What started out looking like a Spain tourism ad to some, a Dil Chahta Hai redux from the promos to others, was described by the maker as NOT that as most of the film is spent driving in a car, was slated to tank badly at the box office, have a short life span and be yet another yuppie wannabe film, has now taken on some legs at the ticket windows and continues to delight many viewers into its third week. The usual gang of reviewers ranged from panning it solidly to loving it unabashedly. Then we had this salvo fired by none other than Baradwaj Rangan:
I did not review Zoya Akhtar’s multiplex hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara for this paper – and I didn’t have to. I’d already reviewed Wake Up Sid in 2009, where I wrote, “It has all the weight of a television commercial showing sad people transforming into happy people in the course of thirty seconds, which is to say that nothing ever seems to be at stake… Everything is frustratingly preordained.” And, “But these bits of growing up are tucked away into inconsequential corners of the film, in song montages and the like, so we’re mainly left with the incessantly happy-cheery story of a boy and a girl getting together after a series of extremely minor hiccups. That’s not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, sure, but how you wish a few dashes of reality had been allowed to temper this unrelentingly feel-good fantasy.” The heft of a television commercial. The minor hiccups. The feel-good fantasy. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has it all.Mr. Rangan went on to mock the audience favorite Rock On! (though I must admit that I found it underwhelming):
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