Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: An ordinary fare

Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar.
Director:Zoya Akhtar
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval

MUMBAI: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a road movie at the end of which three men overcome their respective shortcomings and rediscover their own selves.

A trailer for the Spanish tourism board precedes the main feature and as the film unreels, you understand why. The film has been shot extensively in Spain and, in a sort of a barter, promotes Spain and its scenic locations; so far so good but, in the process, this road movie often goes off-track by giving priority to promotion of Spain rather than furthering its thin story line. And that is not the only time the film’s writer, director et al get their priorities wrong.

Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar are friends since school and are now well settled in their chosen fields. Some gentleman with a limited imagination claims the credit for dubbing the trio as Three Musketeers!

One of them, Abhay Deol, has decided to tie the knot and as per a pact they made long ago, they embark on their bachelor’s trip instead of the traditional bachelor’s party; the chosen location is Spain and soon Spain and its promotion become the lead players in the film. So much so that the message that emerges is that, "You need not go to Spain any more because it is all here in this film."

Showcasing the picturesque country are the three lead actors amply aided by Katrina Kaif, a part time diving instructor, and as they proceed on their promote Spain tour, there is no story to tell; the three are meant to bond and have fun but most of the time, they are daggers drawn, trying to run each other down.

The banter between the three is mostly sarcastic; fun initially but one has enough of that after a while. Also, good lines are written mainly for Farhan Akhtar (by himself, of course) with the other two ending up with lame ones.

In fact, in this film with two actors with their own definite following, the lead role as it is called in film jargon, is played by Farhan Akhtar. His track of a father who deserted him even before he was born is totally out of sync with the theme of the film and if it was meant to justify his cynicism, viewers would have preferred he rather did not have it. What is his role? Is he depicting a sort of Javed Akhtar bio?

However, by the end of the film (eventually it had to end), the three friends have exorcised their respective ghosts; Abhay Deol wants out of the marriage he was rushing into, Hrithik Roshan has decided not to run after money and live it up and Farhan Akhtar realises that the one whose genes he carried did not matter as much as one who really gave him all the love and care a father would.

Considering the theme of the film, there is not much acting to do really, yet, Abhay Deol is the most restrained and likeable, Hrithik Roshan is okay while Farhan Akhtar is just about tolerable. Katrina Kaif is her usual syrupy self, adding glamour to the scene; in which case one wonders at the casting of Kalki Koechlin who is the odd one out here. 

Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Naval make fleeting appearances. Shot mostly outdoors, the photography is pleasant, making the film visually delightful. Dialogue is witty but the humour is often lost when it becomes more personal rather than involving the viewer.Musically, a couple of songs are watchable due to good choreography; tune wise not much. Direction is average with the lose script adding to the woes.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is an ordinary fare with nothing for single screen masses and very little for multiplex audience either. Having opened to below average response; it can only slide further in the days to follow.

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