When Farhaan Akhtar conceptualized Dil Chahta Hai hit the screens exactly a decade back, it served to add a new dimension to Indian movies and needless to say salvaged the career of two protagonists Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna. His sister Zoya Akhtar presented another movie of the same genre with three protagonists, none requiring any salvation of their careers this time, and proved her mettle as a director, a rare breed of female director at that. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara from the Akhtar stable is a crisp, well written, nicely performed, importantly not overdone and very importantly well cinematographed (Carlos Catalan) movie.
The movie is primarily about three friends on a Roadtrip to picturesque Spain which is part of a bachelor party and how they exorcise ghosts from the past in the journey. In the process of which comes their way daredevil adventures, lady love (read Katrina), Chudail alert (read Kalki), a lost father (read Naseruddin Shah), and numerous pranks. The dialogues are funny and ones that the youth easily relates to, the poetry of Javed saab is touching and its rendition by Farhaan Akhtar soulful. Shankar Ehsaan Loy have provided lovely numbers yet again but they do not serve as a high point of the movie though you might go back humming ‘Senorita’.
The movie can qualify to be an advertisement for Spanish tourism, but then as Zoya Akhtar mentioned in an interview, she wanted to show Spain on 70 mm screen to people in India. So do not worry if less fortunate folks in villages gasp at the amount of tomato crushed in the Tomatino festival. The movie could have been slightly better edited, avoiding divergence before coming to the main story. However the performances make up for it. Chemistry between Hrithik and Katrina, Abhay Deols subdued and constrained act, and Farhaan Akhtars happy-go-lucky-wrenched-within roles stand out.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara works as a buddy movie, with the friendship among the three protagonists being the hallmark; just as in Dil Chahta Hai (a comparison is but obvious). It also works because it has a take home message, which is a changed and better perspective towards life. Although one could say that when ones father owns a thousand Crore construction company and one is investment banker in London there is enough time and moolah to think about life. That apart the first Indian Roadtrip movie leaves you with a smile on your face. It lets you drop your worries for a while, it takes you above the mundane routine called life, it allows you to dream big, it makes you break the shackles that constantly bind us.
The theme can be summed up in these lines of the movie:
Ye jo gehre sannate hain; Waqt ne sabko hi baante hain,
Thoda gham hai sabka kissa; Thodi dhoop hai sabka hissa;
Aankh teri kyun nam hai; Har pal ek naya mausam hai;
Kyun aise pal tu khota hai? Aye dil aakhir tu kyun rota hai...
My English translation of it:
These deep expanse of silence; Time has given all of us, Little pain and sadness,
Of all our stories is a part, A little sunshine, Of all we deserve is a part,
Futile in your eyes is the tear; Every moment is a new weather out here,
Why such moments do you let go by; O heart, after all, why do you cry...