Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adios Amigos

After over half an year, I hit the cinema hall to watch "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" ... and I am glad I had a good time. I am not going to fall short of adjectives in writing a review for this movie but I must admit that from 10 am to 12.45 noon, I laughed heartily not quite knowing how time passed by.

The movie from Excel Entertaintment banner directed by Zoya Akhtar is a visual treat - a carefully arranged virutal tour of Spain for the audience. Striking cinematography par excellence makes one look out for the name responsible - Carlos Catalan. The movie deals with a road trip through Spain heartland, of three friends, planned on the pretext of bachelor party of one of them. The friends keep up their pact made back in school days, of trying out an adventure sport of each one's choice, there is no option of backing out from it. The time they spend together makes them break free from compulsive restraints and mundane confines of their lives, makes them share their deeply cached secrets and shed their fear and inhibition. Their road trip marks an enlightening journey where they let go everything, live life without bounds, much along the lines of one of the dialouges in the movie - a man must be in confines only upon death and not before that. The theme might sound very philosophical, insufficient to let the reels run for more than 2 hours. However, the multitude of humorous moments, adept and natural performances by the cast make it an enjoyable experience. 

The many strong aspects of the movie that make it a pleasure to watch are - 
1) The powerful cast - a union of multifaceted actors who share the screen space with equal responsibilities and with so much comfort that they appear as true friends, friends for life. It only appears that all through, there was none to direct the lead three on what to do, what not to, to what extents etc.  
2) Farhan Akthar (Imran in movie, a copywriter for advertisement agency) is simply superb. His sense of humor and impeccable timing leaves the audience in ripples of laughter. His poetic monologues sail with the movie well. His mastery in acting skills and dialouges makes him eligible for many laurels from the audience. 
3) Abhay Deol (Kabir, running his family construction business) is the most natural actor that Bollywood has witnessed in recent times. It seems he was never a novice to Bollywod. Starting from his first movie - Socha Na Tha, he has a carved a niche for himself which no other actor's been able to until now, something very different from the other Deols. As always, he delivers his best, playing the role of an emotionally balanced person settling fights between the other two friends.
4) Hrithik Roshan (Arjun, a financial broker) comes alive finally. Smitten by the crying bug from K3G times, the symptoms progressed disastrously unto his movie Kites. He's definitely the most gifted actor when it comes to looks and physique and can beat Greek gods to shame/death. In this movie, he portrays a serious role to start with, eventually melts down to a fun loving person breaking free from his inner shell. He is an actor and dancer, unsurpassable truly.
5) Katrina Kaif (Laila, a sea diving instructor) is a true barbie doll, she looks fabulous and scores a perfect ten in the role crafted for her. One will definitely appreciate her acting skills in this movie, much like in Rajneeti.
6) Kalki (Natasha, Kabir's fiancee) has a small role to play but does well as a possessive and watchful girlfriend, worried over her fiancee's bachelor party proceedings.
7) The story written by Zoya and Reema Kagti does not favor anyone in the cast unduly. Each one has his/her space with such clear outline that they gel without any hiccups. There is no dominance from anyone in the cast, be it in scenes of adventure, casual conversations, dance and song sequences. Must say, it is a balance, highly difficult to strike. The moments of friendship are all natural. The portrayal is perfect and admirable, you can relate to all the conversations as if they were happening in your living room when three friends meet up. TOI mentioned - ironically, this natural portrayal of men's friendships comes from two women - Zoya and Reema Kagti. Looks like it's only men who still find women a mystery one cannot unravel, vice versa seems solvable. 
8) Spain is captured in its best frames, the movie is like a Thomas Cook tour through Spain starting from Barcelona with the La Sagrada Familia church marking the skyline. There is deep sea diving and colorful aquatic life in one shot, there are deep valleys, huge reservoirs in others. There is sky diving, lush green fields below and long rolling meadows with horses galloping alongside. The Tomatino festival and running with bulls behind your back - all are captured realistically. The film could not have been shot better and for this reason deserves to be watched on the big screen.
9) The department of music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is not impressive but flows in tandem with the movie. It grows on you because of the characters in the movie. Standalone, the tracks - Senorita, Ik Junoon (Tomatino festival song), Dil Dhadakne Do carry a "want-to-hear-again" charm in them.

There are no weaknesses so to state - after all you cannot be choosy when you are a beggar. Decent movies are a rarity nowadays and when something like ZNMD comes up, you cannot/should not complain at all. May be a few points can help while/before watching the movie -

1) Just because there are three male protagonists in the movie, comparison with the movie Dil Chahtha Hai will be a gross mistake. DCH is a masterpiece and way too different. ZNDM portrays celebration of friendship between three men but needs a different treatment from DCH. This comparison is as sinful as comparing Dil Bole Hadippa/Iqbal to Lagaan just because these movies involve cricket.
2) Treat yourself as a part of the road trip and appreciate the dialouges, humorous sequences shared by the cast, they are easy stuff that each one us can relate to. This will not be difficult for people in 25-35 age group who become increasingly inactive in friends circles with time/work and yearn secretly to celebrate special moments they shared during school/college times. If the idea is hard to settle, the movie might seem a compilation of National Geographic Expedition series showing activities like sky diving, deep sea diving and running with the bulls.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a good movie, a wholesome and refreshing entertainer. TOI quoted in its review - Go and watch it - Aise film na milegi dobara. Considering the ensemble of Hindi movies released over a long time now, this is undoubtedly true - Aise film na milegi dobara !!

1 comment:

Dr Sonia S V said...

Hi Thank You for the review. Was debating whether to see it or not!