Monday, July 18, 2011

Film Review: ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA



Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
Director: Zoya Akhtar

THE STORY: Kabir (Abhay Deol) proposes marriage to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin) and they get engaged much to the thrill of both sets of parents. His best friend Imraan (Farhan Akhtar) goes to the engagement while a third friend Arjun (Hrithik Roshan), living in London, does not attend.

As the film moves on, we get to understand that the Three Musketeers – as the friends are called – have grown up together and are extremely close. Kabir is a millionaire working for his family’s construction business; Imraan works as copywriter for an advertising agency and Arjun wheels and deals at the London Stock Exchange.

The three men plan a holiday in Spain before Kabir gets back home to tie the knot with Natasha. You need to see the film to find out how the holiday changes their lives forever.

MY PERCEPTION: You need to decide whether you want to read from here on as there might be a few spoilers. If you have not seen the film and plan to do so, this is the point you STOP READING.

The movie takes off on a light note with the first half full of witty dialogues that keep the audience laughing away. Thank you Farhan Akhtar for the clean language – it was an absolute relief after Delhi Belly (no offence to that film, of course).

The characters are amazingly sketched. Kabir is all funny and a great tease. But he is a different man in his fiancée’s presence. We realize later that he is not in love with Natasha but has been kind of steam-rollered into making a proposal of marriage. While he is loyal to her, he also takes life quite lightly. Imagine his shock when he finds out that Natasha believes that marriage is so serious that she is ready to give up her career as an Interior Decorator and make him her sole purpose in life. It takes the effort of both his friends and a 3-week holiday away from her for Kabir to get his priorities right. Abhay Deol has delivered one more hit.

Imraan works as a copywriter, and also writes poetry. He is very angry with his mother (Deepti Naval) for not having told him who his real father is. He had believed his mother’s husband to be his father and had been too close to him until his death. He finds out that Salman (Naseeruddin Shah) is his father after the foster one dies. Shocked that his mother could keep this from him, he stays away from her. Later, meeting Salman in person in Spain makes him value his mother better. The meeting between Salman and Imraan shook up not just the latter, but me too. While Salman’s behavior does not fall in with what we believe to be humanitarian values, it’s wholly acceptable from his point of view. “You did ask for the truth,” he says and we catch on. Imraan’s tears touch you very powerfully at this point. Later, when he apologises to Arjun for taking away his girlfriend years ago, you can see the healing take place as the ‘sorry’ is from the heart. Farhan Akhtar Rocks!

Arjun eats, sleeps and breathes money. He has always led life from the poor side of town and he wants to make it BIG before retiring at 40, he insists. He wheels and deals at the stock market and refuses to stop working even during the holiday. It takes Laila (Katrina Kaif) and her deep-sea diving instructions to make Arjun take a new outlook on life. Arjun does not swim as he is afraid. His friends pressure him into joining them on the deep-sea diving adventure and Kabir insists that not knowing swimming is no excuse. Left with no choice, Arjun let’s go of the fierce control that he has over his life for the first time. And learns to live as a result! He sheds tears after the amazing experience under the sea. Hrithik Roshan – what to say? After watching Kites, I had sort of given up on the actor. The film was so disappointing in all ways. I did not watch Guzaarish as I am not a fan of Sanjay Leela Bansali’s work.

But Hrithik Roshan was simply amazing in this film. He is sizzling hooooooootttt for one thing. He emotes beautifully. I suppose Hrithik’s acting skills depends a lot on the director. As the snooty man who is interested more in money than anything else, as the one reduced to tears after deep-sea diving and later the one who crosses over into ‘living life’, Hrithik was simply awesome. Kudos Hrithik!

Katrina Kaif as Laila was very good in her role. You can see that she has worked hard on improving her acting skills and she is getting better and better at it. Of course, she still has some way to go. Congratulations Katrina!

Kalki Koechlin as Natasha was excellent in her role. Way to go Kalki!

The music by Shankar Ehsaan Loy was just perfect for the film. Most of the songs were in the background and a fitting accolade to the meandering roads of Spain as our heroes travel through the country. The ‘senorita’ song and dance sequence was lovely and all the three heroes of the film who have given their voices for the song have performed well. It was Farhan’s voice that stood out amongst the three.

The cinematography was wonderful and it was a pleasure seeing Spain from the film’s angle. The tomatina festival and the bull-race were well-portrayed.

Congratulations Zoya Akhtar for delivering a lovely movie!

VERDICT: If you love life, you will not miss this one. Absolute fun in the first half, the second half sets you thinking very deeply.

RATING: **** Snazzy
(I did not give full 5 stars as I felt that the movie could have been a tighter fit with half an hour less of it)

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

5 comments:

  1. Perfect review. I have similar opinions about the movie. I loved it for the motivation it gave me to achieve my 2goals also shown in the movie: sky-diving & deep sea diving. I am sure going to do it now :)

    Katrina's character is similar to me, so liked her & jealous of her that she is living it totally.

    Thank you for the review. I dont think i am going to write one now ;)

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  2. Wow! Thank you Nilima for the compliment and the long comment :D

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  3. One amazing movie.....I just saw it yesterday with my husband and kid, and it was so much entertaining. I loved the cinematography of the film...the last bull race was a thrill. I did not read any review, dashed to the theater....and i felt total paisa vasool.

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  4. Thank you for your comment Aishwarya. I totally agree with you :)

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  5. I too agree with you all!

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