Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
At one point in Zoya Akhtar’s film, the three protagonists are sitting in a bar in Spain, celebrating the fact that they have just completed a daring sky-diving adventure, when one of them (Hrithik Roshan) starts talking about an old Doordarshan ad. He talks about the music, how the logo would unfold and finally, is asked by another protagonist — “Yeah, but could you please get to the point?”
That could be the tagline for the whole film. Don’t believe the filmmakers when they say “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” is not a rehash of Farhan Akhtar’s “Dil Chahta Hai”. It tries to re-create the same coming-of-age effect, the same clever lines, but with half the success of the earlier film.
Akhtar takes her three protagonists to Spain, not Goa, but you can see the similarities in so many other ways. There is the joker of the group, there is a hard-nosed, practical one and there is the peacemaker who tries to behave sensibly all the time. There is of course the “chudail” girlfriend, and the fun-loving independent-spirited girl who everyone wants to fall in love with.
The story begins with a proposal. Kabir (Abhay Deol), the son of a rich businessman has just proposed to the daughter (Kalki Koechlin) of another rich businessman and decides it is now time to honour the pact he made with his best buddies in college. The trio take a three-week trip to Spain, with the understanding that each of them gets to involve the other two in an adventure sport of his choice.