The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of ZNMD is that it is simply poetry in motion. The second thing is the slight resemblance it has to Dil Chahta Hai, but I plan to overlook that aspect of the film.
Three school friends played by Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan, and Abhay Deol go on a road trip across Spain that they have been planning since their school days. The purpose of the trip is that each one has a secret adventure sport planned that all three must participate in. In between the activities all three fight their inner demons and inhibitions meeting new people and forming stronger bonds between themselves and the people that in one way or another influence their lives.
ZNMD has a rather leisurely pace to it, and I loved this aspect of the movie. While some might find it a tad slow, I found it just right. It's almost as if the movie on one end tells you to quickly experience life because you never know if you will be alive tomorrow, but simultaneously also says that take it slow and look around you, enjoy life, experience it. Watching the movie I kept remembering what Matthew Broderick says in Ferris Bueller's Day Off "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”. ZNMD also weirdly reminded me of Luc Besson's excellent film The Big Blue. The stories are poles apart, but there is a certain similarity in terms of the "feel" of both the films.
Obviously ZNMD is also the best tourism promotional video Spain could have. The beauty of the lesser explored Spain is simply amazing. I've been to Spain a few times enjoying the coastal areas, but I too was surprised with the natural beauty that Spain has to offer. The now world famous Tomatina festival and "Running of the Bulls" event are beautifully incorporated in the movie as well. In short, Spain better gear up for an influx of Indian tourists.
ZNMD succeeds as a film because the audience can see the actors have fun. All the three main male leads have excellent chemistry together and compliment each other beautifully. Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin, both, for a change, don't seem out of place. What really stood out was the lack of over dramatization that can be seen in Indian films. While it does have the song and dance numbers that are synonymous with most Indian films, it does not drag. It ends when it should. The movie does at times preach, but then it is up to the audience to make what they want out of these lessons in life.
Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara is modern cinema at its best. Zoya Akhtar taps well into the psyche of the metropolitan youngster making the film hip and happening and one that relates well with the now globally conscious Indian. Since I’m on a small crusade to get my twitter friends to watch more Indian films, it would be great to know what they think of it, because although the film is shot predominantly in Spain and is very modern in its outlook, it still is grounded in Indian culture and ethos.
As for rating the film, it gets a well deserved 4.5 stars out of 5 and I hope that everyone puts it on their must watch list.