Movie Review: ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA (2011)
Farhan Akthar does amazing movies. Goes without saying. He’s the director of films like DIL CHAHTA HAI, LAKSHYA, DON, etc. However he’s an awesome writer too. Wrote the dialogues for films like ROCK ON, GAME and is doing the story for the upcoming DON 2. He’s a genius Producer, who’s produced the same movies above. Oh he’s sung majority of the songs for ROCK ON. And now he’s fast becoming an actor to watch out for as well… with ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, written and directed by his own sister Zoya Akthar.
Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars
However, ZINDAGI… is not Farhan Akthar’s movie. Far from it. It’s a story about three friends at different points in life, getting together for one last hurrah before their buddy gets married. Yes, it’s a bachelor party/road trip. But it’s not a drunken, amnesia-ridden comedy.
ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA is amazing. It’s a touching story with so much humor and drama that it’s one of those movies that are enjoyable for anyone and everyone. It doesn’t try to do too much, it doesn’t try to make you cry, it doesn’t even try to make you laugh… however it does all those things effortlessly.
Director Zoya Akthar’s first film, LUCK BY CHANCE was a good attempt, but things needed tweaking. However, she’s honed her skills and has come back with a well-rounded story with awesome performances and a film that’ll make some people evaluate their own lives. I mean if you’re into that sorta thing.
Starting with Abhay Deol’s Kabir getting married and as part of a pact from earlier in their friendship, his 2 friends will join him on a trip to Spain where they will each pick an impossible activity that the other two HAVE to participate in, no questions asked. After some minor hiccups that set up some underlying character development, the trip is on!
One of the friends is Hrithik Roshan’s Arjun, a corporate workaholic who’s pushed away everyone close in his life due to his job. The other is Farhan Akthar’s Imran, a creative, free spirited hippy who doesn’t take anything in his life seriously, due to a mysterious past.
The journey of these three characters on this trip, and how their experiences change them is essentially what ZINDEGI NA MILEGI DOBARA is all about. The title even translates into: LIFE WILL NOT COME AROUND TWICE. Roughly.
Essentially on this trip, Hrithik’s Arjun is faced with the loneliness of his life and how his job has prevented him from enjoying the little things. Farhan’s Imran has an ulterior motive for even going to Spain in the first place. Something relating to his troubled past. Even Deol’s Kabir, whose marriage is the whole reason behind the trip, isn’t as happy as he seems for the first half of the film.hot chick on a bike… that’s all.
Everyone’s brilliant in ZINDEGI NA MILEGI DOBARA. Farhan Akthar plays a lighthearted and always jokey Imran who’s got a traumatic secret. Arjun’s loneliness is realized on this trip and Hrithik plays an asshole with a heart of gold, so beautifully. It’s in great contrast to his other, usual charming hero roles. Abhay Deol is also great as Kabir. As the youngest actor, he really holds his own among the ‘stars’.
The soundtrack is perfect. Biggest complaint with Bollywood movies is the random song and dance numbers. However, the soundtrack or ZINDAGI… is used mostly for montage sequences and further scenes that need no dialogue. There is a dance party scene where the boys do a drunken dance with stage performers, but it’s Bollywood after all. Oh not to mention the coordinated dance sequence in the end credits, but that comes outta nowhere. But let’s face, anything and everything is forgiven in the end credits.ah yes, the obligatory “tomato fighting in Spain” scene that every road trip movie does…
ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA does a great job by playing to its strengths. It’s got a solid screenplay backed by great performances and becomes one of those movies that are endearing. I usually hate that crap, but this was so contemporary, and never once does is try to squeeze out the emotions through the storytelling. ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA is a must watch for anyone mostly because it’s a story that can’t really be defined in any genre. Fun for the whole family… as they say.
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