Movie Review: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara


ZNMDMovie: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Year of Release: 2011

Language: Hindi/English

Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, and Kalki Koechlin.

Who doesn’t love to travel? Every one of us dreams of going to some exotic location to get rid of life’s tensions. And what better inspiration to rev up than good ol’ movies. This movie is a reboot of Dil Chahta Hai with an international twist. What’s common between Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? Let us see.

  1. Three single guys, two of whom are not on talking terms with each other.
  2. A reason to go for a trip.
  3. Self-realization.
  4. The female lead who makes the male lead realize that life is much more than [insert male lead’s insecurity here].
  5. Placeholder female leads for the other two male leads.

This movie is clearly for a wealthy audience who can afford a trip to wherever; who can hire a private whatever; who can do anything they want. Because the protagonists in this movie cater to such. They are rich. You know, where the basic model car that one owns is a BMW, the bathroom is bigger than an apartment, the time is always right on their Rolex, the hotel is always Hilton and the sandals cost more than your entire wardrobe. Their problems are materialistic rather than realistic.

Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) is dealing with heartbreak and hard work, Kabir (Abhay Deol) is the reason for the trip, for it’s his last trip as a singleton before he marries his girlfriend, and Imran (Farhan Akhtar) wants to meet his biological father. So where do they go for a trip. Spain. Where all their whims can be fulfilled and where, coincidentally, Imran’s father stays.

While the movie is about self-discovery, it hardly sticks to this formula. The revelation of Arjun’s obsession with making money is so clichéd (dad-dead, mum-debt, solution-money), the confusion of Kabir’s decision to get married is so overused (do I love her?, do I not love her?), and the funny-sexy-but-poor-guy theme is so common that they become stock characters rather than someone you can connect to. Everything, from the leads to the locations is impeccable. A feast for the eyes. And the magic ends there. It’s not about friendship, it’s not about family. It’s about nothing actually. Just about three ultra rich guys (including Imran) who go on a trip. The only realization these characters have at the end of the movie is that they need another testosterone trip.

A white-collar labourer like me cannot take off to Spain, fly first class/business class, live in luxury hotels, and hire luxury cars to drive me around town. I think of things like exchange rate, food expenses, souvenirs, cost of experiences (like sky-diving and scuba-diving) and other things that cost an arm and a leg once I land there.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a movie with a lot of heart. Unfortunately, with an empty soul.

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