Dear Zindagi

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Dear Zindagi
Dear Zindagi

DEAR ZINDAGI is a fine film, but a tad preachy and too long!

Portraying pop-culture and troubled psyche of youngsters with authenticity and finesse, this latest Gauri Shinde directorial (after the very refreshing ENGLISH VINGLISH) is a relevant film with a heart and great content. However, it’s the tiring length, marked by tedious moralization, and the compulsion to explain every act that keep it from hitting just the right spot. Nevertheless, Alia’s terrific act will surely hit a chord with all modern adults out there, thereby making it alteast worth one watch.

DEAR ZINDAGI is the story of Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a budding cinematographer in search of a perfect life. A chance encounter with her shrink Jug (Shahrukh Khan), an unconventional thinker, helps her gain new perspective about life. She discovers that happiness is all about finding comfort in life's imperfections.

There are plenty of things to dearly like in this film. The idea itself is quite interesting – a common young adult in search of stability in a life which appears to be chaotic in an irreparable manner, and looking for answers to get rid of all her baggage. Even the depiction is quite relatable, in the sense that it reflects the true state of youth in our modern urban society. Then there are some amusing fundas that are served on the plate for the youth, and for parents alike. Like “why not choose the easier option to find solutions when you’re not really prepared to opt for the harder one”; or “doing something special to leave lasting fond memories for your children”; and “before blaming your parents for their faults, realize that despite the heavy tag of ‘Mother’ & ‘Father’ they’re normal human beings”. The film goes some distance into explaining the real sense of parenting as well.

But all these are mouthed in a manner that comes across as preachy, and this undoes a lot of magic that the film could’ve created. The premise is great, but the execution fails to match up to it. The screenplay is draggy and post interval the film just doesn’t know when to stop. Sub-plots after sub-plots keep popping up, making the film lesser and lesser amusing. The interval breaks at the one hour mark, but the post interval runtime is over 90 minutes. This perhaps becomes the biggest flaw in this otherwise sensitive drama. The entertainment quotient is missing and even the lamest of minds can point out the fact that major editing efforts were needed. Especially when dealing with a subject that isn’t popular per se, you need to make an extra effort towards making it more absorbing, alas, writer/ director Gauri Shinde fails on that count miserably, despite such strong content.

Alia Bhatt owns the film with panache. This layered performance of hers is definitely her best till date, and is sure to win her accolades across all platforms. It’s remarkable how comfortable she’s gotten in front of the camera at such a young age. Even in the scenes she has with SRK, it won’t be wrong to say she shines brighter. SRK, on the other hand, appears in an extended cameo, where he retains his usual charm, although a more life-like performance could’ve made a deeper impact. I personally expected him to shed his superstar aura for this film atleast. All others, including Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar do a good job.

In all, Gauri Shinde’s second venture falls short of the first in terms of entertainment, but deep rooted content alongwith extraordinary lead performance by Alia, make this film watchable for all adults.

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