Director: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapur, Ira Dubey
Is it possible for someone to get over a bitter past? A pain of a heartbreak or constant feeling of loneliness, negativity around you can ruin your future. This is the central plot of director Gauri Shinde's latest outing Dear Zindagi.
Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a cinematographer by profession is seeking an opportunity to shoot a full length feature film. As she tries to move on with her producer-colleague Raghu (Kunal Kapoor), memories of her recent messy break-up with Sid (Angad Bedi), a restaurant owner, hold her back.
Raghu offers her a big film and asks her to accompany him to New York for the shoot, to which she happily says yes. In the meantime, Raghu, who is clearly in love with Kaira, pops the big question to her. Tangled in her own thoughts, Kaira has no answer. Reality hits her hard and fast when Raghu gets engaged to someone else and she realises that she is indeed in love with him, but not it’s too late for that.
With her broken heart, Kaira leaves the city and moves in with her parents in Goa. In her quest to find peace, she starts breathing in the scenic beauty of Goa. It is during on of such beach parties, that she bumps into Rumi (Ali Zafar).
Rumi, a singer and musician by profession, falls head first for Kaira. Despite trying hard, Kaira fails to get her emotions together feel the same for him. Feeling depressed, Kaira meets Dr. Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) for counselling. What happens next forms the major crux of the story. Will Kaira get her big break ever? Will she find her true love? You’ll have to join Alia and SRK on their Dear Zindagi journey to find out.
One film old director Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi is a slice of life film but you might or might not connect with it. Those who had a dysfunctional family as a child or have experienced multiple break ups in a short span of time will relate to Kaira’s story. First half of the film is nothing great, it just goes away in introduction of the characters and before the ride can even begin, it’s already interval. However, the film holds a huge promise of heart wrenching instances in the second half but no matter how much the reviewer tries hard to like the film and connect with Kaira’s journey, it is all in vain. Though the plot in reality is extremely weak, it has been covered up pretty nicely with brilliant performances.
Compared to Gauri Shinde directorial debut English Vinglish, which touched millions of hearts in many expects in 2012, Dear Zindagi is not even close. Thanks to the hustle-bustle of promotions, one develops a huge expectations from the film and starts anticipating big things. The makers cleverly create a hype for the film by teasing the audiences with the film’s best parts, however when one steps inside the theatre, there’s barely anything left to actually see.
Lately, Kapoor And Sons, Tamasha, which had a similar kind of feel to it, depicted the stories of individuals walking a painful path to self-revelation. Despite being a complex story, both the films were well-crafted and so the viewer easily connected with it. Dear Zindagi should be blamed for its loose execution that it doesn't touch you. Guess, Karan Johar believes in the real life world but a niche one. His last Ae Dil Hai Mushkil was about one sided love hence only few strata of people liked it. And let’s not forget the homosexuality aspect that he keeps adding to most of his plots. Here, it just felt unnecessary somehow. The only refreshing thing in the film is the emotional bonding of SRK as a therapist and Alia Bhatt. Music by Amit Trivedi is a brownie point of the film.
Shah Rukh Khan suits the character of a therapist completely. Finally, he realised that he should do more roles of his age. He surely brings life to each frame. Whereas Alia yet again proves that she is the finest talent of the current generation. She is so natural that you will connect with her expressions quite well. A scene in the anti climax where she opens up her aching heart at her house party is surely one of her best scenes so far, though it will kind of remind you of the scene in Highway where Alia’s character reveals being abused as a child.
Angad Bedi has nothing much to do in the film but he looks good in his role. Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar are too good and actually bring life to their characters. Ira Dubey is fun to watch and Aditya Roy Kapoor sweeps away all the hoots and whistles in just his one scene in the climax.
Dear Zindagi is definitely a one time watch this weekend but enter the theatre at your own risk since the journey of Kiara may hit you or it may pass by without even moving you. Watch this film only for amazing performances and nothing else.