Sunday, July 31, 2011

Watched: Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara

I just don’t know how to begin this review. I’m tempted to simply say I liked this movie and that was that. But then I also feel compelled to expound a bit more on its virtues. Forthwith, I present the following awards:
Surprise Package award: Katrina Kaif. Who woulda thunk? The Kaif is so perfectly cast in this radiant, likeable-girl role that one must actually congratulate the casting director. Kaif’s Laila the diving instructor is happy, impulsive, fearless, and needless to say, eye-poppingly pretty. She deserves the award because she actually does embody the spirit of the film and its message.

Best Moment award: Hrithik Roshan, when he spots a group of wild horses in the Spanish countryside during their road trip. Simply one of the loveliest moments he’s ever enacted on screen.

Most Baffling Hair award: Hrithik had his dishevelled mane, Kaif had her glossy curls, Kalki her straight, chic blunt, and Abhay his regular boy-haircut. But what, in the name of Egad, happened to Farhan? (And his wife in real life’s a hairstylist.) I just didn’t get his non-descript curly look. It looked sheep-like and cried out for a pair of shears. Super-interesting and engaging character, dud haircut.

Overshadowed but Still So Cool award: Abhay Deol. The night before I watched ZNMD, I had watched Deol in Road, Movie. So I had rather a lot of him in two days. Still, I’m being objective when I say he is slightly overshadowed by the other two boys. Never mind. His dimples seem to gain in worthiness as he ages, and his easy body language and demeanour are really neat.

Slap Her, She’s French award: Kalki. (I refuse to write her last name because I can’t pronounce it.) Now, I’m merely being silly by handing her this award. The girl is dashed cool and can certainly slip into a role with ease. I just wish to see her in more roles before I really decide on what award to give her.

As to the little matter of the film in its entirety, well, it has a lot going for it. A trio of friends takes off for Spain- a kind of extended bachelor party- to celebrate the impending wedding of one of them. While there, they each have to propose an adventure sport that all three must participate in. And that in effect is the story, with a layer of sub-plots of each character’s evolution through the trip. With a storyline like this, there’s plenty of room for meanderings in exquisite rural Spain, and also for lots of indulgent scenes with the three friends- and these elements I had no problem with. In fact, the chemistry among the three was really pretty terrific, and the sub-plots were also all fine.
In terms of pacing, the editing could have been crisper between the first sport and the next. There was so much time spent on each, too, that it became more ‘tell’ and less ‘show’ which was a bit of overkill for me.
Then there’s the matter of the ‘boy’ aspect of the friendship. I’ve begun to despair of ever seeing convincing and engaging stories of women’s friendships in Hindi movies, unless there are such films and I’ve never seen them. Not that there’s a problem with boys being friends and taking off to Spain on a bachelor trip, tra la la, which gets dampened because the fiancée (a GIRL) shows up. I just want to be shown similar stories from the other side.
That leads in nicely to the next minor but niggling grouse- why did Abhay’s fiancée, Kalki, have to be shown as nearly getting them all in a crash while she’s driving? I didn’t see what this scene added at all; it seemed a little patronising and off-track from the film’s sensibility. Also, too much face time with Hrithik. He’s the biggest star, so we had to sit through countless up-nostril shots of his head. This abated in the second half, but.
The title, although clunky, perfectly ties up the spirit of the story. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, travelling mentally to Spain again and revelling in its whitewashed rural glory. For that alone, I would watch the movie again. Slap me, I’m biased.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Knock Knock!!! you there? Since 2 years no post?

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