Again, a long break. But I am back. Watched a lot of movies in the US and caught Harry potter in London, so loads of reviews pending, but let’s start off with the big ticket release of last week. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has got a great start and I was surprised when I wasn’t able to get tickets for a show on a weekday at night!
With Zoya at the helm, I was sure that it would be atleast a watchable / sensible film. Her last movie “Luck By Chance” was a layered film with surprises waiting for you everytime you watched it, plus the irrepressible Rishi Kapoor at his very best. So, I knew it wouldn’t be a complete waste of my time. And yes, it wasn’t!
ZNMD benefits from the talents of 1 extremely gifted family “The Akhtars” and a superstar “Hritik”. Zoya Akhtar proves her competence as a director once again. She has the ability to bring to the screen the depth in the script and also manages to extract wonderful performances. Farhan not only writes some fun dialogues for the film, but also gives an extremely measured performance. He has the best lines in the film and delivers them perfectly. From comedic timing to emotional delivery, he remains strong throughout. Javed Akhtar embellishes the screenplay with poetry which echo in the silence and the imagery.
Hritik has a tendency to overact, but somehow manages to stay afloat this time around. Infact he carries the burden of acting for both himself and Katrina in the film. For that we must give him credit. The cinematography by Carlos Catalan is simply stunning and Spain is captured stunningly!
The first half of the film is breezy and fun while it lasts. It sets up your mood for more fun and that is where the second half disappoints. There are several reasons for me thinking “Shayad Nahi dekhunga yeh dobara!” and here they are.
One of most important roles (pivotal in converting Hritik from a mechanical, business minded individual, to one who learns to live life fully!) is played by “Katrina” who fails to bring any depth to the character. She might have done some deep sea diving, but that is the only place she manages to achieve any depth! Her dialogue delivery & demeanour is awkward and does not convey the sentiment of a free-spirited individual. I think of “Penelope Cruz” and I think she would have absolutely killed the part. Abhay Deol is tolerable, only because Kalki is not! Besides this the major problem with the film is its length and clichéd plot. From the very beginning you start having Dejavus. From Hangover to DCH, it seems to be a heavily inspired script by Zoya and Reema. (Though the scenes and the dialogues are unique and they work)
Another big flaw is the music. Though the background score rocks and “Senorita” too, the other songs are ineffective. Even the movie is too lengthy. Too many activities are planned, shot and shown at a leisurely pace. Also, unnecessary subplots are weaved in to give an emotional angle to the film. Everyone has to have a problem, everyone has to find a solution, everyone has to have a “Realisation” moment. It’s the extra dose that causes uneasiness. I did not leave the theatre with an “AAH” feeling. It was more like “OH”!
Comparisons to DCH are obvious, but DCH was a better film in most respects (Except Cinematography probably). It’s certainly worth a watch and has great fun moments. Buss I guess the problem was that the Director knew that “Zindagi nahi milegi Dobara, isliye itna badaa banaa daala!”
Rating: 6.5 / 10 (0.5 for Hritik &Farhan's measured performance)