Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
U/A: Comedy, Drama
Dir: Zoya Akhtar
Cast: Katrina Kaif, Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Kalki Koechlin, Naseruddin Shah
With a title that promises to take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, you would expect to be thoroughly entertained by Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Unfortunately, Zoya Akhtar's film falls below expectations, and not even the stellar star cast or the breathtaking locations make-up for its lack of substance.
The story revolves around three richie rich friends -- Kabir (Abhay Deol), Imran (Farhan Akhtar) and Arjun (Hrithik Roshan). While Kabir is the amiable, endearing one, Imran is naughty and brash and Arjun is sensitive and uptight. Sounds familiar? The three central characters of Farhan's debut film Dil Chahta Hai (played by Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna) were made of the same mould. So back to the story ¦ Kabir is just about to get married to Natasha (Kalki) and before that he wants to take off on a holiday. He reminds his school buddies of a pact that they had made as kids to take a three-week holiday, which would include taking part in adventures of each other's choices.
So off they go on a road trip along the picturesque locations of Spain, stripping off emotional layers and confiding in each other about issues they would have probably not talked about otherwise. The friends meet Laila, a diving instructor, who believes in living life to the fullest, without any regrets. "Main afsos karna nahin jaanti," she says, before planting the much-hyped kiss on Hrithik's lips. So begins their adventure...the men want to have fun, but sadly their fun is not the 'Hangover'kind. Rather, they resort to childish tricks of their school days including frightening passers by.
The most disappointing is the absence of great chemistry between the three friends. There are a few scenes which are chuckle worthy, especially the ones where Imran and Kabir get together to tease Arjun about his obsession with work. There's another where Hrithik mimics the Doordarshan signature tune. But at some places, the comedy seems to be contrived. The scenic road trip is fun to watch, but tighter editing would have ensured that it didn't meander the way it did.
As for the performances, Katrina is pleasant and charming as the pretty instructor. Kalki is wasted (this is a role that could have been done by even a Kim Sharma). Abhay, as the softhearted, typical good boy is excellent.
Hrithik, as usual, does a sincere job as a guy who goes through a painful transformation from being stiff workaholic to being openly emotional. Farhan is good too, but when he starts spewing poetry the movie gets duller, instead of lifting it up. Shockingly, the poems by Javed Akhtar, except the last one, Dilon me betaabi hai toh zinda ho tum, falls way below his own high standards.
Hum afsos karna jaante hai. And afsos, this was a great opportunity wasted! A pretty, very pretty film. If only it had more soul.