Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

27 Jul

After an impressive beginning as a director with ‘Luck by Chance’, Zoya Akhtar is back with ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ in her second outing once again casting her brother Farhan Akhtar as Imran with Hrithik Roshan as Arjun & Abhay Deol as Kabir to make the three musketeers. They embark on a bachelor trip across Spain before Kabir gets married to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin) where each of them will take the other two to experience an unknown extreme sport opening their respective lives to possibilities that they were unsure to face before.

Farhan Akthar with his surefire comic timing, relaxed personality and soul searching gazes makes this his best performance to date. He has matured as an actor proving that he can do more than just serious roles. Hrithik Roshan lets his eyes do the talking. His transition from a grumpy money making machine to a free soul is exulted beautifully. This is one of his better if not best performances and this proves that with the right director and script, he is a fantastic actor. Abhay Deol might come across as the timid one among the three and he might not be the best dancer (especially with the other two around) but he makes the best of what he has, his strong dialogue delivery. His casualness makes the trio feel human.

Abhay Deol, Hrithik Roshan & Farhan Akhtar

Support comes in the form of Kalki Koechlin who was in control and crazy at the same time which was annoying to watch (in a good way) because that’s what her character was all about. Katrina Kaif as the NRI deep sea diving instructor Laila, was so-so. Her dialogue delivery is still weak with wafer thin facial expressions though her rapport with the guys was passable with good chemistry with Hrithik. Ariadna Cabrol as Nuria was an extra with a name; not much to do or say. Deepti Naval as Rehna Habib was believable in her short act while Naseeruddin Shah as Salman Habib was simply a scene stealer.

Ariadna Cabrol, Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif & Abhay Deol

Cinematography keeps you in the thick of the action with plenty of in-your-face camera work. The way the extreme sports were captured didn’t look staged most of the time, adding to the make-believe that the actors were in fact doing their own stunts (which I think they did, most of it at least). Locations are spectacular as expected, with Spain getting loads of screen-time to sell itself to the masses though I wasn’t keen on some of the aspects shown (wasted tomatoes & animal torture). Other product placements were obvious though they didn’t detract from the story. The story and screenplay was finessed well by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti even with predictable sub-plots and a long run time. The dialogues written by Farhan Akhtar with aptness to each scene were surprisingly good. The background score and songs are well placed adding weight to the visual experience. The poetry written by Javed Akthar and narrated in Farhan Akhtar’s raspy voice at vital emotional junctions in the movie was brilliant.

With a well paced narrative and brilliant acting, one must confess that this was a joyful experience that not many ‘feel good’ Hindi movies manage to emote.


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