Verdict: An honest and heartfelt film that Bollywood desperately needed.
This year has not been the best for Bollywood. While we saw several big-budget films hit the theatres, most failed when it came to connecting with the audience. Director and writer Gauri Shinde made her debut with the acclaimed English Vinglish and when we heard her next would have Alia and SRK in the lead, we had high hopes. And we must say, Dear Zindagi does not disappoint. A slice-of-life film that will make you smile, cry and introspect, Dear Zindagi will undoubtedly strike a chord, especially with the youth.
Kaira (Alia Bhatt) is a cinematographer and bohemian at heart. While successful at her job and her friendships, one area of life she struggles in, is romance. Gauri Shinde’s previous film focused on a strong female lead and we see the same theme in Dear Zindagi. We are first introduced to Kaira on a film set in Singapore, as she gives her expert eye on different shots. She has a special relationship with her producer Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) and when she returns to Mumbai, she breaks the news to her current boyfriend that she has cheated on him. From there begins the intriguing story of understanding the bold and complicated Kaira.
Set in Mumbai and then Goa, the film is extremely relatable as it deals with issues like breakups, attachment and parental conflict that are close to everyone’s hearts. While the film plateaus in the first half as it revolves around Kaira and her friends' lives, it picks up pace with the entry of Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan). Jehangir aka Jug is a therapist based in Goa, who Kaira accidently comes across. She decides to visit him because she cannot sleep. Therein begins the slow but beautiful journey of how Jug guides Kaira on breaking the shackles that are holding her back.
Alia Bhatt plays the part impeccably and SRK is his usual charming self. He looks his age and carries himself the utmost grace, almost like he is just being himself, as he is in real life. Dear Zindagi attempts to be something different and while it may not be the perfect attempt, it is definitely a step in the right direction. While the first half comes off as a bit pretentious, the second half plays out flawlessly. It also sheds light on the issues of mental health and how visiting a dimag ka doctor is nothing to be ashamed about. The music has been a hit even before the film hit theaters and only adds to the film's magic.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you are bored of those generic Bollywood films with item numbers and over-the-top action sequences and are looking for an honest and heartfelt film that will give you something to take back home, Dear Zindagi is a delightful watch you cannot miss. Plus, it has SRK in a never-seen-before avatar.