11 years ago three boys Arjun, Imraan, and Kabir from ZNMD took a trip to Spain and made a home in our hearts that is filled with love, laughter, friendship, and all shades of the warmest color!
It’s strange to know that it’s been eleven years since one of the most iconic films of the millennial generation ZNMD- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara came! And since then, we have all wanted to go on a trip to Spain with our closest friends or at least make a pact with them just like Arjun, Imraan, and Kabir. From the crazy adventure sports, including deep-sea diving, skydiving, and running of the bulls to Bagwati, diamond biscuits, small psychological game/pranks (that secretly we have all tried), and the soul-touching Sher-O-Shayari (that keep going to again and again). It could be fair to say that this film was not just a film but an experience in itself. Because it’s not just the scenic beauty of Spain or the actors, or each scene and dialogue being a memorable one, but it’s the all-consuming narrative that wraps you in its arms, digs deep, and brings out a renewed version of yourself.
Most often, people call Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara the best, most epic coming-of-age film that came out ever but the film rather fits in a self-discovery genre than a coming-of-age one. Because of what each character goes through in their individual life as well as together during this trip. It’s like when Laila says, “deep sea-diving is meditation” for her, the same way each adventure sport acts as a therapeutic process for each character to unearth something that was already hidden inside of themselves. And that is the major reason we all connect to the film so deeply because it acts as a therapeutic hug to a generation that had come out of age but had been running lost for some time. You are either dead with laughing, or your heart is so filled that you can’t stop the tears, just probably like a good counseling session!
But the film being actively aware of its genre, doesn’t forget to tap into the emotion of real male friendships that go beyond adventurous sports but does it so with ease and patience. It all starts with all the joking that slowly turns into an emotional ride of healing cum bonding. The three childhood friends have been through a lot and have become comfortably distant because of the path they are on, but this trip somewhere invokes the same childhood innocent bond between them. Though the best part of the film it’s an unapologetic sense of not reaching a resolution for the film or for the characters and its humorous yet thoughtful dialogues that aren’t casual in any sense but doesn’t overpower the real essence of the friendship.
The film shines a new light on the friendships of male characters that have been always been so sporty and manly shown in Bollywood. It also gives us some valuable lessons of life that somehow somewhere we have already heard of or know but in a renewed light of things. Remember Laila’s ‘seize the day’ or ‘a person should be in a box when he is dead’ or Imraan’s soulful poetry with the backdrop of sunrise after his meeting with his father. But the most important of all it taught us to live, laugh, and love with open wide arms, and accept the people for who they are rather than the version we’d like them to be! And that’s why in the end, when the three boys are running away from the bull and towards us, it feels like a self-discovery journey that we have all taken with them rather than just watching them take.
Maybe that’s what this generation actually wanted, not just a coming-of-age story but a journey within oneself to overcome the lost selves. And of course, the beautiful Spain that has been so intelligently incorporated within the narrative of the film and the way it has been shot made us all want to go there once but all ZNMD style!
Also Read: What makes YJHD- Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani so wholesome even after 9 years?
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