You literally Murder the audience one week and the very next week you give them Zindagi back and How!! Well, Yeh hai Bollywood Meri Jaan. Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) has just proved that Bollywood cinema has this reflection of a sudden maturity that goes beyond dancing around the trees. Yes, it’s the exuberate spirit that comes alive on celluloid and makes you wonder how much one has lost pondering over petty issues. For starters there is Spain acting a great backdrop to the story, main course has a great spread of comedy teamed with the likes of Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar. As always they have too saved the dessert for the last – Abhay Deol. Could it get any better?
I fell in love with the film and fell in love with Farhan Akhtar all over again. Well, there were many ‘oohh I love this guy’ moments all through the film; sometimes with laughter as the emotion and sometimes with sensuality that’s pretty much subtle. It seems to me like the father-dauther and son trio have done their best in giving Indian cinema a great add on to its collection of all time favourites. It does not need too much brains to try and get what the director is communicating. It’s simple, straight forward and hilarious. You will laugh and laugh and laugh.
I think ZNMD has done it for Spain. I’m sure all honeymooning couples will have it at the back of their heads and all the diamond merchants will hit there as part of their family vacation. Is the location the highlight? Well, not really but to a very large extent. It has served them as an ideal destination to prove what had to be done scenically. Sometimes, you wouldn’t even need a dialogue to portray the mood, the location just did it. That was the magic that Spain lent to the film.
What was better was the timing of each and every character in the film, including the featured cast. It was delivered with excellence and seemed so effortless and flawless. I don’t know what is it that Farhan Akhtar has that makes me say he is probably the best bet in the industry at this point. He seems like a mixed bag of talent (mind you by talent I mean great talent). He adds to the film a value that is just immense. You will fall in love with the character. Well, I never really fancy the Greek God like Hrithik. He never really impresses me with his acting as I regard it as over acting. But this time around, I have to admit he was great. Initially, I did think he was going the same route trying to put in too much effort to bring out the actor in him. But then, it seemed like, he eased out and went with the flow. Kudos to Zoya for that for if that was not in control then the film would have gone the ‘Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon’ way where even the bloody parrot was over acting. Need I say anything about Abhay Deol? He is just probably one of the best things that has happened to Bollywood in the recent past. I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would not repeat a Road and he didn’t. The female leads were all impressive. Well, Katrina was baby doll like as always, Kalki was impressive with a ‘this time, I’m just high on life’ role and the other Spanish actress did enough to make Farhan vent out the dark side in him.
Javed Akhtar’s poetry which flows as Farhan’s thoughts are just brilliant; especially when it starts to narrate the agony that has built up in Farhan’s life. It just puts you to ease and makes you feel, you are not the only one. Javed Saab, you need no judge. Only a legend can pen lines like these. Well, a few might find the poetry a little annoying. But I am a poetry person and I absolutely loved it. Also, the songs are never in the face and do not take away the importance that the poetry deserves. They do however have the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy signature to it. The film also gets nostalgic as it puts forward the hero that lies inside every one of us.
ZNMD is a film that has no particular hero or heroine to showcase. It’s a film that is rich in characterization, casting, direction and film craft. Crafted to make sure it does inspire you enough yet not put you through too much stress and emotional upheaval while doing so. It has its share of light moments that lets one laugh beyond control, it has drama that makes you realize ‘yes, it is still an Indian film’, it has Naseerudding Shah and Deepti Naval that reminds you that you are watching a character rich film, it has emotions that play a very essential role in the film and it has realization that is the key to the film. Of ya, it does have men in white shirts making their way through, all geared up to accept a challenge with an extra high dose of sensuality. (Confession – I don’t know why, but men in white shirts just do it for me).
Take my word, go ahead and watch it. You will never regret having gone to the screen to watch an effort that deserves recognition.