Produced by Gauri Khan and Karan Johar and directed by Gauri Shinde of “English Vinglish” fame, Dear Zindagi explains how happiness of life is hidden in small moments and how we should just explore them!
CAUTION: SPOILERS AHEAD.
When you first meet Kaira a.k.a. Koko on the screen, she is working. Right from that instant Gauri Shinde makes it clear what’s coming your way! To have a female lead presented in a profession like cinematography is a major step for a Bollywood movie. And to have the female lead admit to a current love that she has had a fling with someone else shows how even Bollywood is evolving!
Alia Bhatt has played a role of a life time. She is excellent through out the movie and is doing fairly well for her generation. The character of Kaira has extreme depth and is well thought out. Alia’s performance is almost as good as her role in Udta Punjab.
When the movie turns to a point where we discover how Kaira is just a scared little girl, dealing with childhood trauma and abandonment issues, enters Jehangir Khan (SRK). The person through whom Kaira learns life lessons.
Khan is effortlessly charming in his role and just like Chak De silently roots for his young charge as she goes through tough life situations. Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Angad Bedi do justice to their little roles in their own way.
A strong female protagonist with a storyline to leave an impact, Dear Zindagi is based on the same 2 components that English Vinglish was made of. While English Vinglish was record breaking, despite good performances Dear Zindagi does miss the bull’s eye.
Alia, one of the better actors of her generation, turns in a nice balanced performance. And SRK in his simple avatar possessing infinite gyaan tempts you to seek out a therapist. Music, background score, locations are a soothing treat. The storyline is bold and revolutionary in a way.
The only meh for me is given the potential of the theme and the attractive leads, Dear Zindagi should have been a better film! It doesn’t meet my English Vinglish kinda movie expectations from Shinde.
Everything being said, I’ll still recommend you to watch Dear Zindagi. Dear Zindagi might not be a love letter to life like it was intended to be, but Bhatt and Khan make this one worth watching.
Dear Zindagi gets fair 2.5 stars from me (plus 0.5 for the amazing performances by Alia and SRK.). A total of 3 stars!
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