Zoya Akhtar’s cinematic brilliance
The Hindi film industry is notoriously infamous for creating trope. The hero, the heroine, the villain, the best friend, the vamp, the comedian .One-note characters that it loves to fit in neat little boxes. But real people, you and me, cannot be pigeonholed. We’re a lot more layered and complex than black, white, and shades of grey. We’re it all—blue, red, green, yellow, pink, brown, and varied shades of every other hue imaginable. So are the people of Zoya’s movie verse. Its Zoya Akhtar’s birthday and here are her best movies!
1. GULLY BOY
The story revolves around Murad Ahmed (played by Ranveer Singh). An ambitious young man who rises above personal and financial obstacles to become one of India’s top rappers. Inspired by the lives of Indian rappers Divine and Naezy. The film was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2019 and was India’s official entry to Oscars 2020. However, it couldn’t make it to the list of movies shortlisted in the Best Foreign Film category. Gully Boy also saw some impressive performances by Alia Bhatt (as Murad’s love interest) and Siddhant Chaturvedi (as MC Sher).
2. LUCK BY CHANCE
Farhan Akhtar plays Vikram Jaisingh, a young man with dreams of becoming a Bollywood superstar. However, when fame and fortune knock at his door in the form of a lead role in a film, he’s quickly blinded by his newfound success. He begins drifting away from those who care for him. Zoya Akhtar marked her directorial debut with this 2009 film. It also features Konkana Sen Sharma, Dimple Kapadia, Hrithik Roshan, Rishi Kapoor, Isha Sharvani and Sanjay Kapoor among others. Although the film didn’t do too well at the box office, it opened to positive reviews from critics.
3. DIL DHADAKNE DO
A lot of family dramedy happens in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea when a rich, dysfunctional Punjabi family takes a cruise trip to celebrate the parents’ wedding anniversary. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, the movie features Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar and Vikrant Massey among others. Interestingly, the film was initially offered to Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif (according to IMDb). While the primary filming was done on a cruise, it also captured the beauty of Spain, France, Tunisia, Turkey and Italy. If nothing else, watch it for wardrobe inspiration for your next cruise vacay, and the youngest member in the Mehra family – Pluto Mehra (voiced by Aamir Khan) – who also happens to be the narrator of the film.
4.ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA
Three friends set off to Spain on a three-week road trip to celebrate the final days of bachelorhood of one of the friends, but little do they know that this trip would change their lives forever. Each friend picks a dangerous sport for the trio to experience, and as they complete each task, their bond becomes stronger and they gain a new perspective about love and life. Above all, we cannot forget the picturesque locales of Costa Brava, Seville and Valencia that the trio and Zoya Akhtar virtually take us through, in the span of 2 hours and 35 minutes. The movie features Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol in lead roles along with Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin, Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Naval.
5. MADE IN HEAVEN
Starring Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Jim Sarbh and Kalki Koechlin, this Indian web series highlights the journey of Tara and Karan, two Delhi-based wedding planners, who organise big, fat Indian weddings that are a perfect amalgamation of old traditions with modern individual aspirations. However, as they move forward in their journey, they learn about the secrets and lies brushed underneath the carpet in Delhi’s social dynamics.