The critics verdict is out. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a fresh watch despite the lack of drama in the first half. It will appeal to a limited audience though.
"Sure, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a buddy film like Dil Chahta Hai or like any other film that focuses on friends. But comparing Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara won't be correct. For, the difference lies in the fact that the individuals in both the films face diverse problems. While Dil Chahta Hai was about the friendship between three youngsters and the individual journey each of them undertakes subsequently, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is poles apart in terms of content [screenplay: Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar] as well as execution of the written material."
But Satyen K Bordoloi, IANS feels the film will appeal only to a select few.
"Yes, to a select few, neo-rich one percent of its audience who find nirvana swimming under Spanish seas or for whom freedom is feeling the wind in your hand from a high speed car, the message is loud and clear - you only live once so live it full. But one has to wonder, should a commercial film be made keeping just one percent of the audience in mind?"
The movie's first half might disappoint people who love their dose of drama.
Writes Nikhat Kazmi, The Times of India, "There seems to be one small little snag however. The first half of the film is low on drama and proceeds as a touristy piece on Spain. You do get somewhat restless watching the three friends check in and out of hotels, rent cars, play juvenile pranks and indulge in traditional adventure sports like deep sea diving and sky diving. Of course, there is a lot of friendly bantering too between the friends, as Farhan Akhtar and Hrithik Roshan battle ghosts from the past. And yes, a dash of romance as Katrina sashays into their life as the free-spirited waif with a wild side to her winsome self.
Among the performances Farhan Akhtar stands out. Writes Blessy Chettiar, DNA, "Performances are honest and telling across the board, yet Farhan stands out (Warning: Some bias may be at play here). Roshan, Deol and Farhan stick to their briefs by Zoya, often contained, and true to their characters, and never over-the-top. They let the characters' intrinsic qualities do the talking. Similarly with Koechlin, whose prim and proper Natasha is, admittedly, not much like her real life persona. They're all easy-going, playing their parts and enjoying while in the act. Kaif's "tumhari zindagi badalnewali hai" made me cringe, but overall her effort to make Laila believable cannot be undermined. You wish you could have a life like hers, jetting off to a part of the world for three months of daredevilry and loads of fun."
Though the screenplay of the film has the right flow, its pace could have been better. Writes Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV, "The screenplay, authored by Reema Kagti and director Zoya Akhtar, manages to stay on course all the way through to the end although narrative pace isn’t what it strives for. Even as the three friends indulge in constant banter – witty one-liners and poker-faced non-sequiturs are liberally tossed around – and play pranks on strangers and on each other, they have serious emotional issues to settle and many ingrained fears and doubts to overcome."
"The dialogue are gentle, they won't make you ROFL; they are more like tender dig in the ribs. The real triumph is that the characters are real and life-like," writes Shaikh Ayaz, Rediff.
Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama, sums it up pretty well. "On the whole, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara has its share of plusses and minuses, highs and lows. It's definitely not for ardent fans of kitsch or those with an appetite for typical masala entertainers. This one's more for spectators with refined tastes and sensibilities. It's a film for a more evolved, mature and cinema-literate audience that's geared up to embrace and support newer genres of cinema."