What’s it about?
Dear Zindagi is a coming of age hindi film featuring Alia Bhatt in the lead role, with Shahrukh Khan having an extended guest appearance.
Kaira, played by Alia Bhatt, is an upcoming cinematographer who is unable to make it to the big league despite her obvious talent. As she suffers setbacks in her life – both personal and professional – she seeks out the services of therapist Dr.Jehangir Khan a.k.a Jug to help her cope with her issues. How these therapy sessions help her tackle and overcome a wide gamut of issues forms the rest of the film.
Kaira’s outbursts and meltdowns have a very real ring to it and have been portrayed very well in the film. Her relationship with her friends, family and Jug has been depicted realistically for the most part.
The film itself has an easy, free flowing and simple narrative to it that makes it a charming watch. It successfully manages to capture the subtle humour present in the everyday proceedings of life. Also, it gets the detailing of a young independent professional’s personal and professional life just right. The hustle bustle of work, the pointless banter amongst friends, the lonely night time meals, all these small things have been captured very nicely. The characters talk in everyday lingo which adds to the slice of life movie experience.
The film relies heavily on dialogue, which sometimes make the film drag a bit. Had the duration of the film been much smaller, this would not have been an issue. Also, the short film in the end, which is supposed to be her dream project, looks like an ametuer attempt for a supposedly talented cinematographer. None of the frames in that short film seems to stand out!
Alia Bhatt is a revelation in this role. She succeeds in creating a character that is tough, mercurial, restless, vulnerable, sometimes even unlikable, who ultimately has her heart in the right place. She is the heart and soul of this film and it is hard to imagine this film without her. Shahrukh Khan is good in this extended guest appearance. However, in some scenes he looks like he is trying too hard to act natural. During these moments, he looks out of place in comparison to Alia Bhatt’s subtlety. Rest of the cast do not have much to do and are uniformly good in their respective roles, some of which are caricatures to say the least.
A warm, clutter free film, this is good watch on a lazy sunday evening solely for Alia Bhatt’s performance.
3 / 5 stars