If you put Sideways, Hangover I, Rock On!! and Dil Chahta Hai in a mixer and blend them nicely, what you get is Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
But that's only one way, a hopeless way, of looking at it. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which I watched just an hour ago, comes like a splash of cold water on your face after you've walked a mile in the sun. Not an ounce of flab: each scene well thought-out and delectable.
My favourite scene was the one in which Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif are lying next to each under a star-lit sky, and while giving him some gyaan on life, she holds his hand and in a casual, rather absent-minded, manner places it on her stomach. It can't get more sensual and real-life. Another favourite scene was Naseeruddin Shah rolling up his cigarette and exhaling rich (and most likely aromatic) smoke. He looked every bit an artist, which he is anyway in real life. I felt like lighting up right away.
Though I wish the movie had ended with the frozen shot of the three men running while the bulls chased them: the final song during the rolling of the credits, even though feel-good, was superfluous. But if the audience was enjoying it, why not!
The movie has a message; it's the same message that the commercials of Mountain Dew, the soft drink, have been trying to drive home for a few years now: Dar ke aagey jeet hai -- Once you conquer fear, you are in the arms of victory.
Mountain Dew, in fact, is one of the sponsors of the film and Hrithik, in one scene, is shown holding a bottle of the drink while Farhan Akhtar, in another scene, mouths the same catchline -- Dar ke aagey jeet hai!
But you can't really trust a soft drink manufacturer when it eggs you on to conquer fear, can you? Their intention, after all, is to sell their product. But when the stars of a movie as grand as this set out to prove the same point, you are bound to sit up and think. I won't be surprised at all if the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi is already flooded with visa applications (the film was shot in Spain). And I can bet on my life that a number of people, who are otherwise busy making money and chasing targets, must have signed up for skydiving as well as deep-sea diving after seeing the film.
Fear, after all, is the biggest enemy of the human being. I can give you my own example. Even though I learned how to float in water (while holding the breath) some five years ago, I learned how to swim, in the real sense, only a couple of months ago. Today I can gracefully swim the breaststroke like any professional swimmer, thanks to the hours of daily practice and watching videos on You Tube for tips on improving one's strokes, but I am yet to muster the courage to go to the deep end of the pool. I have gone up to seven feet but not beyond that: 9.5 feet is far too scary! What if I drown?
"No problem sir, if you drown I am there to save you," the lifeguard assures me every evening, "but please go to the deep end." When I refuse, he sulks and refuses to make eye contact for the rest of the evening. He has every right to sulk: he can see that I am now capable of swimming in the deep end with ease, but how the fuck do I make him see the fear that grips me every time I set out towards the deep end? Each time I come up for air, a question gets sucked into my mouth:
What if I drown? What if the lifeguard does not notice me while I am sinking? Even if he dives into the pool, will he be able to save me? Won't I make a spectacle of myself? What will happen to my father if I die? Poor man, he just lost his wife! What will happen to the unwritten books I have in my head? Is it really worth going to the deep end when I can get my exercise even in the relatively shallow part of the pool?
If I were a 10-year-old child, I would not analyse so much: I would merely follow the orders of the coach and dive into the deep end with my nose shut. But as you grow older, you tend to become a slave of fear. Fears, irrespective of their nature, begin to guide your life.
But after watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, I have new-found hope. Hrithik, in the film, happens to be a non-swimmer who is naturally scared of deep-sea diving. But Katrina Kaif, the instructor, sucks the fear out of him and puts in tears of gratification into his eyes once they have done a round of the underwater world.
I am now waiting for a Katrina Kaif to help me proceed from seven feet to 9.5 feet. She doesn't have to be model-like as Katrina (I hate the model-types in any case) but someone intelligent and inspiring enough to make me overcome the fear of depth and cross over to victory.