Starring: Alia Bhatt (Kaira), Shah Rukh Khan as (Dr. Jehangir Khan), Ira Dubey (Fatima), Yashaswini Dayama (Jackie), Rohit Saraf (Kido), Kunal Kapoor (Raghuvendra), Ali Zafar (Rumi)
Director: Gauri Shinde
Music: Amit Trivedi
The Cinema Stations’s Rating: Second AC Journey (3.5/5)
Gauri Shinde’s story, Sharukh Khan’s brand and Alia’s refreshment were supposed to be the highlights of Dear Zindagi. Trailers showcased a disturbed Alia Bhatt taking life lessons from a cool and casual Shahrukh Khan giving away much of the plot and promised another enjoyable and casual splash in the pool of life; just like Gauri Shinde’s previous, English Vinglish.
Very similar to her Sridevi starrer debut, Gauri Shinde once again magnifies upon the complications and insecurities in a female’s life. The film picks off introducing a quirky, mercurial and adorable Alia Bhatt, playing a professional cinematographer and looking for a path breaking opportunity in her unrewarding career. Surrounded by a group of friends and a string of failed relationships behind her, Kaira is often seen confused, delusional and distorted in the first half. After some mature performances in Highway, Udta Punjab and 2 States, Alia seems unsteady and fretful in her new cool cinematographer avatar.
The journey picks up with some momentum, but the stations it threads through in the first half are unorganized, bland and out of place. Dialogues, music and acting skills are all unmeasured and an irritatingly monotonous first half puts Gauri Shinde’s magnanimous potential into question. The entry of Shahrukh Khan brings some sigh of relief as the conversations, dialogues and scenes tend to get a bit edible and giggly. At the half time mark all what one can expect is a magic in the half to follow.
The second half ignites with all the fuel possible. The jokes, life lessons, sobs and family differences all come in rumbling into the story as you finally get to see the film offer some matter. The second half gets better with every frame. Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh’s acting experience and chemistry adds an entertaining flavour in what could have been a dull piece of cinema.
Gauri Shinde once again nurtures an idea which is common in the society but never explored. Her direction skills definitely take a dip from her debut as her film heavily relies on star power and fresh faces being introduced every now and then in the form of Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Angad Bedi, failing to make an impression. The second half lives above my expectations and makes up for the disappointing first half to ensure a formidable and entertaining film.
Given the first half, Dear Zindagi ends on a surprisingly refreshing note. A rail ride that may not have given you the best of the starts but gives you some memorable stations, scenes and journey companions to enjoy the ride. Dear Zindagi is not only for the youth, but also a much needed therapy session for the Indian parents and working adults.