Dostana (2008 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tarun Mansukhani
Produced by Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Screenplay by Tarun Mansukhani
Story by Tarun Mansukhani
Starring John Abraham
Abhishek Bachchan
Priyanka Chopra
Music by Vishal-Shekhar
Cinematography Ayananka Bose
Editing by Manan Sagar
Distributed by Dharma Productions
Yash Raj Films
Release date(s) November 14, 2008
Running time 142 Minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR50 crore (US$10.14 million)[citation needed]
Box office INR86.19 crore (US$17.48 million)[1]

Dostana (Hindi: दोस्ताना, translation: Friendship) is a 2008 romantic comedy film. It stars Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles. The film was directed by Tarun Mansukhani who previously was Karan Johar's assistant. It was produced by Dharma Productions.[2]

The film explores the story of two men who pretend to be gay, so that they can rent an apartment from an older lady. Both the men fall in love with the same girl, their roommate, but are unable to express their feelings because she is related to the old landlady.[3]

Dostana was filmed entirely in Miami, Florida. 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.[4]



Sameer Acharya (Abhishek Bachchan), a nurse, and Kunal Chauhan (John Abraham), a photographer, bump into each other while looking for an apartment to rent. They fall in love with the same apartment; however, the owner refuses to sublet it to them as her niece, Neha Melwani (Priyanka Chopra), will stay in the apartment alone. When a U.S. soldier mentions how much Sameer and Kunal remind him of his own relationship with his life partner, Sameer tries to convince Kunal to pretend to be lovers so that they may live in the apartment. Kunal initially refuses, but agrees out of desperation. Their plan works and they move in. Neha, Kunal, and Sameer spend time together and become good friends.

One day, Neha's boss, 'M', short for Murli (Boman Irani), announces that he is resigning his job as the editor of Verve magazine and will decide who should take his position. To impress her editor and get the job, Neha invites M for dinner at her house, telling him that she will introduce him to her gay friends. The evening turns out to be comedic. However, Sameer's mother finds out that her son might be gay and is not pleased. The next day at Neha's office, M announces that Abhimanyu Singh (Bobby Deol) will be the new editor. Neha, heartbroken, returns home where she is consoled by Sameer's mother. Kunal and Sameer then help Neha with her on a redesign project, given to her by Abhimanyu.

While Kunal is out for a few days, Sameer takes Neha on a romantic outing. Later, he tries to tell Neha about their scheme and admit that he loves her, but Kunal overhears and stops him. While they try to figure out what to do, Kunal suggests that Sameer meet him and Neha that night at a local dance bar. Instead, Kunal takes Neha to a romantic dinner and movie. The next morning, Sameer is furious with Kunal.

Abhimanyu and Neha start dating, and Sameer and Kunal decide to team up to sabotage the relationship. Despite their efforts, Abhimanyu and Neha eventually fall in love. Sameer and Kunal redirect their efforts into frightening Abhi's son, Veer, about his future stepmother.

Neha discovers that Abhi plans to propose to her during a basketball game. She leaves and asks Kunal and Sameer what she should do. Kunal and Sameer are shocked and reveal that they are not gay and are in love with her. Meanwhile, Veer tells Abhi of his fears and begins to cry, asking his father not to marry Neha. During the game, Abhi hugs Neha and ends the relationship, citing Veer's discomfort. Neha tearfully turns out Kunal and Sameer from the apartment and resigns from Verve.

A few months later, Kunal and Sameer go to court to collect their resident permits and realize that they miss Neha. They find her at a fashion show and try to apologize, but she refuses to see them. Abhi shows up, and Kunal asks when their wedding is. Neha tells him that they broke up because Veer wasn't comfortable with her. Kunal and Sameer then admit the truth about their manipulations, infuriating Abhi and Neha.

Kunal and Sameer get on the stage and beg for Neha's forgiveness, with the crowd egging them on and asking them to get on their knees and give flying kisses to Neha. Then they are asked to kiss each other, and the guys adamantly refuse to do so. Neha and Abhi begin to turn away. At the last moment, Kunal forcibly kisses Sameer. Abhi is amazed and tells Neha that the guys were really her best friends, as he wouldn't have done that for her. Neha goes to them and they make up.

Kunal and Sameer propose to Abhi for Neha. He agrees, and Neha and Abhi get married. Two months later, Neha, Kunal, and Sameer are sitting on the apartment's balcony, enjoying themselves. Neha asks them if they felt anything during their charade of pretending to be gay. Kunal and Sam get defensive and Neha leaves saying "sorry touchy topic." Sam and Kunal, now alone, remembering the kiss. In the end, they all remain best friends.



