Three friends – Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol – go on a road trip in Spain before Abhay’s impending marriage with Kalki Koechlin. The three friends meet a beautiful diving instructor, Katrina Kaif. Soon, a jealous Kalki, who knows that there is a girl with the guys, lands up in Spain. What happens next? Find out more in the review of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Business rating: 2/5 stars
Star cast: Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin.
What’s Good: The fun dialogues and camaraderie between the three friends; the novel experiences of the three friends in the three sports they participate in; the visuals and the cinematography; the performances of all the actors.
What’s Bad: The slow pace of the film; the class (and not mass) appeal of the film; the music could’ve been better; the emotional appeal.
Verdict: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara will be liked by the youth and the multiplex audiences in the big cities but not universally.
Loo break: Not really even though the pace is slow.
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the performaces and the visual appeal.
Eros International and Excel Entertainment’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (UA) is the story of the bonding of three friends. Arjun (Hrithik Roshan), Imran (Farhan Akhtar) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) are very close friends. Kabir is engaged to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin), his friend. While Imran is by his side on the engagement day, Arjun is unable to attend. Kabir plans a bachelor party in the form of a road trip in Spain and wants to go with Arjun and Imran. Arjun is a finance broker and is reluctant to join in but relents. Imran is a copywriter in an advertising agency and is more than willing to accompany Kabir and Arjun. Kabir looks after the family construction business. His fiancée, Natasha, is an interior designer. As per a pact entered into between the three friends earlier, all the three would go on a picnic and all of them would participate in the sport selected by any of them.
Once in Spain, the three friends decide to participate in three different sports activities. While Kabir has selected scuba diving as the sport, Arjun wants them to do para-gliding and Imran is all for participating in the sport of bull-running in which angry bulls chase the participants who have to run for their lives lest they get killed by the beasts. Arjun is scared of scuba diving as he has fear of water; Imran is petrified of para-gliding; and both, Arjun and Kabir think, Imran is mad to think of engaging themselves in the game of bull-running. Anyway, as per the pact, they have no option but to agree. Laila (Katrina Kaif) is the scuba diving instructor and before long, she and Arjun fall in love with one another. Back home, Natasha feels insecure when she gets to know that there’s a girl with Kabir and his friends. Fearing that Kabir was cheating on her, she reaches Spain in what is essentially meant to be a bachelors’ road trip. Arjun and Imran realise that Kabir is not his normal self when Natasha is around. After Natasha returns home, Arjun asks Kabir if he is happy with his decision to marry Natasha. On his part, Arjun himself is not happy with his life and he realises this only when Laila tells him that he should live life to the fullest each day and each moment rather than planning to slog it out till he turned 40 and then enjoy life. Arjun also has some issues with Imran who, it emerges to the friends, is in search of his father, Salman Habib (Naseeruddin Shah), who had, years back, settled in Spain after deserting his wife and Imran’s mother (Deepti Naval). Imran is scared to admit his family secret before his friends. Are Arjun, Imran and Kabir able to fight their demons? Are there demons at all? How do the various sports change their outlook in life? All this is revealed in the latter part of the film.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Review: Script Analysis
Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar’s story is novel and the philosophy of taking each day as it comes and making the most of it because one is not sure about what the morrow has in store for him, is quite interesting. Their screenplay is good, interesting and even well-knit but several sequences cater to the city audiences only. More specifically, many of the jokes cracked by the threesome are of the kind which would be enjoyed by the city folk. Also, the concept of a road trip and the different sports would be quite alien for the masses and the audience outside around 20-25 big and medium-sized cities. The film does get preachy and philosophical at places, more so in the second half. The verses recited in the background (in Imran’s voice) are so philosophical and written in such difficult Hindi that leave alone understand them, many among the audience would not even pay heed to them. The emotional appeal that should’ve been the mainstay of the scenes between Imran and his father, Salman, is almost missing. Likewise, the emotional connection between the three friends should’ve made a far bigger impact on the audience than it does. What do create an impact are their leg-pulling exercises and jokes cracked on one another. But had there been at least two strong emotional scenes between the three friends, the film would’ve been on an altogether different level. Frankly, there was scope galore for such scenes but the writers have not gone in that direction or, rather, not gone full throttle on that road. A sacrifice by one friend for the other or, probably, risking one’s life to save another would’ve done wonders for the film.
Nevertheless, what appeals fabulously well is the warmth in the relationship of the three friends. As mentioned above, the jokes may be very city-centric but they will be loved by the city audience, especially the youngsters in the cities, who frequent multiplexes. While there would be a section of the audience which might get bored in the different sports activities because the sports are almost alien for the Indian audience, there are others who will enjoy the sheer novelty of these sports on the Hindi screen. There’d also be a section which would like the philosophy behind participating in the difficult/dangerous sports events and the analogy between the sports and the underlying philosophy of the film – live life to the fullest, shed your inhibitions and fears so that you don’t ever have to regret in life. Although not in the least bit a mistake, the fact that one friend remains without a life partner in the end would not make the more orthodox audience happy because they would’ve preferred to see all the three friends with their wives or at least girlfriends. Dialogues, penned by Farhan Akhtar, are very real and employ the language of the city youth.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Review: Performances & Direction
Hrithik Roshan looks like a million bucks and acts just too wonderfully. He is completely in character and shines. His dances, of course, are a delight to watch; he is grace personified in them. Farhan Akhtar springs a great surprise with his fabulously nuanced performance. He is excellent in the light-hearted scenes. However, he could have done better in the emotional scene with his father. Abhay Deol is remarkable and excels in his layered performance. He is endearing, supremely confident and competent. Katrina Kaif looks ravishing and she underplays beautifully. Her performance shows that she has matured greatly as an actor. Kalki Koechlin does very well in a difficult role. She stands her own amongst the other actors. Naseeruddin Shah, in a cameo, is his usual competent self. Deepti Naval is convincing. Ariadna Cabrol (as Nuria) and Mandi Sidhu (as Hrithik’s ex-girlfriend) support well.
Zoya Akhtar’s direction is very good. But her choice of subject and narrative style will appeal mainly to the classes. Music (by Shankar Ehsaan Loy) is a mixed bag. Two songs, Ik Junoon and Senorita, are extremely pleasing to the ears. The rest of the songs are not very good and they, in fact, slow down the pace of the film. Lyrics (by Javed Akhtar) are appealing. However, the same cannot be said about Javed Akhtar’s verses, which should have been more comprehensible. Background score, by Shankar Ehsaan Loy, is effective. Carlos Catalan’s cinematography is excellent and captures the various beautiful locations of Spain wonderfully, making the film a visual delight. Bosco-Caesar’s choreography of the ‘Senorita’ song is first-rate. Anand Subaya’s editing could have been much better. Approximately 20 minutes of the running time of the film actually ought to have been edited out, because the film is too lengthy and boring in parts. In fact, the boredom creeps in not only because of the length of the film but also because the general pace of the drama is painfully slow, more so in the second half. Production values are grand.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Review: Komal Nahta’s Box-Office Verdict
On the whole, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a film for the multiplexes, the city-based audiences and the youngsters. However, it doesn’t have much for the masses, the single-screen cinema audiences and for the public in small centres. Considering its high price, it will not be able to make profits even though the youth and the city audiences will give it the thumbs up.
Agree/disagree with our review? Share your views in the comments section below.