Director Zoya Akhtar’s film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ is a fun tale of male bonding set against the scenic beauty of Spain
Actor-director Farhan Akhtar made his directorial debut with “Dil Chahta Hai” (The Heart’s Desire), a film about male bonding and friendship. The movie was a runaway hit. A decade later, his younger sister Zoya Akhtar, who is also a director, is out with her male bonding movie, “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (You Only Live Once), but this one is set against the backdrop of a road-trip.
The film, her second, is about three friends, played by actors Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Mr. Akhtar, who decide to celebrate together before one of them gets married and head out for a trip through Spain. During the course of the trip, the three also learn to overcome their deep phobias (whether of bulls, underwater diving or skydiving) and shed their insecurities and fears.
The road trip genre is a newish one in Bollywood—earlier this year “Chalo Dilli” was a variation on the theme and no doubt we’ll eventually see a female version.
The film’s songs (especially the Señorita number) are already popular and the trailers—with its visions of the red-tiled roofs of the Spanish town of Pamplona—have also generated a lot of interest among the youth. Here’s what critics had to say about the film:
In The Times of India, film critic Nikhat Kazmi gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of five and said that Ms. Akhtar may have given Bollywood its “first full-blown contemporary road trip movie.” Ms. Kazmi wrote, “Director Zoya Akhtar follows up ‘Luck by Chance’ with another sensitive and entertaining study of people.”
While she admitted that the viewers might get restless in the first half as the protagonists check in and out of hotels, she said viewers should hold on because the second half of the film offers “a scintillating insight into friendship, emotional growth and bonding.”
Saibal Chatterjee wrote on NDTV’s website that while the movie may remind the audiences of “Dil Chahta Hai,” the film has an “essential rhythm of its own” that stems from the “dynamics of a full-fledged road movie shot through with intelligence, emotion and, above all, humanism.”
Mr. Chatterjee also wrote that while the concept underlying the film is simple, Ms. Akhtar manages to handle “the tale with a delightful lightness of touch and dollops of gentle wit.”
He gave the film three stars out of five, hinting that the only drawback may be the slow narrative pace.
Film critic Kaveree Bamzai, who reviewed the film for the weekly magazine India Today, was also rather impressed and gave the film four stars out of five. “I must confess by the time I finished watching ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ I was convinced that no one can make a bromance as beautifully as a woman,” Ms. Bamzai wrote.
Calling it a “meditative take on growing up,” Ms. Bamzai said that the film “pulls you in, partly because of the frank, unvarnished performances by its leads.”
Taran Adarsh, who reviewed the film on movie website Bollywood Hungama, said that Ms. Akhtar “represents the new brigade in Bollywood,” adding that her “ability in bringing offbeat elements in mainstream cinema needs to be applauded and appreciated.”
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He called the film “real” and “a slice of life,” but he agreed with some of the other critics that the first half of the film lacks drama and is a bit lethargic.
But overall, he praised it, with this caveat:
“It’s definitely not for ardent fans of kitsch or those with an appetite for typical masala entertainers,” he said. “It’s a film for a more evolved, mature and cinema-literate audience that’s geared up to embrace and support newer genres of cinema.”
Will you watch this movie? If you do, let us know what you thought in the Comments section.
Via: India Real Time