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Zindagi na milegi dobara – a review

First things first, it is beyond doubt that I can say a combination of Farhan Akhtar, Hritik Roshan and Abhay Deol get us to imagine that the movie would definitely have something to go for. Add to that, the likes of Katrina Kaif, Javed Akhtar and Shankar Ehsan Loy, it sure is a tempting mock-tail for me!

So I went to the evening show at one of the UFO digital theaters in my hometown. I’ll talk about whats great about that in some time. Now the movie… Zindagi na milegi dobara….

Cast: Hrithik Roshan(Arjun), Farhan Akhtar(Imraan), Abhay Deol(Kabir), Katrina Kaif(Laila), Kalki Koechlin(Natasha), Ariadna Cabrol(Laila’s Friend), Naseruddin Shah(Salman Habib – Imran’s Father), Deepti Naval(Imran’s mom).

Story & Direction : Zoya Akhtar.

Screen Play: Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar.

Dialogue: Farhan Akhtar.

Lyrics and Poetry: Javed Akhtar.

Music & Background-score: Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy.

Well I would not want to tell you the story here, but I’m excited to say how I liked it!

The Story:

The story opens with Kabir wanting to go on a bachlor-party-roadtrip in Spain. And what’s the big deal? one could probably guess from the promos those Mountain Dew ads that they would go adventure sporting! Still…whats the big deal? The deal is that of three sports, each would be picked by one of the three friends and it would be surprise for the other two. The point is…okay I wont tell you what the point is, go find out yourself :-p. In the go, they meet Laila in Spain. And as a matter of just a fact, she happens to be an Hindi speaking, Indian, and sexy deep diving trainer. Uff these Ittefaq (coincidence) happenings in the movies. The trio breaks many fears, share their confusions, get some clarity and more importantly, towards the end of the trip, get a fresh perspective about life.

My Observations and What I liked:

  1. The screenplay – slow paced (too slow for a few), and yet no gaps & glitches and exactly the kind I love watching.
  2. The cinematography – This is probably the art of slowing the video down, at least in this movie, it is so! And I say this to actually mention it was beautiful. We see so many scenes in slow motion and a serene background score. And believe me, that made it easy for us live through the gravity of the situations. The minutes after the deep ocean dive, the car drives through those magnificent Spanish landscapes, the confused Kabir’s stares into infinety… all of that!
  3. Whats simple yet fascinating – the fact that, in situations of breaking the fear of something, you evolve as an entirely different person, you discover the kind of joy you never experienced before. This aspect shown so supply in the movie, with the way Arjun is too scared to dive and then cries in joy after the deep water diving. The way Imran breaks his fear of heights and find it absolutely energizing afterwards. The way Kabir runs again to be chased by the bulls to finally feel triumphant. Boy that’s some feeling!
  4. Laila – Though her inning was so ittefaq based and her appearances in the storyline are too matter-of-fact like, Laila looked adorable! She really drills the point into Arjun. Plan for tomorrow but live today! And yeah not to for get, Katrina was some picture on the single-seater-Royal Enfield ride. By the way I was wondering if a Royal Enfield was availble in Europe, my little knowledge says it was an English brand that was brought to India decades ago. pcch!
  5. The poetry – I’ve developed my interest in poery only through Javed Akhtars Lyrics, believe me. But this one went one step ahead. It sounded so wonderful in Farhan Akhtar’s recital. Jab jab dard ka badal chyaya... and Toh zinda ho tum… whew. (Click on the links for the you-tube videos)
  6. The Tomatina festival – Wont it be out of the world to be squashing ripe red tomatoes on each other and play and only pay with hundreds of people around. ooh aah, take the world and paint it red.
  7. The Music – Last but not at all the least, the music is simply beautiful. I’m a great fan of Shankar Ehsan Loy and Javed Akhtar. So it comes without saying that I’m listening to this music for over three weeks and it will go on. Here are my favorites: Dil Dhadakne do, Ik Junoon, Khaboon ke parindey, Senorita.
  8. The Actors
    Farhan Akhtar: First glance at him he doesn’t seem he can act but this guy is a natural. Shy and aloof he might seem, but with the work he did with Rock-on and this movie, he is already one of my favorites.
    Abhay Deol: Boy this fellow is so much better than the ol-time deol band. And with the kind of movies he did (Dev-d, Oye lucky lucky oye) he is one helluvan actor. He is a per-fit for the confused Kabir’s role.
    Hrithik Roshan: This one fine actor in the making, from Mission Kashmir to Jodha akhbar, he’s done it all. Here he portrays Arjun who has his own weaknesses, his own bit of ego and his own bit of ire. With Hrithik’s extra expressive eyes, he can do so much with so less.
    Katrina Kaif: Man she is charming. She’s come a long way from a being glam doll to be proving her mettle as an actor of merit. She is naturally suave and she can act, just the right mix. I already talked about Laila.
    Kalki Koechlin: She was too good in Dev-D. And I’d say she did her justice playing Natasha, a catty to-be-wife.

