POPOCORN ENTERTAINMENT – 2.5/5
I have always felt that portraying a slice of the life film on big screen is a complex equation. The basic intent of the film is actually known beforehand – to make the viewer consume a zipped in life enrichment cocktail . But its the execution of the film which can make or mar such a film. Right from the day zero when the refreshing promos of Dear Zindagi were revealed, one had a fairly good idea what this cinema is going to offer. And straight up, Dear Zindagi definitely has its moments, but the weak links outnumbers the strong ones and you end up a tad disappointed at the end.
Kaira ( Alia), an intelligent photographer with a mind of her own, is a independent woman every girl of todays times will relate to . Her free spirit and bohemian approach towards life lands her in a big mess – a string of failed relationships with men and a disillusioned outlook towards life. Not to forget, our girl has a torrid past which makes her insecure , and a negative bond with her parents. Enters Dr Jehangir Khan ( Shah Rukh), a therapist who helps her heal and fix her inner fears through the lens of optimism and hope.
Gauri Shinde, who made the endearing English Vinglish back in 2012, helms the directorial hat here and sets up the pace of the film nicely, showcasing Kaira’s desperation in scaling up her career and filling in with some humorous banters along the way with her group of close friends. But you cant fail to notice how the director bungles up the promising premise with a bland and a over stretched out second half which tests your patience with innumerable monologues . Kairas angst towards her life is not properly fleshed out , and her inconsistent relationships with men too are not built properly. The narrative gets tedious , and it takes the tone of sermonizing which disconnects you from the proceedings going on screen.
But its the terrific performances derived from the central cast where Gauri Shinde needs to be lauded . Alia Bhatt is exceptional to the core here, never ever hitting a false note. As a women dealing with her inner demons , Alia brings Kaira alive with the right amount of vulnerability and anxiety without a dollop of artifice. Watch her in the emotional outburst scenes during the pre climax portions and you will simply end up admiring her. Shahrukh Khan is suitably restrained as Dr Jehangir, without his usual mannerisms . It is a dignified portrayal from a superstar who never takes the driving seat and allows Alia to take centre stage. The onscreen chemistry between the two lead actors is highly refreshing, as they bring their own level of comfort and candour to the front. The rest of the men ( Angad, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar) dont have much screen time, but i was thoroughly impressed by the gang of buddies who were effortless in their performances.
Sadly, what this cast deserved was a solid treatment and screenplay, which would have done wonders to the film. In one of the very important scenes of the film, Jug (Jehangir) says “Genius is one who knows when to stop“. Hope the makers would have adhered to this logic as well while making the film.