Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah, Ariadna Cabrol and Deepti Naval.
I rarely watch Bollywood movies these days but if i do, they are for some special reasons. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is directed by Zoya Akhtar, who previously wrote some good movies and made her directing debut with Luck by Chance which was one of my most favorite movies of the year. That alone is the reason why i was curious to watch ZNMD, Zoya is a sheer talent, she is different from other filmmakers and has this unique voice and talent. On top of everything, Farhan Akhtar is in the movie, having been previously impressed by his acting in movies like Rock On and Luck by Chance and also his singing/writing abilities and then we have the music, one of the many important things that make Bollywood movies so appealing is composed by the wonderful trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy and lyrics by Zoya and Farhan's father, the talented Mr Javed Akhtar. Such a talented family i know. So i was fortunate enough to catch this movie on TV last month, almost a year after its theatrical release and was stunned by how great it made me feel. Also ZNMD won every major Best Picture award in India and was the most winning film this year.
ZNMD stars Hritihik Roshan as Arjun the very workaholic businessman to whom money is everything and money is the only thing to strive for in your life. Abhay Deol plays Kabir who just proposed Natasha played by Kalki Koechlin, he is sort of a normal guy who maybe not free spirited but also not lives in the cage like Arjun. Farhan Akhtar is Imraan in this movie, he is very fun loving and funny person who doesn't take anything seriously in his life. This trio of friend decides to go on a road trip/bachelor trip to forget their problems, its the vice-versa later on. And for the adventure, what they'll do is that each one of them will choose an adventurous sport that all of them will have to participate in. The clever way Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar write this movie is very impressive, makes it superior to all the other "road trip" movies. You can call it a coming of age movie, coming of age of the grown ups mature men.
Spain is their destination, at first the ride seems a bit shaky as Arjun specially doesn't seems to be enjoying the trip as he can't put his work behind him even for a few days. Kabir chooses their first sport, deep sea diving. Katrina Kaif as Laila is their driving instructor and Arjun falls in love with her. Arjun was married but his wife separated from him because he just can't put his work behind him and that was bringing down their relationship. Laila helps him overcome his fear of aquaphobia and swimming and they slowly fall for each other. Laila is the exact opposite of Arjun, she is a free spirited girl who follows the rules she makes. In a scene when she realizes she have fallen for Arjun, for the reason that she might hate living with the fact that she wasn't able to express that to Arjun if they don't meet again, Laila drives all the way catches up to them on highway and kisses Arjun passionately. The second sport that Arjun chooses for the group is Skydiving, Imran is very hesitant to do so put they do it anyway. The real purpose of Imran coming to the trip beside get together with his two best friends was to find his father who is an artist in Spain. His father Salman played by Naseerudin Shah leaves him and his mother because he wasn't ready for the responsibilty. Imran chooses Bull running and he suggests they make a pact, Imran to publish his poetry, Arjun to go to Morocco and settle with Laila and Kabir to tell Natasha he doesn't want to marry her.
This movie may remind you in a way of Farhan Akhtar's directorial venture Dil Chahta Hai, three friends on a path to self discovery, fun, amusing moments and a good time. Filled with such profoundly beautiful messages about life, i felt good and i kind of looked at my own life after watching this wonderful movie. Filled with symbolism, the characters changing slowly as they proceed in this journey. The Sky Diving, Deep Sea Diving, Running from Bulls and that Tomatana Festival where for the first time you see Arjun letting go. A once stubborn stock broker is now a fully fun loving human being. Very impressive how Zoya made this movie, excellent direction. Stunning cinematography, very beautiful locations. Songs in this movie were actually good, "Senorita" the flamenco song was the most famous of the bunch. It is very fun song and a enjoyable one as you see the characters loving it too. For me the best songs is "Khwabon kay Parinday" i specially love those kind of mellow songs and the way it is used in the movie is simply amazing. Also the song they did at Tomatana Festival "Ik Junoon" is like the ultimate song when you are out with your friends partying or enjoying. Feel good songs overall. There is the poetry too that i think both Farhan and maybe Javed Akhtar wrote for this movie that really goes with what the characters are going through and sounds simply mesmerizing in the movie.
Both Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol gave impressive performances followed by Hrithik Roshan whose transformation was very believable. A very fool good movie with brilliant moments and a mature movie on top of that, feels true and very believable, no over the top Bollywood gimmick. A Must Watch.