Run Time:160 mins
Shah Rukh Khan
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Director Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi begins with a series of disclaimers and the one that stood out was that any opinions shared by the therapist shouldn’t be perceived as medical opinion. But this film is something that a doctor might prescribe if they want you to have a good time. It is no bitter pill.
The tale of a twenty-something cinematographer, Kiara (Alia Bhatt), who’s undergoing a crippling quarter-life-crisis, is joyously entertaining.
The heavy lifting is done by Bhatt who infuses life and zest into her troubled character. She’s a constant work-in-progress, but she never lets her personal problems seem narcissistic. You feel affectionate towards her at all times. Perhaps, that’s an indication of how strong a performer she is and the film’s appeal.
Kiara hasn’t had a real relationship with a man in a long time and her ties with her parents are strained. Plus, it’s always encouraging to see a Bollywood heroine who’s flawed yet fabulous. Her decision to see an unconventional therapist — enter the suave and the eternally sexy Shah Rukh Khan — changes the way she perceives the hostile world around her and its challenges.
The scene in which she breaks down on his chic couch is a sight to behold. Your heart will go out to her as she expresses her angst-ridden existence.
While Khan offers sturdy support in this film, it’s Bhatt’s film all the way. Their relationship seems effortless. You almost feel as if Khan is playing himself in this film. Just like his charming, ever-amiable public persona, his character here too is instantly endearing. How their relationship develops is also interesting to watch.
A grouse is that Bhatt’s relatives come across as stock characters — that intrusive aunt or uncle who’s always pestering the single women to marry quick could have been eliminated.
But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this feel-good drama. If you are looking for a heartwarming, sensitive film about troubled twenty-somethings, then make a date with Dear Zindagi. You won’t live to regret it.