The year was 2001 and the movie was Dil Chahta Hai. It spoke about male bonding like not many other movies had attempted before. The movie did not go on to become a box office hit but it gained a cult following for all the break-the-cliches attempts it made. Countless movies since then have tried to implement the same logic and have failed dismally.
Back to the present day, another movie from the same production house using the same concept of male bonding between 3 friends. Just that this time, they are on a road trip and in the beautiful country of Spain instead of homely beaches of Goa.
So, is this movie a remake or a sequel or ‘insert a similar word here’ of DCH ? No, sorry to disappoint everyone but it isn’t. The plot could sound similar but that’s where the comparison should end. ZNMD commands its own space and should in no way be neglected for its merits because of few similarities with DCH.
ZNMD is a story of three friends Abhay, Hritik and Farhan who set out on a bachelor road trip being a few months away from Abhay’s marriage with Kalki. They meet Katrina on their journey and she becomes part of their gang for the rest of it. Each of the lead characters have their inner turmoil to overcome that they are reminded at every step of the journey and the story is then about how they deal with those issues.
So, is this a good enough plot to hold the viewers’ attention for 2.5 hours ? Well, not quite. But then the movie packs enough punch in the treatment and narration. Zoya Akhtar makes most of the script written by herself and Reema Kagti. She shows tremendous control over the pacing of the movie for most of it. She ensures that none of characters emerge shallow enough to be discarded as artificial. The treatment is fresh and doesn’t abide by the clichés.
What makes the ride more enjoyable are the dialogues by Farhan that are top notch. The dialogues seem real and appear straight out of our daily conversations albeit with more humour. Give me realistic humour and dialogues of ZNMD over so called ‘closer-to-life’ dialogues in Delhi Belly, any day!!
The road trip introduces us to the beautiful locales of Spain that we may have not seen in many movies before. The camera work is very good and doesn’t go overboard trying to highlight the locales.
Music is the lowest point for me in this movie. Apart from Senorita, there are not many songs that remain etched in our minds. SEL have done a better job than few of their recent attempts but still seem totally lost when compared to their initial promise.
I would have wanted to see more of Abhay in the important sequences of the movie. Farhan and Hritik loom large and this in a sense pushes Abhay back which means that the director has definitely not made most of his talent.
This movie dares to push the boundaries of mainstream cinema and attempts at covering all the emotional aspects of the characters without making it a regular boring drama. It succeeds in what it tried to convey and I’m pretty sure that the audience gets the point. Leave the past behind, make most of today and live for the moment. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara!!