Dostana (2008 film)

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Dostana, 2008 film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tarun Mansukhani
Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Screenplay by Tarun Mansukhani
Story by Tarun Mansukhani
Starring John Abraham
Abhishek Bachchan
Priyanka Chopra
Music by Songs:
Background Score:
Salim Sulaiman
Edited by Manan Sagar
Distributed by Dharma Productions
ShowMan Pictures
Yash Raj Films
Release dates
  • 14 November 2008 (2008-11-14)
Running time
142 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 30 crore (US$4.8 million)
Box office 1.02 billion (US$16 million)(Share)[1]

Dostana (Hindi: दोस्ताना, translation: Camaraderie, Friendship, or even Bromance) is a 2008 Indian romantic comedy film directed by Tarun Mansukhani and starring Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles. Dostana was filmed entirely in Miami, Florida. It is loosely inspired by the Hollywood movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.[2] Filming began in March 2008, and the film was released on 14 November 2008. It went on to become the eighth highest grossing film at the Indian box office in 2008.[3]


Nurse Sameer Kapoor (Abhishek Bachchan) and photographer Kunal Chopra (John Abraham) run into each other while looking for an apartment to rent. They become enamoured of the same apartment; however, the owner refuses to sublet it to either one of them because her niece, Neha Melwani (Priyanka Chopra), will stay in the apartment alone and she does not want men living there with her. When a homosexual American soldier at a hot-dog stand mentions how much Sameer and Kunal remind him of his own relationship with his long-term partner, Sameer tries to persuade Kunal to pretend they are lovers so that they may live in the apartment. Kunal initially refuses but, desperate for the apartment, he decides to agree to it. Their plan works and they move in. Neha, Kunal and Sameer become good friends, and soon Kunal and Sameer develop feelings for Neha.

Neha's boss, Murli 'M' (Boman Irani), resigns his job as the editor of Verve magazine and announces that he will soon appoint a successor. To impress him, Neha invites M for dinner at her house, telling him that she will introduce him to her homosexual friends. The evening starts off fun but dissolves into disaster when M discovers neither Sameer not Kunal is actually single. Sameer's mother, who had received a letter at her house in London from the U.S. government confirming approval for Sameer's application for domestic partnership with Kunal, abruptly brings the night to a close when she arrives at Neha's doorstep and discovers her son's homosexual proclivities. The next day at Neha's office, M announces that Abhimanyu 'Abhi' Singh (Bobby Deol) is to be the new editor. Neha, deeply upset at being passed over for promotion, returns home where she is consoled by Sameer's mother. In turn, Neha helps Sameer's mother embrace her son's sexuality. Kunal and Sameer then help Neha with a project given to her by her new boss Abhi, with both Kunal and Sameer trying to impress Neha.

Sameer and Neha go shopping. While she is in the changing-room he musters the courage to tell her he loves her -- but she does not hear him. Instead, Kunal, who has s realised Sameer's intentions, overhears Sameer's confession and quickly puts a stop to his conversation with her, telling Sameer that he too loves Neha. Kunal hatches a plan, suggesting that Sameer meet him and Neha that night at a bar. This tricks Sameer into spending the night with Neha's aunt and her friends at a strip club while Kunal takes Neha on what he hopes to make a date -- though she perceives it as no more than a friendly outing that Sameer could not make it to, since she is convinced of their homosexuality. The next morning, Sameer is furious with Kunal, and the tension between the two baffles Neha.

Abhimanyu (nicknamed "Abhi") and Neha start dating, and Sameer and Kunal decide to team up and sabotage the relationship. Despite Sameer and Kunal's efforts, Abhimanyu and Neha fall in love. Sameer and Kunal redirect their efforts into frightening Abhi's ten-year-old son, Veer, about his future if his father marries Neha and Veer gains Neha as a stepmother. Neha discovers that Abhi plans to propose to her during a basketball game. Before half-time she pulls Kunal and Sameer aside and asks them for advice. The pair are shocked and tell her to say no, admitting that they are not homosexual and, in fact, are each in love with her. Meanwhile, Veer tells Abhi of his fears, begging his father not to marry Neha. During the game, Abhi hugs Neha and ends the relationship, citing Veer's discomfort. Neha tearfully evicts Kunal and Sameer from her apartment and resigns from "Verve."

