One line Review: This slice of life tale with a strong female protagonist that manages to touch the right strings of your heart.
Positive Points: It is such a refreshing and positive film that teach you so many beautiful things about life without being preachy. The casting is perfect; Shah Rukh Khan’s character is likable and Alia Bhatt’s character may seem relatable to many.
Negative Points: The first half of the movie is a bit dull and over stretched. The film picks up pace in the second half.
Plot: Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a young professional cinematographer lives in Mumbai on her own and leads a regular on-the-go life chasing her dreams. She has great set of close friends on whom she relies completely for her emotional support as her family life seems troubled. But, her love life is a mess. Her relationships never last and, she seems to go in and out of relationships pretty soon. Kaira seems to have a commitment phobia at first but then there are more layers to her behaviour that unfold at a later stage. Kaira works with Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) who is a producer of several of her projects. Raghu likes Kaira and wants a serious relationship but Kaira seems to care less. After a sudden breakup with Raghu, she moves back to her parents’ house in Goa.
Her life takes a 360 degree turn when she decides to meet ‘BD’ (Brain ka Doctor) Dr. Jahangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) after an interesting encounter with him in a seminar. Then begins Kaira’s therapy sessions with Dr. Jug who has a very friendly and unique approach to unwind his patients. With Jug, Kaira learns to completely embrace her Dear Zindagi and find reasons to smile.
Direction and other Technical Aspects: Gauri Shinde should direct more films. First English Vinglish and now Dear Zindagi, the filmmaker has a knack of telling soul touching stories. Leaving aside all the technicalities for a while, it is important to appreciate the entire team for making such a positive film. Nearly everyone faces some or the other emotional trauma in life and is dealing with their crap every day. Judging people for their behaviour and having prejudices about someone with just a few encounters is what most of us mistakenly do. Shinde touches many such subtle aspects of life beautifully.
The movie is gripping and engrossing. It is youthful and manages to keep you hooked. The length of the film could have been cut down with tight editing. The first half of the film is dull and seems dragged. Cinematography and camera work are good. Gorgeous locales are captured aptly enhancing the beauty of the movie. The way the film talks about mental health awareness is commendable.
Performances: Alia Bhatt is growing with every film. She is endowed with supreme acting skills. She pulls off the role extremely well portraying every little emotion aptly. She naturally exhibits all the moods with ease. She is professional in one frame, while totally immature in the other. She is utterly sad and confused in one scene and completely normal in another. Alia is just perfect for the role and is a delight to watch.
Shah Rukh Khan is back with his usual charm. His character and the way he presents it, is likable. His cool and extraordinary ways of explaining things simplifies life. His presence illuminate the screens. He is an effortless actor.
Kunal Kapoor has very less number of frames but plays an important role in Kaira’s life. He does a fair justice to his role.
Ali Zafar is a heartthrob in the film. He is an extremely good looking musician who woo girls with his melodious voice. Zafar has a small role but, he manages to make his presence felt.
Supporting actors Ira Dubey and Yashaswini Dayma perform their parts appreciably.
Music: All the songs are lovable and already a huge hit amongst the viewers and music lovers.
Final Verdict: Dear Zindagi is a perfect weekend treat for all the slice of life story lovers. It is a story about emotions, freedom and understanding the complexities of life yet embracing it fully. It is a positive film and the second half is truly worth watching.