In all ‘Zindagi na milegi dobara’ is such an apt title to the story. Its just my kind of people, my kind of drama and absolutely my kind of music, I loved every bit of it. And I recommend you watch it for sure. If you liked Dil Chahta Hai and Rock On, this is your kind of movie too!

Yeah about the UFO theater – the movie content if transmitted via a satellite directly to the theater terrace (yeah like DTH). That means so many things – movie starts and ends on time, if power goes off, you miss the bit before the power comes back on, Hi-definition content, of course limited by the theater’s audio and video capability, far less possibility of piracy. And you know what it cost me a meager 105 rupees – tickets for mom, dad and me, plus the parking fees! More than complete paisa vasool!!

Please share your views in the comments section, it helps!

15 Responses to “Zindagi na milegi dobara – a review”

  1. Sandilya says:

    which theater was it ? Menaka ? i still remember the MBNR Days and u know what i still keep reiterating the events of the day when we first met. do u remember ?

    After college fresher’s day, MBNR Station, night waiting for the late train ? i tht u were senior and ……………………. it was great to meet you that day, and i mean a lot.

    Also, the day when we started to post our resumes, u came from MBNR and met me and we started to distribute the resumes.
    wonderful !

    • bharath reddy says:

      No. Menaka is no more, its demolished and probably an apartment complex will replace it :-(. This was the Maheshwari theater.

      Yeah yeah I remember those days vividly. And those searching-for job days I shall remember for ever. We borrowed Sudheer’s bike and went around Hi-tech city to drop around 20 copies of our resumes. Nostalgia eh?

  2. Sandilya says:

    Abt u r review , u r great at writing and u write true. will watch sometime in this week.

  3. Pradeep says:

    i watched it last week, but by the time we came out of the cinema hall there was no trace of even a slightest memory of it. it was a watch-and-forget kind of a movie for me. story could be better..

    it falls in DCH category but DCH is way ahead of ZMND. had it been directed by farhan, it wud have been a far better one..zoya has a long way to go..her movie Luck by Chance gives you a similar feel..the pace of the movie turns you impatient..n i admit ZMND wasnt as bad as Luck by Chance..even DCH, Lakshya progress slowly but u sink into the movie as if u r on alcohol..Farhan is too good in tht genre.

    having said that, the locations are amazing! cinematography is the best thing abt the movie..

    • bharath reddy says:

      I agree that DCH was a master piece and ZMND could be a lot better in terms of the story line. I did not see Luck by Chance but Lakshya was not bad at all.

      Anyways, the Akhtar stamp is sure to be seen on all of these movies. They’re a brand now!

  4. Karteek Manchala says:

    Nice review! Without really telling the story.
    I will watch it just because you wrote about it!
    hahaha, keep writing

  5. Naga Santosh says:

    Hey Bharath,

    After going thru ur review, i got the clear picture of the movie… May be songs r missin… JUST KIDDING πŸ™‚

    Ur review really gives the complet feedback of d movie, story weightage and the performances of each and every actor.

    Gud going…pls keep posted…

  6. reshma rao says:

    Ude,khule asaman mein khaabon ke parinday!! i watched it yestrdy!!The way u narrated gives me the picture of movie again….luved the charactor naration!!keep writing πŸ™‚

  7. Kafkapot says:

    All who says DCH is far superior, I beg to differ. Of course, we’re all reluctant to accept that any film is half as good as DCH, as we’re all emotionally connected to the film. So it’s quite pointless to compare as everyone is biased toward DCH.

    As for the movie, I disagree that Farhan would have done better. Zoya is, imho, is equally good as Farhan (though Farhan’s dialogues are just top notch) in terms of direction, if not a step ahead. Tons of references, subtlety, characters that have depth, eccentric casting and great music sense – can’t ask for more now, can we? πŸ™‚ Many of the subtle details are missed by those who say the film is nothing compared to DCH etc and I hope they’ll notice this while watching this on DVD.

    So that’s my opinion, good review by the way. And I love Ude, and Senorita too, for the record πŸ™‚

    • bharath reddy says:

      Yeah people like DCH you see and that’s what makes them compare any of those ‘friends’ movies to DCH. And I would say Zoya just started and started really well at that, and I’m sure there will be great ones from her in the future. πŸ™‚ But one thing is for sure, the Akhtars are good at stories, dialogues, singing, direction and what not, the Akhtar brand is here to stay.
      Thanks for the comment by the way!

      • Kafkapot says:

        Yep. The difference is DCH is a ‘straight out there’ kind of movie, and a great one at it. Especially humor, if you see, there’s a lot of funny moments, that are not obvious at first glance, which is why I love it. Zoya FTW!

        Welcome by the way πŸ™‚

  8. Puja says:

    Hey Bharath,
    Yet again you painted a vivid picture of what you set out to write about. Believe me when I say that your piece evoked the very feelings that watching the movie had. All thanks to you, I have the craving to watch the movie again! Way to go!

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