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Movie Review: Coffee with ‘D’

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This is a movie that insults your intelligence, and it would be a good idea to keep a safe distance from it

CAST: Sunil Grover, Zakir Hussain, Dipannita Sharma| DIRECTOR: Vishal Mishra

This movie is what you get when you cross Arnab with Karan. About a news anchor who creates a lot of noise on Television, but whose channel's ratings are now sinking like the Titanic, Coffee with ‘D’ is the story of Arnab (Sunil Grover) and his resuscitation by the artificial respiration provided him by the ‘go to’ man of Hindi cinema, the CEO of ‘D’ company. The whole film is about how Arnab’s wife gives him the brain wave of interviewing the big ‘D’ in Karachi, and about how Arnab provokes the fearsome Don to agree to a bare all interview which turns the fortunes of his channel around.

The movie is based on a script with a single digit idea, with not even an iota of texture or development. The formula is simple. To instigate ‘D’ (Zakir Hussain) into reacting angrily, Arnab does some fictional interviews on television about how the Don grew up in Dongri, Mumbai, and got into scraps with the Police for doing nasty things like harassing women and committing a few murders. A ‘bhajiwalla’ comes along and says that the infamous gangster, now absconding in Pakistan, still owes him money for his vegetable purchases. All these fake interviews are then apparently discussed with some seriousness on social media, and Twitter comes to the conclusion that the ‘D’ is a cheap Don who dares not come back to India, because he is afraid of payback time, associated with people to whom he owes many debts.

These random comments are picked up by ‘D’s’ flunkey, who spends the whole day in Karachi staring at his smart phone and getting humiliated, on behalf of his boss. So ‘D’ gets an idea. He will invite Arnab to Pakistan for an exclusive interview, and then murder him on live Television. That way, he reasons, everyone will be happy. Arnab will get great TRPs for his channel, and make a dramatic comeback, albeit posthumously, no one will ever dare to ask for an interview with the great Don again, and, most importantly, his flunkey will be able to concentrate on work again and collect ‘haftas’ for murders, extortions and miscellaneous commercial activity.

Very few of the jokes in the movie are funny and the interview itself is, naturally, quite anti-national, with ‘D’ telling very negative and unpatriotic stories about the nation of his birth. Arnab alternately bellows like his namesake on TV news, and makes coy and cute faces like in the talk show with Coffee. Only one story with black humor told by ‘D’ gets wry laughter from both the TV and the film audience. He says that at one point he was so angry with India that he sent a lady suicide bomber to Delhi, but before she could detonate the device, she was assaulted and raped by several men outside a petrol pump. Everyone tut-tuts with disapproval, and agrees that Delhi is really unsafe for women.

Coffee with ‘D’ is also a sexist comedy. It is a complete mystery as to why the film needs to have a celebrity news writer called Neha (Dipannita Sharma) accompany Arnab to Pakistan, other than to get ‘D’ ogle her while answering questions. Her fee, we are told at the beginning, is a night with Arnab. Though he eventually gives her a rain cheque for that event management, her attire and general attitude has ‘bimbo’ written all over it, and she plays little or no part in the plot of the film.

In other words, this is a movie that insults your intelligence, and it would be a good idea to keep a safe distance from it.