A few months later, Kunal and Sameer meet each other at court to collect their resident permits and realise that though they may not have had a romantic relationship with each other or with Neha, they had a wonderful friendship, which is incomplete without Neha. Kunal and Sameer reconcile. The two find Neha at a fashion show and try to apologise, but she refuses to see them. Abhi appears and Kunal asks when their wedding is. Neha tells him that they broke up because Veer was fearful of gaining her as a stepmother. Kunal and Sameer admit to their machinations, which infuriates both Neha and Abhi. Kunal and Sameer climb onto the stage and beg for Neha's forgiveness, with the crowd encouraging them and blowing kisses to Neha. The crowd ask the men to kiss each other, and they refuse. Neha and Abhi begin to turn away. At the last moment, Kunal forcibly kisses Sameer. Abhi is amazed and Neha, reluctantly impressed at the lengths the two will stretch themselves to in order to regain her trust, forgives them. Kunal and Sameer, desperate to secure Neha's happiness, each get down on one knee and propose to Abhi on behalf of Neha. Abhi, amused, agrees and he and Neha marry.

Two months later, Neha, Kunal, and Sameer are knocking back beers on a sunny day in a Miami park. Neha playfully asks the two whether they might have felt anything for each other in the time they spent pretending to be homosexual. The men are defensive and Neha, tickled, takes her leave with a, "Sorry, touchy topic." Sam and Kunal, now alone, remember their kiss.



Critical reception[edit]

The film review site Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate 100% (fresh) rating, based on 5 reviews.[4] Rony D'Costa of Box Office India gave it 3 stars out of 5, stating, "Dostana is fresh, frothy, naughty & a delightful romantic comedy. It's an ideal date movie".[5] Bollywood Hungama gave it 4 stars out of 5, with Taran Adarsh commenting, "On the whole, DOSTANA is a winner all the way. In terms of content, it might just prove to be a trendsetter."[6] The Times of India gave it 4 stars out of 5, stating, "Just for laughs, with a loose second half, Dostana boasts of some fine chemistry between the two lead players: Abhishek and John".[7] The review at makes note of the elaborate sequences and the possibility of the film becoming a financial success. However, it also mentions that the film is flawed in its depiction of homosexuality, calling it a "crucial blunder".[8] AOL India gave it 3 out of 5, with Noyon Jyoti Parasara calling Dostana "a fun film".[9]

Among other US critics, Frank Lovece of Film Journal International enjoyed it as a "[b]ig, colorful, delightfully dumb Bollywood 'gateway' movie" that "could be a perfect crossover vehicle for U.S. audiences". Referring to the thematically similar film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Lovece said "this reverse La Cage aux Folles ... is miles above Adam Sandler's Hollywood take on the topic".[10] Critic and author Maitland McDonagh in, placing the film in a larger context, analysed that it "trades in stereotypes about swishy queers, shallow horndogs, frustrated career girls, guilt-wielding (s)mothers and overbearing aunties who need to chill out and get laid. And you know what? It's pretty damned funny and oddly subversive. Yes, everyone learns a lesson about tolerance without actually embracing an alternative lifestyle, but any movie that can finagle two macho movie studs into a full-on smooch that doesn't devolve into slapstick gay panic is venturing into risky territory".[11]


Studio album by Vishal-Shekhar
30 September 2008
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 30:49
Label Sony BMG
Producer Vishal-Shekhar
Vishal-Shekhar chronology
Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) Dostana (2008) Aladin (2009)

The film's soundtrack was composed by Vishal-Shekhar. The album met with critical acclaim. According to the statistics published on IndiaFM, Dostana debuted at No. 4 on its Top Ten Soundtrack Sales Chart. Listeners registered on the website reviewed the album favourably and Dostana's music had an average rating of 4 stars out of 5.

