ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA: The Zoya factor
When Zoya Akhtar had made LUCK BY CHANCE it indeed was a Luck by Chance that her film was a hit and now with ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, the Zoya factor (As enunciated by Anuja Chauhan in her famous book The Zoya Factor) seems to be working once again, manifest from the fact that all the prime seats in premier cinema halls, i.e. those going at the rate of Rs. 500 and above are filling fast. ZNMD seems to have carved a niche within a day of its release among the audience to which it was targeted the sophisticated, neo-rich urban Indian, be it in the country, or the Diaspora, they have lapped it up.
While similarities are being searched with DIL CHAHTA HAI as it also a story of three friends on a self-discovery, and so is ZNMD, apart from the fact that in DCH it was Aamir Khan who was at the centre of story, and so is Hrithik Roshan in ZNMD, the between these two films perhaps lies in the fact that ZNMD is more of a road movie, a road movie about self-discovery, against the majestic landscape of Spain. Rediscovery of the self, is indeed, the binding element between these two films, but the treatment to the subject has been novel, and it has been the catalytic factor for making a point of distinction. As Yash Chopra's CHANDNI opened the windows of tourism from India to Switzerland in a big way, one is confident that Spain is going to emerge as another hot destination among the Indian tourists who travel abroad frequently. After seeing ZNMD, it indeed needs to be underlined, that Farhan Akhtar is a consummate actor who has brought about freshness to the film, and he is a good talent for soft urban films of the present times.
It has been a long time since a road movie has come and as most of the urban class which would come to its working place after earning a well earned break moving around the country side in their own swank vehicles, the connect with ZNMD is immediate.
One only hopes that now for the next film, whether Farhan Akhtar makes it or Zoya Akhtar makes it, where road would be a part of the content, they would use the backdrop of golden quadrilateral of our country for the narrative. Indeed, golden quadrilateral can vie with any international road network, be it terms of quality of roads or the backdrop of landscape. Few examples of such type include the stretch of road between Belgaum in Karnataka to Kolhapur in Maharashtra, or that between Ahmedabad and Udaipur, they are one of the finest roads, and indeed time has come to situate a film on these stretches. Hope the Akhtar duo would listen!