The slice-of-life film has been making a tremendous buzz as it has a unique star cast combination of Shah Rukh and Alia with interesting and quirky dialogues. Kyra (Alia Bhatt) is a talented, young cinematographer who like many millennial has a messy love life and a yet to bloom career.
Quite early on, it’s thrust on the viewers that Kyra has a problem with commitments. In the first ten minutes, she breaks up with Sid (Angad Bedi) after revealing to him that she cheated on him and later she bails on giving Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) a crisp answer about getting serious. What follows, is her dealing with the recent break-up with Raghuvendra and an entire first half is wasted on the same. On the other hand, we are time and again shown a strained relationship between her and her parents. At first, you think she’s just riddled with some love life issues that drive her to seeing a therapist (Dimaag Ka Doctor), only to later learn that her tough childhood is responsible for all of it. The scenes of Kyra’s meetings with Dr Jehangir Khan also know as Jug ( Shah Rukh Khan) are the most interesting bits and particularly powerful ones in the second half.
What director Gauri Shinde tries to do is pack a lot of heavy learning in one script – such as importance of parenting in shaping an individual, being open to seeking mental health or societal acceptance for a girl with multiple relationships and having career in the glamour industry.
Alia Bhatt is undoubtly talented and gives a measured performance in this film. She particularly shines in the scenes where her character breaks down leaving everyone with a lump in their throat creating a brilliant scene. It will remind a lot, of her ‘Highway’ character , such as the one where she confronts her family. Shah Rukh Khan as the uber cool shrink- Jug, is simply adorable by flashing his dimples. Kunal Kapoor as Raghu, does his job well making us wish to have seen more of him in the film. Ali Zafar’s act as Rumi, the musician is likable yet unnecessary. Ira Dubey and Yashaswini Dayma are decent in their supporting roles. And the surprise element Aditya Roy Kapur’s cameo is charming. Clocked at 149 minutes, ‘Dear Zindagi’ stretches unnecessarily and should have been wrapped up in two hours considering its content. A lot of portions in the first half could have been chopped off. Amit Trivedi’s music is a delightful mix with Goa and its natural vibe in front of eyes. It is the story line and the cast’s power-packed performances that have wowed the viewers. With such massive response, the film will surely make movie-goers gather into the theatres despite the demonetisation drive.