Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Movie Review: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Dimmed by the Casting Syndrome

Three friends, take off on a preplanned bachelor road trip across Spain. That they are conveniently rich enough to do so, ensures that the few hurdles set in the screenplay are purely psychological, except for an incident-free night in a Spanish jail. Not an inch of the resplendent attire is out of place, the cars, and modern-life luxuries all make good Hindi-film sugar candy. If only they had more money-spending troubles, a nightmarish trip, after all it is a movie...Still, beneath the elite-audience stuff, ZNMD has its moments.   
Arjun (Hrithik Roshan, refreshing negative shades) is a workaholic, tech-addicted stockbroker working in London. Imran (Farhan Akhtar, great coming timing) is a copywriter, with a great sense of humour, dealing with the news that his biological father is someone else. Kabir (Abhay Deol, good one) is grappling with his impending marriage to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin, deserves a bigger role). Laila (Katrina Kaif, one of her most assured performances) plays a diving instructor, who happens to meet our bachelor trio in Spain.    

Compared to Zoya's daring debut Luck By Chance, this is a much-trodden territory of living life to the fullest/coming of age film. While, there is nothing landmark in this Dil Chahta Hai - Deja Vu, the well-defined characterizations, and the fact that we are never tired of the proceedings, makes it a good one-time watch.The sparkling one-liners, the inevitable life lessons ("A person should be in a box when he is dead"), do not seem preachy, a relief. The performances and rich-boy banter between the three male protagonists are a big plus. The challenge sequences of skydiving, underwater-diving and the famed Pamplona bull-run keep us glued. The high-profile cast probably limited the director's ability to experiment, for there are steps taken to ensure that each of the five main characters have at least one key scene to showcase their acting, sometimes, at the expense of stretching the story. Don't expect a diversion, and you shall be happy.

Music adds zing   
Shankar-Ehsan-Loy have a peppy, sometimes one-track (all percussion & western soft-rock elements)  soundtrack to add able decor to the proceedings.

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