Some movie experiences can be summed up in a few lines. Others can take longer. This one would be hard to define. And to try to slot it or give it shape in any other form but the visual would take some doing.
The witticism, of course, flows. With Farhan Akhtar around, what else can we expect? But the spoken lines (a brilliant fusion of the colloquial and existential) are so doggedly wedded to the visuals that we come away with a complete and satisfying cinematic experience, so replete with life's most luscious home-truths that we want to carry the plot's bumper-sticker wisdom in our hearts forever.
Farhan Akhtar did it ten years ago, in 'Dil Chahta Hai'. He got three friends on the threshold of a career on a road-trip and let them come to terms with their own weaknesses and insecurities, even as Farhan, that wily filmmaker, discovered his own strengths as a storyteller.
Now it's Farhan's sister Zoya Akhtar's turn to take that road trip. Some day we need to figure out the Akhtar siblings' affinity to films about three male friends on a journey to self-discovery. Suffice it to say that 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' (ZNMD) takes the theme of male bonding to a more illuminating plane than 'Dil Chahta Hai'.
As the workaholic money-obsessed stockbroker (Hrithik Roshan), the happy-go-looking-for-his-dad prankster (Farhan Akhtar) and the about-to-be-married-nice-guy (Abhay Deol) set out on trip through locationally lush Spain (ummm, full marks for seductive eyecandy visuals) we follow right behind.
Without trying to set up dramatic road-blocks and U-turns in the road journey, Zoya Akhtar gets us so involved in the drama and adventure of the threesome we gradually forget the actors and see only the characters that they so fluently and robustly play.
Oh yes, the ladies take the backseat. Nonetheless Katrina Kaif's Laila, a gorgeous diving instructor who teaches Hrithik to dive into soul, makes such graceful space for herself among the boys that we wonder how she managed to make herself heard in a film that celebrates the spirit of male bonding in all its robust colour splendour and noise.
Oh yes, we forgot! This guys' film is directed by a woman! The feminine touch is nowhere evident in Zoya Akhtar's direction. She leaves you wondering if delicacy femininity and the opposite of a snobbish misogyny that our desi female directors have been seen to follow, vanished while we were not looking.
ZNMD is a coming-of- age film on many levels. It celebrates the sheer beauty and physicality of location and their deep connection to the characters' state of mind, without apology or explanation. Trust me. I looked. I couldn't spot even one unpleasant face or topogrphy in the entire length and breath of this beautiful film.
Yes, the surface is lovely. But so is the soul. Zoya, God bless her aesthetics, sucks us into the beauty of the moment, not giving us any reason to believe that life's most precious truths are swathed in squalor. ZNMD celebrates splendour. Underwater or up in the air thousands of feet above sea level, the moments of tenderness are not stapled into the climate of camaraderie. They just happen.
The moment when Hrithik discovers love under the stars with Katrina, or when Farhan Akhtar finally meets his biological father (Naseeruddin Shah, in a naturally compelling cameo) or that breathtakingly blistered moment of reckoning when after a bout of male backslapping in the initial episodes, we suddenly realize the cause for friction in the Hrithik-Farhan friendship... These are masterstrokes of muted drama not written in to impress, but simply as an integral part of that journey which we undertake so enthusiastically and willingly with the threesome.
Technically the film wears its art on its sleeve. Carlos Catalan's cinematography captures the pain and the fun in Spain without letting the touristic urge take over. Yeah, the film looks fetching. But not at the cost of the characters' search for bearings in a world that mocks at the beauty of Nature. Editor Anand Subaya doesn't cut the film. He carves the material in shapes that a jeweller would probably like to imitate if he only knew how.
Every actor seems to the character born. Hrithik's stuffed-shirt act would have been almost self-parodic were it not so sincere. Abhay Deol is a natural-born reactor. But it's Farhan Akhtar who steals the best role, lines and moments. He is in his element and the character that evolves in the course of the journey. Oh yes, he gets to mouth his father Javed Akhtar's evocative poetry.
Katrina Kaif's Laila is a kind of synthesis of mystique and sincerity that we had seen long ago in Leela Naidu. This film marks the coming-of-age of the Kaif. Kalki in a relatively brief role brings a kind of snide cuteness to the proceedings. Her character is sometimes the brunt of ridicule. She takes it in her stride.
Every major character at some point, appears ridiculous. That's the beauty of the askew world that Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti's script tries to make sense with doses of humour and warmth.
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EXPRESSION SESSIONS FOR CHICAGO YOUTH
FAM Entertainment Theater Co, NFP who focuses on achievement and motivation through entertainment is pleased to announce its fall Expression Session Art Programs. These popular programs are not only fun but it helps in the development of effectively expressing emotions, memories and feelings as well as learning more about other's through poetry, music & art, short story telling/writing, monologues & speeches and screenplay writing.
For over six years, FAM Entertainment has implemented a complete array of entertainment instruments that acts as confidence builders and believes that hands on expression combined with music as a therapy through various entertainment outlets are extraordinary tools for providing not only motivation but inspires' insight for community growth.
Youth are introduced to the arts as they create and build their artistic talents; explore different cultures through music, using their voices as the microphone. Increase visual literacy and broaden visions through poetic description and group observations. These sessions assist in vocabulary development thus producing higher academic goals while enhancing mental health in all areas including their accomplishments and journeys through life.
FAM Entertainment's programs are always a new experience for grade school children, offering new insights. If there were not for the past, we would not know where we came from is one of FAM Entertainment's unique focuses in educating youth. With this diversity, students will first remove the blinders from their eyes so that they may see and become aware of the issues that are presented and become more entrenched in helping their community.
Kenya Renee Robertson, director of FAM Entertainment Theater Company is an entertainment extraordinaire whose mission is to build dreams by helping society break the cycles that continue to become passed...
very nice and refreshing movie !!!! it was such a clean and subtle comedy and emotions. the good movie can be made without bad words and scenes which this movie proves. Farhan is excellent !!!! hrithik and abhay are very good too .. katreina is good in her small role ... on the whole the movie is superb!!!!!
Edited on:24 July 2011 at 7:23pm
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