“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”: A New Form of Bollywood

Gone is the age of cliché, running-through-the-fields singing scenes in Bollywood movies. Screening the recent 2011 Indian film, “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara,” last Friday night, the Indo-Pak Club introduced a new generation of modern Bollywood cinema to the Andover community.

The event attracted a crowd of students to 1924 House, drawn to the movie and an assortment of Indian snacks.

“Zindagi na Milegi Dobara,” translated from Hindi into English is “You don’t get life a second time.” Directed by renowned Indian contemporary film director Zoya Akhtar, the film was nominated for awards at various ceremonies recognizing the excellence in the Indian film industry.

Composed of a popular, star-studded ensemble cast, including Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar, “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara” was a big hit in India.

In the film, three young men take a road trip to Spain for one of the men’s bachelor party. What is initially supposed to be a last blast for the three best friends quickly develops into a search for the true purpose of life and what friendship really means.

The film starts with Kabir, played by Abhay Deol, asking his girlfriend to marry him. He then plans a three-week-long bachelor party trip to Spain with his two high school friends, Arjun, a wealthy workaholic played by Hritik Roshan, and Imraan, an aspiring poet played by Farhan Akhtar.

Kabir, Arjun and Imraan drive all over Spain to discover what they really want in life.

“It was one of those inspirational movies that you wouldn’t think would be necessarily inspirational before you watch it. I learned a lot from it. It was so deep but so light-hearted at the same time,” said Misha Hooda ’14.

Their worries and concerns are left behind as they dance in a typical Bollywood musical number during the world-famous tomato fight of the La Tomatina festival held in Buñol, Spain.

“During the scene, you can just see the happiness in their faces. It was a life changing moment for the three guys. They looked like they were in pure bliss,” said Harshita Gaba ’14.

To vanquish their own personal fears, the three main characters do a number of extreme sports, including skydiving and the Pamplona Bull Run. The dangerous recreation pushes them to conquer their fears and reconsider what each man really finds satisfying.

Before running the bull run, Kabir makes a big decision about his wedding, Arjun decides to abandon his obsession with his career and Imraan decides to throw away a piece of his past.

According to Rhea Lewis ’13, Social Functions Coordinator for Indo-Pak, the film differs from many of the previous, more traditional Bollywood movies that she has seen. Lewis chose the film for the screening with Vidush Mahansaria ’12.

“A lot of times Bollywood movies are very cliché. A typical Bollywood romance would be two people in love, but they weren’t supposed to be together, and the whole movie just centers on that one conflict. [“Zindagi na Milegi Dobara”] is just so refreshing. It certainly had the theme of love, marriage and parental influence in it, but it wasn’t the center of it. I chose it because it’s a very modern Indian movie that happens to be a favorite of mine,” said Lewis.

According to Mahansaria, “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara” is not only about seizing the day but is also a representation of the new direction of Indian cinema as well as a picture of the changing Indian society.

Mahansaria said, “I think what Indo-Pak wanted to do is to show the Andover community what India is today. The new ‘trend’ in South Asia right now is breaking free from the set expectations and culture by making their own new culture and tradition. I felt that the movie was representing this accurately.”