The trailers of the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara seemed to promise a rehash of Dil Chahta Hai. But one cannot be more wrong. Although there are some similarities, the director Zoya Akhtar makes sure that she stamps her style within the first few scenes. She has to be applauded for making one of the more intelligent movies of this decade. Kabir (Abhay Deol) is engaged to be married to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin). His bachelor party is a three-week road trip in Spain with his two best friends Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) and Imran (Farhan Akhtar). How the trip changes their lives and each experiences his own moment of revelation forms the crux of the movie. Farhan Akhtar stands out of the pack; he has the best one-liners in the movie and his comic timing is impeccable. The transformation of Arjun (Hrithik) is beautifully portrayed as the first half cruises along, supported by some of the best writing in Hindi movies of recent times. Laila (Katrina Kaif) is a freewheeling spirit who shows Arjun how it feels to be alive.
Abhay Deol finally breaks into mainstream commercial cinema, and he fits the character to a T. Nasserudin Shah makes an interesting cameo. The rugged beauty of Spain is captured in all its glory by the cinematographer Carlos Catalan. There is not a dull moment in the movie and the chemistry between the lead actors clicks. The background score aptly captures the mood of the movie, although the songs are just about passable. Zoya’s last movie, the underrated Luck by Chance, did not click with the audience but this movie might just be her break.
Watch this movie for the writing, Farhan Akhtar and cinematography, in that order. Zindagi na milegi dobara might just become the anthem of the 2010s, just as Dil Chahta Hai was for the 2000s. It is not just about a road trip, it’s a revelation!