Movie Review: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi) 135

‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ or ZNMD is what you get when someone thinks of putting together some stars, a great location and a couple of songs but stay clueless about the rest. Some may compare this with Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ made a decade ago, but ZNMD made by his sister Zoya is nowhere close to it.

Three best friends, Kabir (Abhay Deol), a son of a rich builder, Arjun (Hrithik Roshan), a London broker and a self-made rich man and Imran (Farhan Akhtar) a not so rich ad-jingle writer set off on a trip to Spain to have the time of their lives before Kabir is wedded. As per their pact, each of them chooses an adventure sport that others have to take part in, but the sport is kept a secret till they actually do it.

Being a road-trip movie, ZNMD succeeds in taking audiences on a trip to Spain’s breathtaking locations previously unseen in mainstream Bollywood cinema. They make it a point to include some of the country’s popular festivals. To recreate the La Tomatina festival, the film makers reportedly shipped tons of tomatoes from Portugal. ‘Enciero’ or ‘Running of the Bulls’ at Pamplona is captured well too.

ZNMD is where audiences pay to watch three dudes having the time of their lives. In an attempt to build a story around the journey, each of them has an issue to deal with. Kabir is engaged but he isn’t sure if she is the right one. Arjun needs to know that there is more to life than money and Farhan has issues with his parentage.

Performances from the three leads are decent. Hrithik and Farhan show off their ripped abs at the slightest opportunity while Abhay Deol plays a victim of constant surveillance. Hrithik is seen mouthing a few lines in Spanish; something that he probably learned while shooting for ‘Kites, a pathetic flop from last year.

Zoya and Javed Akhtar have spent their energies in making Farhan’s role meaningful on screen. While the former guarantees him screentime as the director, the latter’s Urdu poetry brings out the deeper side to his character’s outwardly funny disposition. Farhan brings in the laughs with his effortless dialog delivery as the charming flirt.

Among the lead ladies, Kalki plays her part well as the annoying and suspicious fiancée. Katrina was hired to enjoy the vacation with the boys and spend a couple of minutes making a feeble attempt to act while giving her little speech to Hrithik on making more out of life. Also, there is a Spaniard who plays Farhan’s love interest.

An indulgent film that it is, ZNMD seems to float at its own pace without a care in the world. It probably needed more scissor-work. And there are some goofs like having first time sky-divers, they are shown to be diving alone and making formations in their very first jump. Then there is a father-son drama that slows the pace.

ZNMD is a youthful, feel good movie with not much of a story to tell. Those keen to catch a glimpse of Spain or Hrithik’s fan brigade may like it.

Rating 5/10: An indulgent movie that encourages people to visit Spain