The earliest memory of my own existence is walking on ice in Changu Lake, Sikkim with my father while my mother insisted to put another muffler scarf around my little face. That was me as a 4 year old and one of my favorite moment with my parents. My father was in military which led to us living in a lot of obscure places. This is my first ever travel story and one of the simplest yet most cherished moment.
I spent my age of 3 to 5 in the picturesque town of Gangtok in Northern India on the bed of Himalayas. I say that to preface my next story, I went to a preschool called The Black Cats (I know the name sounds less like a school and more like a voodoo store). The school used to be on the top of a hill and the army quarters used to be at the very bottom. I remember it being a long drive on my school bus and me falling asleep every time. There was this girl in my preschool class, she lived somewhere near the school and not in the army campus. She would walk to her home and one day as a 4 year old boy, I decided to walk her home and skip my bus. The bus reached the pick up point but I wasn’t there. My mother started crying, my father started panicking while I was walking with another clueless four year old on roads with hills on one side and deep valleys on the other. I somehow reached home without being kidnapped or eaten by some wild animal. Thinking back, I realized that it was my first date and we went on a hike. I was so 2018 back then. (wish I remembered her name or her face). This is me doing stupid things for girls before knowing the alphabets.
In the words of someone I don’t know - ‘we can’t seek friendship, they just happen’. I am lucky that friendship happened to me through kindergarten, middle school, high school and college dorms, with whom I can share my miserable puns, I can cry, or send annoying texts late into night because my favorite sports team lost. I don’t know how to explain friendship but I know they exist and I am blessed.
ZNMD is all of this but with better looking people. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is the story of three friends running away from growing up, facing their fear and finding themselves in the process. ZNMD is a story of every 20 something guy/ girl at its core wrapped in glitter and gorgeous Spain.
Directed by Zoya Akhtar, written by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, ZNMD is arguably the No. 1 movie on my Rewatchability Index. I would ask the readers few questions to prove my stance on its rewathability. Is the movie funny? Yes. Are there relatable characters to root for? Yes, a lot of them. Can you watch any scene and drop your remote? totally. Iconic scenes? you damn right.
WHAT’S THE MOVIE YOU MIGHT ASK?
The story starts with Kabir’s (Abhay Deol) engagement to Natasha (Kalki Koechlin). Followed by Imran (Farhan Akhtar) re-initiating their college plan of going to Spain as Kabir’s bachelor trip. They have a third friend, Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) working in London and he makes it clear that he doesn’t like Ford Fiesta. They go on the trip and plans to do one adventure sport of their choice on the trip. They meet Laila (Katrina Kaif) and then the next few days they live, they explore and they make us realize why friends matter when you least expect it.
WHO WON THE MOVIE?
This is the most important question in any ensemble movie. Out of all the heavy hitters, who stole the movie? Zoya Akhtar does an amazing job of telling the story of three friends and giving each of their story and character equal time and depth. That being said, Farhan Akhtar definitely won the movie. He was funny, he was emotional, he took a roller coaster of a ride from being a douche to an annoyingly amazing guy. Most importantly he was really funny and I love the guy. Abhay Deol would be my close second because of his fun & quirky mind-games and being that friend who is actually always trying to mediate problems among others. And ofcourse the poor guy was going to get married because he planned to buy his mother a ring (who buys their mother a ring?? seriously!).
The honorable mention in the winners podium would be SPAIN! I didn’t know anything about Buneol or Pamplona but now I do. Thank you, Zoya - From Spanish Tourism.
WOULD YOU DATE NATASHA IN THE MOVIE? OR WOULD YOU DATE LAILA?
This question sounds pretty simple and easy from the distance. But is it? It might be a hot take but I would totally date Natasha (Kalki). Just wanted to put it out there.
Laila is the girl you can be best friends with while you’re secretly in love with her. The chances of you unknowingly getting friendzoned by a Laila is as ‘high’ as the average viewership of Rick and Morty.
DEEP SEA DIVING VS SKY DIVING VS RUNNING OF THE BULLS
The movie is told through the journey of three mates while trying to face their fears. If the adventure sports were competing in the movie universe then Deep Sea Diving will be the runner up ahead of sky diving because it got Arjun laid!
Running with the Bulls is the definite winner of the ZNMD adventure sport category. It brings the meaning of the whole movie to the forefront. ZNMD stresses the idea of riding and falling - with friends and for friends as the foundation of happiness. Farhan Akhtar’s poetry makes everything better.
THE DEFINITIVE REWATCHABLE MOVIE MOMENT RANKING
There are way too many unforgettable moments but I will list the top 5.
Restaurant/pub in Costa Brava - Kabir (Abhay) tricks Arjun (Hrithik) into playing his stupid game and revealing the secret of being rejected by a girl named Cookie. ‘Shots, Cookie ke naam?’.
Running with the Bull final scene - They Run with the Bulls while the poetry is narrated by Imran (Farhan Akhtar) in the background. It is inspiring and fills your heart with hope and love.
Bagwati/ Diamond Biscuit - On their drive across the country, Imran introduces Laila to Kabir’s 12,000 pound bag while the other two guys sing the ad jingle developed by Imran.
Spending overnight in the middle of nowhere after meeting Imran’s father - Shankar-Ehsan-Loy’s music adds the depth to the moments in the movie. In this scene, the friends contemplate life and how smallest of decision can make the biggest of difference. Imran’s apology to Arjun for his past action will warm your heart.
Flashback to Kabir’s proposal and him telling his friends the truth - The reactions are as honest as it gets. The scene is simple but explains the importance of close friends as they are the only ones who can give unbiased thoughts without giving a f***!
WHO WOULD STAR IN THE HOLLYWOOD VERSION?
I would give away all my money to watch a Hollywood remake of ZNMD. If I was the person in charge of casting then Imran (Farhan Akhtar) would be played by Harry Styles. Arjun (Hrithik Roshan) can be a role tailor made for Miles Teller or Michael Jordan. Kabir’s (Abhay Deol) role could go in so many directions but I would enjoy Ryan Reynolds paired with Blake Lively as his crazy fiance. I want Imran’s father played by Naseeruddin Shah to be portrayed by Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise.