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Running With the Bulls

  • Ankur Pathak

    Ankur Pathak (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - June 05, 2014 5:11 PM IST
    3.8DM (2374 ratings)
    Zindagi Na Milegi DobaraWatch trailerRelease date : July 15, 2011

    Essentially a feel-good film, ZNMD explores that one philosophy screen-writers are wary to dwell on to, for the fear of coming across too sugary. And that could have precisely punctured the ambitious road-trip of Zoya Akhtars new film. But then her characters who are on a spectacular expedition are not some fancy retards playing wine connoisseurs, but people battling serious inner demons, just like well, real people. Their various adventures metaphorise inner-conflict and its subsequent conquest, and the film deals with these life-altering events in an aesthetically subtle fashion, where it couldve come across mistakenly exaggerated.

    Thats one big triumph of ZNMD. It doesnt exaggerate its core message. In fact, after conveying the intended point, it later trivializes its significance. So if Hrithik Roshans Arjun conquers his water-phobia after his scuba-diving act, he doesnt come out, yell loud with jaws wide open or jump and take another joy-dive; instead in a divinely gorgeous scene, he sits uninhibitedly on the boat, and weeps. Its a fine sequence that symbolizes the beginning of Arjuns transition from a steely and stiff, money-craving finance broker to a more laidback, composed, and realistic middle-aged man. Later, Farhans Imraan blabbers, "Ek hi dubki mein zindagi ke saarein raaz khul gaye? Tujhe toh underwater hi rehna chahiye." Just like it would happen between three friends coming together after a considerable span seeing one dramatically inspired.

    Although it is inevitable, but suggesting that the makers indulge in advertising Spain tourism is a little insensible, because if your film is a road-trip or an adventure-induced drama, invariably the decided destination Spain, or Sudan is bound to benefit. And here it does cats and bulls.

    The gorgeous landscape as backdrop is inspiring and comforting to the eyes. Also is convincing as a place where youd like to go on a sabbatical. It couldnt most surely be New York (remember Anjaana Anjaani?) So spectacular Spain chronicles the life-shifting escapades of three hunky men, whose lives, mediocre and boring so far, suddenly see an addition of varying textures, previous issues are sorted, and future decisions modified.

    Also, it is mentionable the effort taken by the screenwriters to sketch out each of the three characters. Farhan Akhtars Imraan is the funny guy carefree and flamboyant, yet the smiles camouflaging a hidden worry are unmistakable and you are genuinely concerned for the mysterious cause. Hrithik Roshans Arjun is better. He voices his displeasure and is staunch on his agenda. Abhay Deols Kabir is the in-between guy keeping things cool, and trying to make it evident that he is okay with an impromptu commitment to his fiance (a hate-able Kalki Koechlin) The three protagonists are consistent and over the films course get to breathe and evolve and show-off varied hues.

    Katrina Kaif as the diving instructor has got a sweet little role which she plays earnestly. She is crucial in bringing about Arjuns transformation, (and when an extremely pretty woman tells you, You will be fine, you blindly believe.) Kalki Koechlin as the dangerously possessive lover-about-to-turn-wife is a winner from shot one.

    The films humor is likeable and immensely relatable. Farhan Akhtar gets to say the best lines, and he does so, in true just-out-of-college fashion. All of this skydiving or Spaniard horses sprinting around countryside, is matched with some soulful compositions by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The renditions correspond so well, you dont want the film to end. There goes its USP it is so overwhelmingly aspirational, it is difficult to not like it.

    Although I must admit, it needed a close-fitting editing as some parts, beautiful and well-enacted as they might be, could be cut-short to timely reach the objective. In the meanwhile, Zoya and co-writer Reema Kagti freely consume time in exploring different themes that span from friendship and its influence to life to also reflecting the contrastingly changed times we live in. So when jilted son Imraan confronts his biological father on abandoning his mother during his birth, the father (a well-restrained Naseerudin Shah) still remains stubbornly unapologetic. Mature and contemporary.

    So, Zoya Akhtar with help from brother Farhans superior enactment and some fine words (he co-wrote the dialogues), and father Javed Akhtars hypnotic poetry that gives the narrative a classic advance, deservingly ensures a Hit.

    Life-celebratory and innocent, well-carved and restrained, soulful and pleasant, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is one of the finest and clearly the best the year, or Hindi films in general have seen in a while.

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