Dear Zindagi (2016)

Cast – Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Ali Zafar, Ira Dubey

Writer/Director – Gauri Shinde

A much awaited one and for reasons more than Shah Rukh and Alia.

Gauri Shinde comes back with a beautiful movie after 4 years and accolades to her for yet another unconventional heroine oriented story.

It’s the story of a young talented ambitious cinematographer who is a mess when it comes to relationships with men and who apparently has a disturbed relationship with her parents.

It’s a deep and insightful story of how the girl finally comes to terms with her relationships overcoming her fears or rather letting go of them with the help of a therapist.

The plot is pretty thick and full of potential. The initial part of the movie though seemed to lag a bit. But later on the narrative gets engaging, more so once Shah Rukh enters the scene.

Talking of performances, Alia is her second best after her legendary Highway. She’s simply marvellous and such a natural, especially when it comes to intense scenes and close up shots. She carries the confidence, effervescence, impulsiveness & fidgety vulnerability of the character with aplomb.

And for those who have been waiting for Chak De-esque Shahrukh… here he is… in all his dashing sober looks. And I hope critics give him his due as an actor and not just a showman. He lashes his charm in all those intense scenes with closeups, bearded look, intense eyes and the dimpled smiles. The fact that he flaunts his real age adds majesty to his character.

The supporting cast was apt but could hardly make the presence felt because of lack of writing.

Once Shahrukh enters the story and wherever he is, he lifts up the narrative and the conversations he has with Alia are such wonderful insights about life, relationships and dealing with oneself, that’s its almost semi-therapy or counselling sessions for us too.

Music by Amit Trivedi was in sync with the story and script. The cinematography was worth noticing. The camera knew when and how to focus on faces and bring out the best.

The first half could have been better though in terms of writing. It seemed a little boring initially. The support characters were hardly focused on.

But overall, the movie was a beautiful and insightful one, also emotionally tugging where it needed to be… with two marvellous actors playing two very interesting characters and their interactions made the movie as consequential for us as it was for the story.

A great watch and a virtual treat for Alia and Shah Rukh fans.

Score 8 on 10.

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