4 Very Good

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

There are reasons behind Arjun’s (Hrithik Roshan) wild lust for money and broken relations; the letters on one of the pages of Imraan’s (Farhan Akhtar) secret diary and his ever-smiling face; a ring meant for Kabir’s (Abhay Deol) Mom on her birthday that unwittingly got him engaged to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin) and an indescribable case behind the bond shared between friends of all generations. The bachelor party in honour of Kabir’s overhanging wedding takes the form of a road trip to Spain and quite a trip that turns out to be. Life performs under the ocean; it plays thousands of feet above the ground; it is squeezed by a red tomato; and it spends time in gathering pranks.

“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (ZNMD) is a slow poem walking the ramp in loads of colours. The costume designing by Arjun Bhasin has accentuated the harmonic photography of Carlos Catalan. Spain with its stunning appeal looks vulnerable to tourist’s fantasy. The tension in certain scenes, like the one between Imraan and his estranged father Naseeruddin Shah, is so perceivable that it bites. The dialogues written by Farhan Akhtar have the easiness and strength that enables a scene to slow down gracefully, leaving deepness around.

The male artists have beautifully executed their respective parts to the best of perfection. Of the three, Hrithik’s role is slightly underdeveloped. The transition from a fanatic financial broker to a person flirting with the idea of being thrown out of his job could have been handled with more of substance rather than relying on the bank of easy emotions. Abhay Deol is superb, has a fluent body language, and is very natural. Farhan Akhtar is outstanding and the star amongst the brightest of the stars. Naseeruddin Shah is remarkable despite the length of his two scenes in the movie. Deepti Naval as Imraan’s Ammi is equally deserving of the appreciation.

Overall Verdict: 4/5

Katrina Kaif as Laila, the diving instructor, has shown signs of improvement in acting. The chemistry between Katrina and Hrithik is unappealing and average, which is surprising considering that both of them are so much talked about for their looks. Kalki Koechlin is the kind of possessive girlfriend and wife material that would scare any man irrespective of his age. Kalki’s has been a difficult role, which is normally played very loudly by other actors, but the director Zoya Akhtar has extracted a refined and underplayed performance from her. Ariadna Cabrol as the hot stuff Nuria is easily forgettable.

The screenplay by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti has been a tad too leisurely here and there. There is no denying that the writers have very skilfully captured the complexities of relationships and have stitched every single character strongly to the story. Anand Subaya’s editing has been a big contributor in not letting the unhurriedness of the plot spoil the movie.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s background score is engaging and so is “Ik Junoon”. The tomatoes are henceforth meant for a different reason after watching this song. Bosco Caesar’s steps in “Senorita” add to the energy of the song sung by the actors themselves.

ZNMD is refreshing, very nicely crafted, and doesn’t force the audience to believe in anything. Don’t believe in what someone else would say about the movie. Check out for yourself.