Box office

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-only behind Singh is Kinng and Race[5] 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. 85 crores) worldwide.[6][7]

Critical reception

The film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate 100% (fresh) rating.[8] 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".[9] 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."[10] 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".[11] 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".[12] AOL India gave it 3 out of 5, with Noyon Jyoti Parasara calling Dostana "a fun film".[13]

Among other U.S. 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".[14] Critic and author Maitland McDonagh in, placing the film in a larger context, analyzed 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".[15]


Studio album by Vishal-Shekhar
30 September 2008
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 30:49
Label Sony BMG
Producer Vishal-Shekhar

The film's soundtrack was composed by Vishal-Shekhar. The album met with an electrifying response from potential audiences. According to the statistics published on IndiaFM, Dostana debuted at #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 Artist(s) Length
1. "Jaane Kyun"   Vishal Dadlani 4:38
2. "Desi Girl"   Shankar Mahadevan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani 5:07
3. "Maa Da Ladla"   Master Saleem 4:05
4. "Shut Up & Bounce"   Vishal Dadlani, Sunidhi Chauhan 4:38
5. "Khabar Nahin"   Vishal Dadlani, Shreya Ghoshal, Amanat Ali, Raja Hasan 4:19
6. "Kuch Kam"   Shaan 5:41
7. "Maa Da Ladla" (Mummy Mix) Master Saleem, Sunidhi Chauhan 4:02
Total length:


The soundtrack received generally positive reviews. Joginder Tuteja of IndiaFM stated that "Dostana is an excellent album from Vishal-Shekhar which does not carry a single number which doesn't work", giving the soundtrack 4 out of 5 stars. NDTV also gave the soundtrack 4 out of 5 stars stating that "that the soundtrack of the film will keep the cash registers ringing, with "Shut Up and Bounce" as an exception." Coincidentally most critics were in favour of every track apart from "Shut Up and Bounce," which they described as a huge disappointment considering it carried the tune played during the first promo of Dostana. Some even said that it lacked originality and because of its familiar tune, comparisons were made between "Shut Up and Bounce" and Kal Ho Naa Ho's "It's the Time to Disco".

Another song "Maa da laadla" affirms that Dostana isn't just about soothing, pleasant numbers but also about celebration. Punjabi in flavour, the song has good beats and is sung by Saleem. The lyrics of the song, penned by Kumaar, are noteworthy. The track has a slight humorous essence as well. 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 even said that Dostana "certainly wasn't the best from Dharma Productions". has given it 3 out of 5 stars saying that it features some of the nicest groovy numbers. The Times of India has rated the soundtrack 3 out of 5 and mentioned that its cliche. 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. His allegations were that "Kuch Kum" was originally composed by Vishal-Shekhar for a film to be directed by Tarun Mansukhani under his banner, but the film never took off. Hence, Vishal-Shekhar used "Kuch Kum"'s composition in Dostana, which apparently made Pritish Nandy, "livid" and caused him to "raise objections" against the use of the song. Instead of wasting time going to court, Dharma Productions decided to handle the situation mutually by paying Nandy Rs. 3 crores in compensation.[16]


Filmfare Award

  • Nominated- Best Movie
  • Nominated- Best Music Director- Vishal-Shekhar

International Indian Film Academy Awards

Stardust Awards

Star Screen Awards

Blu-ray release

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. It was reported that along with the existing cast of the film (excluding Priyanka Chopra and Bobby Deol) Johar has roped in Katrina Kaif,[17] Arjun Rampal and Ritesh Deshmukh and Shreyas Talpade. Ritesh Deshmukh and Shreyas Talpade will play a real gay couple. Bipasha and Aishwarya have been reportedly signed up for playing a cameo. It is believed that John & Abhishek would fall for them but after an item song it would be revealed that they are a lesbian couple. Sources reveal that this track is considered as the replacement of the Shilpa Shetty track for the opening scene.


  1. ^ "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide (IND Rs)". Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Karan's film with Tarun Mansukhani titled Dostana". Bollywood Hungama. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ "All you wanted to know about Dostana". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  4. ^ Box Office India. "Top Earners 2008". Retrieved July 10, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Dostana fetches staggering start overseas". 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Dostana grosses Rs 1 billion worldwide in four weeks". 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  7. ^ "Dostana Box Office". 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  8. ^ "Dostana on rotten tomatoes". Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  9. ^ "Dostana - Review". 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Dostana - Movie Review". 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  11. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (2008-11-14). "Movie Review". Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  12. ^ "Dostana is injuriously entertaining". 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  13. ^ "Review". 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  14. ^ Lovece, Frank, Film Review: Dostana, Film Journal International
  15. ^ McDonagh, Maitland, Dostana (review)
  16. ^ "'Dostana' grips controversy". Bolly Curry. 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  17. ^ "Katrina refuses 3 Idiots Tamil version". Hindustan Times. 18 April 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 

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