It's been a while since I watched a movie, and ages since I watched one in the theatre. I broke that spell last Saturday with Zindagi na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD). It was a perfect movie for a weekend evening and a perfect way to break the theatre-free spell.
ZNMD is a buddy movie with three guys going on a pre-wedding bachelor trip for one of the guys (Kabir, played by Abhay Deol). It is directed by Zoya Akhtar, sister of Farhan Akhtar, who directed the other famous buddy movie, Dil Chahta Hai, which still is one of my all time favourites. Since I really liked Zoya Akhtar's Luck by Chance, I decided to give this a try. Of course, it didn't hurt that Hrithik Roshan was in it too!
The three friends (Kabir, Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) and Imran (Farhan Akhtar)) decide to take a trip to Spain and indulge in three adventure sports picked by the three of them and kept a surprise from the other two. The movie evolves in layers exploring their relationships with each other as well as other key relationships in their lives. The characters ring true as do their interactions with each other and Javed Akhtar's poetry narrated by Farhan Akhtar's character as a voice over in several scenes was a nice touch, I thought -- a good way to include refinement over a mostly comedic, buddy movie. It gave the movie an extra depth without weighing it down too much.
Neither overly understated nor over stated, the acting was just perfect. The comedic timing of all three lead actors was great and there were enough laughs to keep one interested throughout the movie. The only thing that did not ring true was when Hrithik's character does his "sell it!" act in his so called financial institution in the earlier part of the film. Oh and the sky-diving! I don't know of any place that will let novice sky divers go solo on their first flight and there is no way you don't pull the parachute chord for that long! The La Tomatina festival was a little overlong and could have been trimmed and better edited without so that Katrina Kaif's outfit didn't alternate between being dry and clean and then all tomato splattered! But these things are easily forgiven in a movie that's otherwise good.
But, what's with all the male buddy movies these days: Dil Chahta hai, Yuva, Rang de Basanti, 3 Idiots doing so well at the box office? We need some more women centric themes soon, what say? But be that as it may, I think Zoya Akhtar is going to be on my must-watch list of directors from now on.
Overall, I would rate this as a good movie, but not quite among my all time Hindi favorites which includes: Dil Chahta Hai, Masoom, Mr and Mrs. Iyer, etc..
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