Track listing
No. Title Lyrics Artist(s) Length
1. "Jaane Kyun"   Anvita Dutt Guptan Vishal Dadlani 4:38
2. "Desi Girl"   Kumaar Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani 5:07
3. "Maa Da Ladla"   Kumaar Master Saleem 4:05
4. "Shut Up & Bounce"   Anvita Dutt Guptan Vishal Dadlani, Sunidhi Chauhan 4:38
5. "Khabar Nahin"   Anvita Dutt Guptan Vishal Dadlani, Shreya Ghoshal, Amanat Ali 4:19
6. "Kuch Kum"   Vishal Dadlani Shaan 5:41
7. "Maa Da Ladla" (Mummy Mix) Kumaar Master Saleem, Sunidhi Chauhan 4:02
Total length:


The soundtrack received generally favourable reviews. Joginder Tuteja of IndiaFM stated that "Dostana is an excellent album from Vishal-Shekhar. It does not carry a single number that doesn't work", giving the soundtrack 4 out of 5 stars. NDTV also gave the soundtrack 4 out of 5 stars, stating: "the soundtrack of the film will keep the cash registers ringing, with "Shut Up and Bounce" as an exception." Similarly, most music critics praised every track except "Shut Up and Bounce," which was a disappointment. Because of its familiar tune, the song drew comparisons with Kal Ho Naa Ho's "It's the Time to Disco".

In contrast to IndiaFM and NDTV, Buzz18's Chandrima Pal gave the soundtrack 2.5 stars out of 5, stating that it "misses out on most of the spunk Vishal-Shekhar had in their previous works". Rediff's Sukanya Verma also gave the soundtrack 2.5 stars out of 5, stating that "although Dostana's music is nice and peppy for the most part, it's nothing extraordinary." She added, Dostana "certainly wasn't the best from Dharma Productions". and The Times of India each rated the soundtrack a 3 out of 5.

Later, a video 'Maa Da Laadla - Remix' was released. It was also the ending theme for the movie.


Pritish Nandy, owner of Pritish Nandy Communications, filed a court case against Dharma Productions for using the song "Kuch Kum" without his permission. He alleged that "Kuch Kum" was originally composed by Vishal-Shekhar for a different film to be directed by Tarun Mansukhani under his banner, but the project was shelved. When Vishal-Shekhar used "Kuch Kum"'s composition in Dostana Pritish Nandy was "livid", "raising objections" against the use of the song. Dharma Productions settled the matter out of court, paying Nandy 3 crore (US$480,000) in compensation.[12]

Box office[edit]

Dostana performed well both in India and overseas markets. Its opening weekend gross in the USA was $645,604 whilst in the UK, it was the third biggest opener behind Singh is Kinng and Race[13] with £341,665. As of 21 December 2008, the film had grossed $1,444,246 after a 37-day run at the UK box office alone with its total production budget of $2 million being almost covered. In the USA, the film had a total gross of $1,243,910 as of 11 December 2008, whereas in countries such as Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, Netherlands and India the total gross was $16,650,664. In India, (as of 12 December 2008) the film had earned $14,718,754 which was 82% of its total gross. As of 11 December 2008, the film had a grossed $17,894,574 (which is just over Rs. 850 million) worldwide.[14][15]


Filmfare Award

International Indian Film Academy Awards

Stardust Awards

Star Screen Awards

Blu-ray release[edit]

Yash Raj Films released Dostana on Blu-ray on 14 December 2009.


In 2009 reports came out that director Tarun Mansukhani and Karan Johar are planning for a sequel of the film to cash in on its success, the sequel is titled Dostana 2. It was reported that along with the existing cast of the film (excluding Priyanka Chopra and Bobby Deol) Johar has roped in Katrina Kaif,[16] Arjun Rampal, Ritesh Deshmukh and Shreyas Talpade. Ritesh Deshmukh and Shreyas Talpade will play a real gay couple.


  1. ^ "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide (IND Rs)". Box Office India. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  2. ^ I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry"
  3. ^ "Top Earners 2008". Box Office India. Retrieved 10 July 2008. 
  4. ^ "Dostana on rotten tomatoes". Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "Dostana - Review". Box Office India. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "Dostana - Movie Review". 13 November 2008. Retrieved 13 November 2008. 
  7. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (14 November 2008). "Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Dostana is injuriously entertaining". 14 November 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  9. ^ "Review". 14 November 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  10. ^ Lovece, Frank, Film Review: Dostana, Film Journal International
  11. ^ McDonagh, Maitland, Dostana (review)
  12. ^ "'Dostana' grips controversy". Bolly Curry. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Dostana fetches staggering start overseas". 15 November 2008. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "Dostana grosses Rs 1 billion worldwide in four weeks". 11 December 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  15. ^ "Dostana Box Office". 11 December 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2008. 
  16. ^ "Katrina refuses 3 Idiots Tamil version". Hindustan Times. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 

External links[edit]