it had docked for some time. Seeing no other option, Kabir, aided by Sunny, jumps off the ship, hoping his family will rescue him and help him get ashore. Kamal, Neelam, Ayesha, and Pluto eventually find a lifeboat to rescue him. While leaving, Ayesha asks Sunny if he would wait for her, to which he replies “forever”. The family rescue Kabir and head towards the shore while being chased by the ship’s crew. The Mehra family is seen happy in each other’s presence for the first time.
The cast is listed below:
Anil Kapoor as Kamal Mehra
Shefali Shah as Neelam Mehra
Priyanka Chopra as Ayesha Mehra
Ranveer Singh as Kabir Mehra
Anushka Sharma as Farah Ali
Farhan Akhtar as Sunny Gill
Aamir Khan in a voice over as Pluto Mehra
Rahul Bose as Manav Sangha
Zarina Wahab as Smita Sangha
Vikrant Massey as Rana Khanna
Ridhima Sud as Noorie Sood
Pawan Chopra as Prem Mehra
Ayesha Raza Mishra as Indu Mehra
Parmeet Sethi as Lalit Sood
Dolly Minhas as Naina Sood
Manoj Pahwa as Vinod Khanna
Preeti Mamgain as Vandana Khanna
Shireesh Sharma as Jamaal Hashmi
Divya Seth as Saira Hashmi
Ikhlaque Khan as Amrish Gill
Vandana Sajnani as Anju Chopra
Sarah Hashmi as Divya Mehra
Khushi Dubey as Putlu Mehra