Zoya Akhtar is hands down one of the best off-beat directors in Bollywood.
She has explored multiple genres of filmmaking and come up with marvellous works like ‘Luck By Chance’; ‘Dil Dhadhakne Do’; even Netflix’s ‘Lust stories’ and the most recent ‘Gully Boy’ which everyone has been going gaga over.
But the movie after which her work was acknowledged even by the non-artsy folks was ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ or ‘ZNMD’.
Her way of capturing emotions and blending them with the mainstream really caught my eye.
Gully Boy has a story straight from the streets. The movie displays some amazing acting and the raw essence of the Indian rap culture.
Overall it was a good movie yet ZNMD, which is the story of three best friends out on a road trip, remains my favorite work of Zoya Akhtar and I will tell you why.
As a 20-year-old millennial, things like love, friendship, career, or having financial independence and stability matter to me and ZNMD has it all.
Many people think that ZNMD gives a ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ vibe but I would disagree.
The tale of the three ‘amigos’ – Kabir, Imran, and Arjun- gives us some serious friendship goals.
Why? They managed to go for a trip in the era of futile “Goa chalte hai, yaar” plans.
Jokes apart, they stuck with the other since childhood, knew each other inside out, even though it took them years, they ended up resolving their feud over romancing the same girl and having ‘Bagvati’ in the gang was just a bonus!
Also Read: Gully Boy Isn’t Self Contained & It Has Already Started Real Conversations; Proof That Rags-To-Riches Narrative Worked
The individuality of each character spoke to me too. Arjun (played by Hrithik Roshan) killed it at his job and made millions on a single call.
Through Imran (played by Farhan Akhtar) I realized that passion is something important and that it is fine to be childish at times.
Kabir (played by Abhay Deol) showed me that making mistakes and getting out of them is hard but when you do it’s beautiful.
Seeing Laila (Katrina Kaif) and her love help Arjun in overcoming his workaholism made me believe that having the right person by your side can make you overcome traits that might be toxic for you.
Above all, there was also a bonus of getting to see Spain’s beauty while listening to the exceptional pieces written by Javed Akhtar in the background.
I know that they all faced some first-world problems like work eating up their personal lives, not getting to pursue their passion nor having the perfect love life.
But my background as an urban girl living in a metropolitan city helped me in connecting to those first-world problems.
Coming to Zoya’s latest gem-Gully Boy-the rugged and raw Murad (played by Ranveer Singh) accompanied by MC Sher (played by Siddhant Chaturvedi or should I say the ‘New Vicky Kaushal’ of Bollywood) gathered the masses’ attention.
Gully Boy also shows us the unconditional friendship of Murad and MC Sher, his nine-year-long romance with Safeena (played by Alia Bhatt), a fair share of family drama and the right amount of comedy.
But somehow the intensity of all of these emotions was felt more throughout ZNMD.
Gully Boy managed to break the stigma around Hindi raps that their content only talks about having hot ‘chicks’ around you, drinking booze and driving expensive cars.
But I personally think that the movie does not focus on social segregation beyond the class divide.
It is understood that Murad belongs to a joint family living in a slum hence he needs the money but the movie fails to accentuate his religious identity.
It does not capture his struggles of being an economically weak Muslim or that of other Muslims around him in post-riot Mumbai.
No doubt the actors in both the movies have performed really well and both the stories are great, yet for me, Gully Boy can never come close to ZNMD.
Gully Boy made me believe that if you have talent then dreams can come true but ZNMD made me aspire more for the kind of stuff that I need and want to have in my own life.
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Find the blogger at @UrvikaKapoor