The week that went by

Some minutes into Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara(ZNMD), to be bride Kalki Koechlin announces that her would-be Abhay Deol and his long time friends would undertake a final bachelor trip across Spain and each one of them would choose an adventure trip and that the others would oblige. For all practical purposes, that is the entire story of Zoya Akthar’s second attempt in wielding the megaphone.

If Luck by Chance was a tongue in cheek look at cinema with a cheeky title, ZNMD is a lighter look at life itself. Kabir, Arjun and Imran three friends drifted away by years reunite for a long unfulfilled wish. The class differences between them are established poignantly by the choice of wardrobe and class of travel.

Hrithik Roshan plays serious Arjun, the London Stockbroker who dreams of a laidback retirement life but only if he works hard now. Parental issues and writerly dreams haunt the funny Irfan expertly played by Farhan Akthar While Abhay Deol plays the buffer between the two and has problems on his own.

The film has very little to do with adventure sports but more about the protagonists finding out what is the best way to lead a life, the film succeeds in that attempt without being preachy. The scenes in which the boys overcome their fears are inspiringly shot.

Each of the characters has their own part to play and not one bad apple could be found in this barrel of a movie in which acting is uniformly good. Worthy of mention is Katrina Kaif whose sweet candy beauty has been used unlike before to portray a free adventure seeking spirit and Kalki as Kabir’s suddenly possessive girl friend.

The expanse and culture of Spain accentuates the sequences, as do the laugh out loud funny dinner conversations between the boys. Shankar, Eshaan and Loy deliver a solid soundtrack to Javed Akhtar’s lines.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is an interesting watch and will occupy a proud place in the lives of Zoya Akthar and crew. For never have the sounds of hugging and patting backs made more sense on screen. No, I have not seen Dil Chahta Hai.

While on the other hand Deiva Thirumagal suffers from the over involvement of everyone in the spotlight, consider me in the insensitive bracket but I find that most films dealing with the issues of disabilities are very much the same. It is similar to the underdog sports story in which we know right from the moment we look into that poster,what will happen in the end.

People not unlike us, seems a viable artistic option for directors out of filmable material and one more excuse for the lead actor to come up with an ‘award worthy’ performance. If directors are willing to take up the task of educating the public on the issue of autism, then a proper documentary seems to me at least a better option in achieving that goal.

Deiva Thirumagal begins in a hill station where Krishna played by Vikram is one of the assemblers at a chocolate factory. It is quite known that he has the intelligence level of that of a five year old, his wife dies during childbirth and thus begins the man’s battle for the custody of his child against a villainous father-in-law and a ‘I don’t know what i am doing in this picture’ Amala Paul.

The long and winding subplot involving MS Baskar, some stolen chocolates and suspicions of infidelity did not work at all, if its intention was to make us laugh and the indifference of the father (Sachin Khedekar) towards his elder daughter was quite un-fatherly even by cinematic standards.And not forget, that spark of love between lawyer and client introduced so that Anushka and Vikram can have a song together.

There is not that likeable tension and fiery debates between lawyers usually seen in films which conclude in the courtroom. Anushka Shetty is adequate as Anuradha the down on luck lawyer who takes up Krishna’s case and there is the ever dependable Nasser. Santhanam lights up some moments with what is given to him.

I was probably one of the few, who walked out of the theatre with dislike. No, I have not seen I am Sam.

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