Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) is like Dil Chahta Hai (DCH) revisited

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
  • After a very long time, we went for a movie on Sunday afternoon, and did not find tickets. Not in one theatre, but in two of them, in fact. Ultimately had to get tickets for a later show. That gave me the first indication that this may yet be something special!
  • And indeed, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) turned out to be a fun-filled, refreshing, enjoyable fare, amongst the best releases of the year so far.

  • First let’s get the comparisons with Dil Chahata Hai, out of the way. Yes, DCH was also a Farhan Akhtar film, though he had directed the same. Here it is his production, but his sister is the one who’s directing it. Could the siblings think so alike? Could their creative talents be so similar? Well, maybe. Why not? OR.. Farhan did have a hand in shaping this film , beyond being an actor and a producer?
  • So the resemblance to DCH is uncanny. Its a film about three dudes on a pre-wedding, last bachelor trip (in DCH, they were a little younger and marriage had not crossed their minds just then). To that extent, there’s a shade of Hangover also. So it’s similar to that extent, and yet its different in many ways.
  • I would still rate DCH a notch higher, more from the point of view of it being an iconic film, having just that little extra meat in the story, and the characters of all three protagonists being developed a shade deeper, and all of them going through some turmoil. And hence the story being that much more meaningful.
  • In ZNMD on the other hand, what we have is largely a slice of life. Rest of the mental anguish and other factors, are relatively superficial. The hunt for Dad or ‘is it the right time or person for marriage’ are relatively lesser issues, than what the characters grappled with, in DCH.
  • That apart, ZNMD is still a lot of fun, with a new kind of genre that I discovered recently, namely called “bromancing”. An interesting concept around male bonding, without elements of homosexuality.
  • So this is a bulleted review, rather a few bullets of my thoughts about the film. Here are things that I liked most..
  • I’m in love with Spain. Would so love to do the road trip these guys took. Certainly goes into my travel wish-list. (Travel destination companies – if you have something to flaunt, get folks like Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar interested to make a movie there, and you will not need to do any other form of marketing!)
  • Abhay Deol is not quite the stupid, funny simpleton that Saif was in DCH. But he is the quiet and cooler one of the three, for sure. But he shows he can act. After Sunny, he may yet be the Deol to carry the family name ahead. I also did not realize he was that tall. Or at least they make him appear to be tall enough!
  • We all know that Hrithik is the best dancer around, and all he needs to do is “Just Dance”. And I had heard that Farhan can shake a leg too. But was surprised again, to see Abhay Deol match them step for step. Good fun dance moves, over some decent Spanish style foot tapping music.
  • The philosophical aspects of the story are there. The quest to do some dangerous adventure sports, as per an old college pact, and the resultant overcoming of one’s biggest insecurities, is the underlying message. Works well. Fun to see on screen, the adventure sports are a great backdrop in all respects.
  • Farhan Akhtar has written the dialogues for the film too. And there is a snappiness in them. Quite like the cool conversation that dudes would have these days. And in the dialogues, and on screen, you can see that Farhan has an amazing sense of timing. Is that his guilt that holds him back, even as Hrithik (in the early part of the film) takes jibes at him? Perhaps. You can see him getting a little angry and then stopping short.
  • I don’t know about Kalki. Really, what is it about her that people see? She’s pretty ordinary looking, okay as an actor. So yes, she is just so-so.
  • Katrina on the other hand, is a surprise package here.

  • First of all, the intrigue that one may have felt on seeing the drop of mango drink, Slice, on the sensuous lips of Katrina Kaif, has now been demystified. For Hrithik and the audience. 🙂
  • Second of all, Katrina shows that she can act well. She has a good role and she does total justice to it, and I mean way beyond that one kiss.
  • Of course, the film is a lot about Hrithik. Another power packed performance by the perfectionist. Well, they talk about Aamir Khan being the best in the business today. I think they are not giving enough credit then, to Hrithik. He also picks his projects well, and then packs a punch. This one is another fabulous work of his!
  • And finally, I think the piece-de-resistance of the film is its climax. The bull-racing scene. From daring to do that kind of scene, to the emotions that the actors show before and during the run, the fabulous picturization, what it means in life to all of them, it is truly pulsating. It is the kind of finish that leaves you grasping for more, as you get out of your seats and walk out of the cinema house. Totally brilliant.
All in all, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a great flick to see. Highly recommended. And just for the locales, the scenes, and that last scene, see it on big screen. A TV will just not do justice to it. And it looks even better from up-close, like we did from row 2. LOL.. thanks to the film playing to a packed house!!
  1. quite nice..movie can be easily related to our daily lives..one hand we have fun and on the other side; the mind is tense or have some bac logs….Nicely summarized post..

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      Yeah, Jaspreet.. I guess that is the reason of its success. Many can identify with the characters and what they go through. Especially the urban youth of India.

  2. quite nice..movie can be easily related to our daily lives..one hand we have fun and on the other side; the mind is tense or have some backlogs….Nicely summarized post..

  3. Rajarshi Maity says:


    Wonderful review. I have seen the film and agree to your views considerably, if not totally. I would also say that intelligent dialogue and sequence are also plus points of this movie.

    Great to hear from you sir, and we all know that you are a master writer… 🙂

  4. Samudra says:

    I think I had something to say. Until I saw those two images.

    I will go day-dream about Katrina now.

  5. […] After Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, once more Katrina is shown on a two wheeler with a helmet on, and then getting more to her lips […]

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