Quite a mouthful, that title, isn’t it?!
I’ve been reading a lot lately (actually, Pre-Ramadan) and even watched a few movies (again, pre-Ramadan). I’m awful at reviews of both, so I usually don’t try. Only when a book/movie really takes up 80% of my attention span, does it get mentioned here . So anyway, I was watching this movie ZNMD at a cousin’s place last month. The reason I stayed back to watch it was because the movie was by Zoya Akhtar, whose Luck By Chance remains one of my most favourite movies of all times. Don’t ask why though. I wouldn’t be able to explain
Another reason would be Hritik in Zoya’s movie and NOT having the lead role (both the movies were focused on Farhan Akhtar ). There must be something about the pressure of being a lead actor I guess. Because most times I find that when an actor is cast against his type, when the onus of carrying a film does not rest on his gym-pumped shoulders, he gives a performance which is far more nuanced, and makes his character feel far more real. Case in point – Hritik’s role in Luck By Chance. A supposed cameo, but so effective. The expressions in Hritik’s eye in this movie are yet to be seen in another film! The haughtiness at the beginning, the smug look which eventually boils down to simmering resent, with a dash of jealousy and regret in equal measures! Wow! I guess this why I stayed back to see Hritik in a Zoya movie once again. And I wasn’t disappointed. At all
ZNMD is a beautiful movie. Not because of the road trip or the locales. Not because of Katrina or her Spanish friend (who looks lovely by the way!!). But because, none of the three leads carries the baggage of making the film a hit. They chip in with relaxed ease. Each actor doing his bit and then some. The eventual outcome is a movie we can relate to. There are no corny jokes and very few profanities. The one or two places they are used are justified! The movie touched the right chords in me and I enjoyed it thoroughly. What came as a gentle surprise though, was the song ‘Senorita’ sung by the three leads themselves. What a brilliant idea! It added so much to the charm of the song and the movie as a whole! In fact, I’m really liking this idea of actors singing their own songs ( and full marks to Alisha Chinoy for bringing out this issue into the open!!). Of the three singers, Hritik was definitely The Best! No second opinions there. Its a wonder how this speech-handicapped man not only mastered his stammer to spout urdu dialogues in Jodha-Akbar, but also warmed his vocals to belt out beautiful numbers! His 5-min monologue in Guzaarish is all the more appreciable because of the effort that must have gone into delivering it. This man is the epitome of hard-work I say. In spite of all his fame and fortune, he still takes an hour’s speech therapy session everyday. Btw, who else loved his English number in Guzaarish??
Anyhow, back to the song from ZNMD. I liked ‘Senorita’, because it sounded so unique and so fresh . I’m still on the fence about Farhan’s singing talent (its the voice I guess. But he can string a note for sure !) . The shocker was Abhay deol ! But he was given precious little to do. The chorus was very well executed and thats why even all this time I find myself humming that song . I think Zoya Akhtar is a director to look out for. This woman knows the tricks of the trade…but best of all, she knows how to do sensitive well. Very well.
Talking of Zoya, can’t help but remember this book called ‘The Zoya Factor‘ by Anuja Chauhan. I think I guessed the end in the first few pages itself. That it took another 500 for me to be proved right was a tad painstaking. Firstly, because I HATE cricket (sue me!) and secondly, because the female lead appears so daft! I really think we need to get out of the M&B mode (here in India, they term it as Chick-Lit). So all and sundry can see the sparks flitting between the leads and yet, they themselves are unaware of each other’s sentiments. Give me a break! Real women are seldom oblivious to the reactions of the opposite sex. And coming back to Zoya the director, I think I can now say why I liked Luck By Chance (and now ZNMD). Because the women in her films are not caricatures of their selves. They are real flesh and blood, the types who can say no to a relationship and be happy about it! That part in LBC where Farhan’s character seeks out Konkona’s character to ask for forgiveness and another chance at their relationship, was priceless!! Because I just couldn’t imagine what would come next. It was such a pleasant blow that instead of rushing into his arms sobbing with relief, Konkona’s character actually talks him into why it wouldn’t be a good idea to get together after all! Take that buster! If you think you can play hooky with today’s woman and get forgiven, you got another think coming your way! Redemption be damned . That the female lead could hold her head high and be proud of her choices in life was such a breath of fresh air .
After watching ZNMD, I’m not critical towards Katrina Kaif anymore. I never liked her before (too vapid for my liking) but ZNMD proved me wrong once again. KK’s character was real too. Not too pretentious and just enough charisma to hold her scenes well. In fact, all that I now want to do, is see Hritik crooning a love number for Katrina Kaif in a movie directed by Zoya Akhtar. I bet my last penny that I’d be there to see the First Day First Show First Row.