Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Movie Review

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara - Theatrical Poster

You walk into the cinema expecting something on the lines of “Dil Chahtha Hai”. The credits roll, after a brief introduction of the three friends – Kabir (Abhay), Imran (Farhan) and Arjun (Hrithik). Seeing the names on the title credits at the start you are all set for a “Dil Chahtha Hai” ride, like we would have had if we had had a movie based theme park. And you are entertained on those lines for few minutes with the witty one liners and depiction of real-life bonding between the friends.

But that is just skin deep. The more you go into it, the movie strips its outer layers of the “Dil Chahtha Hai” feel, to reveal a more serious theme. The film’s narrative takes in the 3 protagonists and carefully dissects their problems and hidden emotions. There is no concrete storyline. The road trip sets to loosen up them to cast away the veil and soak in the beautiful warmth of their present day in life. The problem and tribulations of some of the characters are mentioned and sympathized, whereas some are left unsaid (the character played by Katrina for instance).

To make such a serious theme lighter, the backdrop of Spain is a perfect ingredient. I could hardly count a shot or two of Mumbai/India, rest of the screen time was devoured by Spain. The most commendable part of the trip for sure is the underwater scuba diving. With Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy providing an apt near-to-silence BGM for those underwater scenes, the experience is magical. The other important and defining moment in the film is the sky diving scene. Just when all the three dance drop in the air and hold their hands together to form a circle, there is silence for a moment and the bond they share as friends is highlighted. These are the scenes that cannot be brought alive on a TV or a laptop. The dialogues are penned by Farhan Akhtar himself and he voices-over the poems in the movie too.

Running away from the Bulls

In the acting department, all the three male lead actors have done a wonderful job. They have refrained from showing any traits of larger-than-life persona on screen, save for their toned up physique. They laugh, brood and cry on screen like people do in normal life. For once the ladies are not arm candies and have a part to play, however small the part be. Zoya Akhthar has surely done a marvellous job of bringing such a huge cast together and extracting fine performances from them. None of the actors try to hog the limelight and seemed to enjoy the combined screen presence.

Cinematography and Music of the film come across as formidable allies to the director. The road scene where Hrithik breaks himself away from his cocoon, lost in thoughts of Katrina’s character, he throws inhibitions to winds and rests his head on the door of the car and watches the windmills and horses going past him, is a treat to watch. And so is the climatic sequence, where in the Bulls are depicted as problems in life and the need to run ahead of them.  Hats off to Carlos Catalan for such awesome cinematography. The metaphor is discreet and left to the viewer to interpret.

The movie does have its flaws and does drag a bit in the second half, but these are no reasons to discredit the film. It may not be “Cool” like “Dil Chahtha Hai” or a conventional potboiler that celebrates friendship. But it gives a good feeling about life and friendship. It celebrates the “Do what you love to do in life” attitude without any lengthy sermons. You will come out with a good feeling, and that really matters.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – so watch this movie now when you can.

~ by Jayanthan Ravi on July 16, 2011.

6 Responses to “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara – Movie Review”

  1. Hey Jai,

    Beautifully written..
    Makes me want to watch the movie more…


  2. Awesome… M eager to watch this movie more after hearing to this splendid review… Liked all the description and details.. Lets see if it hits my sense like it impacted urs 🙂

  3. I got bored in the first half only.. I wanted to get out of the movie theater asap..

  4. Nicely Written Jai..
    Am eager to watch the movie.. Probably sometime this week


  5. ur reviews seems to be professional.. impressive jai:)

  6. osume movie i love it

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