Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
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Director: Zoya Akhtar
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin
A fancy convertible speeding down scenic roads. Three guys slouched artfully; one at the wheel, the other next to him, the third splayed across the backseat, feet sticking out, slumbering. What does this scene remind you of? 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Of course. The film which iconized, for the first time in Bollywood, affluent young males doing nothing more strenuous than pushing buttons on a gaming console, bonding on loungers which cost more than a small car, in homes which cost more than a minor mall.
So why am I talking about 'Dil Chahta Hai', when I'm supposed to be telling you about 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara', which is out ten years after? Because it plays out the exact same scene for long minutes—there's the long-finned car driving down gorgeous roads, and there are those loaded guys who travel only first class. Because the hangover of the former is overwhelming-- look, look all those cool and groovy people doing cool and groovy things.
The DCH boys were twenty somethings, in search of themselves. These are distinctly older professionals, doing ditto. And as opposed to those younger youths who made us care about them, these are constructed fellows we can pick up, examine, set down, and move on. DCH was a film about a certain kind of privileged young, displaying a certain kind of privileged angst, but it spoke to us. ZNMD is a well-shot road trip, which strings together a series of pretty picture card snapshots, whose characters do not spark or crackle except in stray moments.
ZNMD is designed as a feel-good bromance. Arjun (Roshan) is a broker with a plush three bed-roomed house in London, who leads a frenetic deal-making, yen-and-pounds-and-dollar-collecting life. Imran (Akhtar) is a copywriter who writes poetry. Kabir (Deol) is the wealthy scion of a construction firm, whose engagement to uptight interior designer Natasha (Koechlin) sets the three friends on a road-trip to Spain.
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