Review: Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara

Bodies, Money, Lust, Travel – All the things we move towards in the urban India, or are they? Maybe just in Mumbai.

The movie is cute, witty, full of urban humour (at least it was clean), very uber cool, with great wardrobe, with great places.

See how the children of Bandra/South Bombay live. And what happens when they travel to Spain. The director Zoya, has already shown the difficult side of Mumbai showbiz, now this. On the other hand we have Kiran Rao with her ‘Dhobi Ghat’. Both women directors but crazily different approaches.

Farhan Akhtar matches Hritik Roshan pectoral to pectoral (although HR fails to match up to Farhan in terms of acting)

Kalki is, well, I don’t know. I don’t know what she is in the movie. Does she? Bagvati was more interesting.

Katrina on the other hand took her role of an interesting adventuress very, very seriously. So much so that it was annoying to hear her was eloquent on how to live life. Dammit. Besides, she sits dumbly, while the men trash one of the girlfriends. She obviously doesn’t know men, nor the fact that she could as easily be the one being dismissed during other heady times with other women (when she couldnt have made the trips). Bad girl.

ZMND has one of the most interesting sequences I have watched in any movie. It has an entire 15-20 minutes dedicated to scuba diving instructions. This part of the movie, you can take out the book you’ve been reading (and want desperately to get back to), and make some progress with it, or you can learn to scuba dive so thoroughly (I doubt scuba diving companies have had more elaborate videos), that you can completely side step the training step in your next trip to Andaman.

And of course you don’t need to consult lonely planet for your Spain trip. Actually, if you could afford the kind of places that these guys can, then you wouldn’t really be the kind of person to use lonely planet. “Exclusive holidays for the ones who can afford it” would be more like it.

While the people inside this movie figure out their angst filled lives with scuba diving, sky diving, and a bull fight, those of us who cannot afford to, can maybe write journals? Talk to friends? or go to places such as Uttarkhand maybe? I am sure there are adventure sports in India. White water rafting. Yes.

A big piece of vacuous movie. Filled with vacuous people. With vacuous lives. And to top it all, vacuous visions.

so… vacuous.

Appended Note: This is an example of some very tight film-making. It felt like the editing was a bit confusing, however it didn’t end up harming the movie in anyway. In fact it might have helped, there is no way to say. The script, the story, were all tight, typical of any Farhan Akhtar project (maybe to the exclusion of  Lakshya/Don). If any body thought of it as an updated version of Dil Chahta Hai, they could  be forgiven. The cinematography, set design, costumes, even dialogues (a combination of Farhan Akhtar and Javed Akhtar if I am not wrong) were completely on mark. It did capture a sliver of Bombay society very well indeed. But such topics are ephemeral, one of those stories that can just evaporate out of your mind. One of the aspirational stories that we have had as an Indian film audience, an abundance of. Take for example the movies of Suraj Bharjatya, Karan Johar, even Farhan Akthar’s Dil Chahta Hai, they had such solid impacts that now, a lavish wedding with story lines is something that is completely valid and even common, Dil Chahta Hai has churned out so many ‘wannabes’. So maybe ten years down the line, every child, adult that I meet will be like the one they show in this movie. And this is something definitely not to be proud about for the film makers I feel. So therefore, bad marks for the makers.

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