Of timing, and ZNMD

There is something to be said about timing, some even go as far as to say that timing is everything. If you want to see a simple yet beautiful example of that then the ending of Zoya Akhtar's latest offering Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ज़िन्दगी ना मिलेगी दोबारा) would be the perfect example. She ends the movie at just the right moment. Few seconds ago would have been too early and few seconds later would have meant overstaying her welcome (something even the most accomplished directors tend to do). 

Which is not to say that the ending is the only thing worth looking forward to (as is the case with so many movies), just that it is the perfect icing on the delicious cake that is this movie. At two and a half hours, many might feel the movie to be too long, but I feel that even there Zoya got the timing right. One can always nit-pick and find weaker portions in the movie, but that would be missing the point.

On the face of it, the film looks to be about three childhood friends reconnecting, bromancing as it were. But you would soon realize that the movie is more about people connecting with their inner self, sub-consciously relying on their childhood friend or a new found love to tell them what they can't get themselves to admit. And they are wonderfully aided in this self-realization by some surreal experiences they are forced to have due to an old pact. What adds to the impact is that the filming of these experiences is top-notch. When Arjun is lost in the life under water, you are there right next to him. When Imran finally lets go and jumps off the plane, you are the one who has the birds eye view. And there will be more than one of you who will fidget in their seats to ensure that bulls stay away when our leads are being chased.

The story of the movie is pretty simple, what carries it forward are the performances, the chemistry between the cast, the smart dialogues and the direction. The screenplay is tight and ensures that scenes flow seamlessly, marking a coherent narrative. And every once in a while, there is a gem in the form of Imran's poetry (wonderfully written by Javed Akhtar, voice over by Farhan). The only other scenes that match the poetry voice overs in terms of impact are, ironically, the ones where nothing is spoken (you'll know what I'm talking about when you watch the movie).

I liked the movie a lot and can probably go on and on about it, but in an attempt to match Zoya for timing, I will stop here and ask you to go watch it. Also, if possible, watch it with friends.


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