When I was studying advertising, I always wondered why don’t advertisers change the way they give away social messages. If people are not bothered about their lives, why tell them that smoking or drinking and driving could kill you. It’s not going to work anyway. They know the consequences yet they chose to do it. I always thought that the advertisers need to focus on the consequences that people don’t usually think of. Put a finger on it and then pass on the message by wrapping it in either fear, grief, humour or any other emotion that catches the target audience’s attention.
Don’t Drink and Drive is the film that has done it right. When I first read the title of the film on its poster, I thought they are going to give the same old message – If you drink and drive, you might either die or kill someone on your way. But then it was Jai Sharm’s film, the man behind Gadhedo. I don’t expect conventional storytelling from him. I knew it would be different. Luckily, it was. Now, what’s different in this don’t drink and drive story is something I am not going to reveal here because if I do, it will take away all the fun. You got to watch it yourself. All I can tell you is that it’s humorous.
The writing and direction are, undoubtedly, excellent here but we should not forget that without Gagan Arora, Arjun Mathur, and Jitendra Joshi, the execution wouldn’t have been this solid and entertaining. You know I am a fan of Gagan Arora. I truly believe that he is one of the finest actors of our time. From a college going guy to a spoiled brat, he plays all his characters so convincingly that for us, the audience, he becomes that character. Then may he be Bagga from College Romance, Happy from Tabbar, Madhav from The Fame Game, or now, Anuj Mahavir from Don’t Drink and Drive. He steps out of the previous characters’ skin and then steps into the new ones. That’s his USP.
Arjun Mathur and Jitendra Joshi’s performances need no validation from anyone else. We already know they give their best to the characters they play.
Last but not the least, it’s an Amazon miniTV film. It has to be good. I simply wish that their focus always remains on quality content. As they grow, let’s hope, like other streaming platforms, content doesn’t mean only business to them. When OTT was born, every piece of content was either a masterpiece or was very close to attaining perfection. Now, as streaming platforms are focusing only on the business side of things, content is being side-lined. That I think is the worst business strategy. Let’s hope that Amazon cracks the right strategy (which it seems to have cracked) and sticks to it.
Streaming On: Amazon miniTV